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eWings
Issue 81, June 2016
BIRDWATCH IRELAND eWINGS
Welcome to the June 2016 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
If you are one of the many people whom we met at the Bloom festival earlier this month and are now receiving our eWings email newsletter for the first time, welcome! We hope you, and of course all of our other regular subscribers, enjoy reading about BirdWatch Ireland's work each month and that you will help us to spread our conservation message. eWings is available free to anyone who wishes to receive it, both members and non-members alike.

We are delighted that hundreds of new members have chosen to join BirdWatch Ireland this summer, both at Bloom and at our other summer events. If you are one of these new members, we would like to extend an especially warm welcome to you. As Ireland's largest and most active wildlife conservation charity, we are extremely grateful that you have chosen to give us your support.

If you are a new member, we especially hope that you will enjoy receiving Wings, our 36-page quarterly membership magazine: the next issue will be mailed to you in early August. We also hope that you take the opportunity to attend some of our local branch events across the country.

Please, if you are reading this and are not currently a BirdWatch Ireland member, why not join us today and help to support our vital conservation work? It will cost you roughly the price of a cup of coffee per month, and it makes an enormous difference for Ireland's birds and other wildlife.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
ARTICLES
Another record-breaking year for Rocakbill's Roseate Terns
Mid-way though the nesting season, a census carried out by our BirdWatch Ireland wardens on Rockabill as part of our NPWS-funded work there has revealed encouraging news for the breeding population of Roseate Terns, one of Europe's rarest seabirds, on this North Co. Dublin island. We are delighted to note that 1,556 pairs of these gorgeous birds are currently nesting on Rockabill, an increase of over 150 nests on last year.

This further cements Rockabill's status as the largest Roseate Tern colony in Europe and bodes very well for our EU LIFE-funded Roseate Tern conservation project, which will run for the next five years. (Photo: Roseate Tern by Brian Burke)
Read more about the terns' success and enjoy some stunning photos from the colony
BirdWatch Ireland's 2015 Annual Report now available
BirdWatch Ireland's AGM was held this past Saturday, 25th June, at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Many thanks to all of the members who were in attendance. It was great to see so many of you there and especially to have such good representation from across our local branch network. BirdWatch Ireland's 2015 Annual Report was launched at the meeting, and is now available for download from our website in PDF format.
Download BirdWatch Ireland's 2015 Annual Report (PDF: 1.54MB)
Hawke binocular and telescope summer specials
If you are planning to invest in a birdwatching telescope and/or pair of binoculars, you will definitely want to take a look at BirdWatch Ireland's summer sale. We stock a wide range of high quality optical equipment that will help you take your nature-watching to the next level. We have some great summer discounts on our Hawke range in particular, including the popular Hawke Nature-Trek 18-55x65 telescope for just €245, plus P&P; the larger Hawke Nature-Trek 20-60x80 telescope for the bargain price of €275, plus P&P; and the superb Hawke Nature-Trek 8x32 binoculars (left) for €140, plus P&P. Best of all, when you buy from BirdWatch Ireland, all proceeds go to support our conservation work.
Check out our full range of telescopes, binoculars and other optical equipment
Regressive (anti) Heritage Bill 2016 rears its head again
BirdWatch Ireland understands that the minister in charge of nature protection, Heather Humphreys, TD, intends to resurrect the regressive Heritage Bill 2016, which includes proposed extensions to the dates for hedgecutting and for upland burning. We made the case to Minister Humphreys that several Red-listed birds, including Curlew (top left: Andy Parnell) and Yellowhammer (bottom left: John Fox), would be badly hit by such changes. The Minister chose to ignore this advice, without presenting any scientific rationale in support of her position.

We will continue to campaign against this regressive law, but we need your help. Please, sign our petition calling for this bill to be scrapped.

In related news, eWings readers will be aware of recent attempts by the European Commission to dismantle the 'Nature Directives' which form the basis for wildlife and habitat protection laws across the EU, including Ireland. A leaked report has revealed that, despite the Commission's assertions to the contrary, these nature laws are fit for purpose and should not be changed. The Commission continues to delay publication of these findings, as rumours of high-level lobbying by anti-directive forces persist.
Read more about BirdWatch Ireland's serious objections to the Heritage Bill 2016
Swifts: your summer sightings will help conserve these fantastic birds
The Swift nesting season is now well underway, and these amazing migrant birds are now filling the skies over our urban areas with their charismatic and much loved 'screams'. Sadly, Swifts are in decline and efforts are needed to locate and map their nest sites across Ireland. Your Swift sightings, and particularly records of nest locations, are a key element of our efforts to save the Swift, so please send your records to our new format National Swift Survey 2016. For more Swift news, check out our seasonal Swift Blog, which is full of Swift stories and highlights Swift conservation community projects across the country. (Photo: Swift by Graham Catley)
Learn more about BirdWatch Ireland's vital Swift conservation work across the country
The list of Irish businesses supporting EU nature laws continues to grow
Twenty-five Irish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were among over 300 European SMEs that recently signed up to a Declaration of Support for the Birds and Habitats Directives. These directives are the cornerstone of European nature protection laws and are critically important to these businesses who depend on a thriving environment for their livelihoods.

The Irish businesses which declared their support for the directives include service providers in the areas of tourism, health and wellbeing, agriculture, ecological consultancy and education. The full list of businesses that have signed is available here. These businesses are mainly located in rural areas all over Ireland and rely on a thriving, attractive environment with abundant nature for their businesses. The Declaration states, "Our good business relies on good nature protection, including nature protected by EU law. Stable, effective and predictable legislation is important for us".

If your business would like to join the list of supporters of the EU nature laws, please email Oonagh Duggan, BirdWatch Ireland's Policy Officer.
Learn more about Irish SME support for European nature laws and their importance to Irish business
FINALLY...
BirdWatch Ireland is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Cape Clear Wildlife Officer, Sam Bailey. Sam took up this new post at our Cape Clear Bird Observatory on beautiful Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork last month and, in addition to running the observatory, he has been holding bird-ringing demonstrations for visitors to the island and showcasing the special local wildlife.

If you would like to visit Cape Clear for yourself, remember that we still have plenty of availability for accommodation in the bird observatory itself during the summer and autumn. The Observatory makes an ideal base from which to explore the island, and you will also be able to take advantage of Sam's local wildlife knowledge and experience bird-ringing first-hand. You also can keep up to date with all that is going on at the Cape Clear Bird Observatory by following our new @CCBOIE Twitter feed, with regular updates also appearing on the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page.

In other Cape Clear news, we are pleased to announce that our very own Dick Coombes will once again this autumn be leading his extremely popular From Seabirds to Songbirds birdwatching course on the island. This year's course will run from 12th to 16th September and will cost €195 per person. It will offer a fascinating insight into the world of migration and the joys of watching seabirds, all delivered with Dick's famous enthusiasm and humour. Accommodation will also be available at the Cape Clear Bird Observatory during the course at a cost of €22 per person, per night. For more information and booking details, please visit the Cape Clear Courses section on our website or give us a call on 01-2819878.

One final thing: are you in Dublin this summer? If so, be sure to check out our Dublin City Urban Birds Project webpage. Particularly exciting is the schedule of events and projects we are running in collaboration with Dublin City Council, which are taking place across the city and offer something for everyone. There is also a wide range of projects for you to get involved in, and we are currently looking for your sightings of Swifts, waterway birds (particularly Kingfisher, Dipper and Grey Wagtail) and urban roof-nesting gulls in Dublin.

Have a great summer!

Niall Hatch
Development Officer
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Kilcoole
Co. Wicklow
A63 RW83
Tel: (+353)-(0)1-2819878
Email: info@birdwatchireland.ie

BirdWatch Ireland is the trading name of the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, a company limited by guarantee and registered in Ireland, no. 116468. Registered Charity no. 5703.
Please note that BirdWatch Ireland will never pass your personal details on to anyone else.
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