Shetland Bird Club's autumn and winter talk programme starts next week.

by Deborah Leggate -

With autumn's arrival of migrating birds, so too arrive visiting birdwatchers, two of which are lined up to give talks for the Shetland Bird Club in the coming weeks.  Both are representatives of national organisations and will speak about their work, giving it a local slant. 

Mark Holling is the Secretary of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP) which started out as a part of the RSPB then in 1968 and became autonomous in 1972.  The RBBP holds the secure information archive on the UK's rare breeding birds and plays an important role in their conservation. The RBBP have collected an impressive list of breeding bird species, from the non-native red-winged laughingthrush to the red-necked phalarope, for which Shetland is famous.

Chas Holt is no stranger to Shetland, having worked at the Fair Isle Bird Observatory for three years.   Representing the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Chas will be speaking about the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) - the scheme which monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution and to identify important sites for waterbirds.

The presentations will provide a fascinating insight to the birds of Shetland and the UK and will appeal to anyone with an interest in Shetland's bird life.  Mark Holling will be giving his presentation on Monday 19th September, and Chas Holt is on the Saturday 1st October.  Both take place at 19:30 at the Islesburgh Community Centre, admission is free and everyone is welcome.