Issue 107, August 2018
Welcome to the August 2018 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Autumn is the most keenly anticipated season for birdwatchers, with migrant species on the move and new arrivals and departures happening on a daily basis. It is no conincidence, then, that autumn is also the busiest season for BirdWatch Ireland's branch network: our 30 local branches across the country have planned an exciting schedule of events, and if you live in Ireland then there is bound to be one happening near you.

Beginners are always extremely welcome, and you don't need any prior knowledge about birds or wildlife: after all, that is where we come in! So, this autumn why not give it a go, and bring your friends and family with you? Simply click here for a full list of upcoming BirdWatch Ireland events.
To view the articles and news below in full, simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each summary.
Go Wild Nature Camps: connecting children with their local wildlife
In 2017 our Galway-based Go Wild Nature Camps for children proved to be a resounding success. We were delighted, therefore, to be able to run the camps during Heritage Week again this year, as a team effort by BirdWatch Ireland alongside Galway County Council, the Vincent Wildlife Trust and Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology. Funding was provided by Galway County Council and the Heritage Council.

The objective was to connect children with their local environment by revealing the wonders of local biodiversity. Practical activities and hands-on learning were at the core, with field trips, wildlife surveys, close encounters with animals and games and challenges designed to explore important environmental topics. (Photo: Ruth Hanniffy)
Read about our 2018 Go Wild Nature Camps and why connecting children with nature is vital
Merlin Survey 2018: keeping track of Ireland's smallest falcon
The Merlin is a member of the falcon family and is Ireland's smallest bird of prey. BirdWatch Ireland and the Irish Raptor Study Group are calling on your help to assist us in increasing our understanding of the breeding distribution and habitats of these charming birds. This information will be used to help safeguard the breeding population and will inform and direct more targeted conservation and research.

We are hoping that you may be able to help us by providing information on breeding Merlins which you have encountered over the past ten years, as well as evidence of nesting and/or nest locations. We assure you that this information will be treated in the strictest of confidence and individual nest locations will remain confidential.
(Photo: Fledgling Merlin in forest plantation, by Dario Fernandez)
For more information about our Merlin Survey and to submit your records, please click here
New book: Birds of the Photo Ark - superb value at just €22.50
The superb new book Birds of the Photo Ark from acclaimed National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore celebrates the beauty of the world's birds, large and small. It unites incredible animal portraits from Joel Sartore's distinguished National Geographic Photo Ark project with inspiring text by world-renowned birder Noah Strycker. It includes hundreds of species, from tiny finches to charismatic eagles, from brilliant toucans to intricate birds of paradise, and perennial favorites such as parrots, hummingbirds and owls. Everyone who cares about birds - from the family with a bird feeder outside the kitchen window to the serious birder with a life list of thousands - will enjoy this distinctive and uplifting book.
Buy Birds of the Photo Ark from BirdWatch Ireland's shop for just €22.50, plus P&P
I-WeBS News: our annual waterbird survey newsletter is out now
The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (or I-WeBS, for short) is the main way by which we monitor the populations of non-breeding waders, waterfowl and other waterbirds across Ireland, as well as the health of the wetland habitats upon which they depend. Managed by BirdWatch Ireland and funded and supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the survey counts are carried out by teams of dedicated counters each month from September to March. The latest issue of our annual I-WeBS News newsletter has just been published and has been posted to our team of counters, but you can download it for free.
Download the latest issue of I-WeBS News and read about this crucial survey (PDF: 3.3MB)
Living close to nature at Carrigmore Farm in Co. Wicklow
Last month we mailed out the Autumn 2018 issue of Wings, our membership magazine. It received a great response, in particular to an article written by Christian Osthoff (left) about his 'close to nature' woodland management practices at Carrigmore Farm in Co. Wicklow, where he has also contructed an energy-efficient 'passive house' and enjoys an abundance of wildlife. We wanted to share Christian's article in eWings so that those of you who are not yet paid-up BirdWatch Ireland members could enjoy it . . . and hopefully also be persuaded to join us today to receive Wings each quarter and support our conservation work.

Christian can be contacted with any queries at or 087 989 6449.
Read about Carrigmore Farm in an extract from the latest issue of Wings (PDF: 5.6MB)
Late Nesting Bird Survey 2018: please submit your records
In last month's edition of eWings, we asked you to submit observations of any songbirds you come across still nesting during the months of August and September to our Late Nesting Bird Survey. Although the nesting season has already finished for many birds, a few species, such as the Red-listed Yellowhammer, are known to nest right into the autumn. We are asking people to look out for bird behaviour that indicates breeding, such as male birds still in song and birds carrying food.

With funding from the Heritage Council and the support of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, BirdWatch Ireland is running this survey in an effort to fill a gap in knowledge on when birds finish breeding. Crucially, it will help to protect species, especially in light of the passage of the Heritage Bill which will change the laws that govern hedge-cutting in future years.
Click for more information about our Late Nesting Bird Survey and see how you can submit your sightings
BirdWatch Ireland would be nothing without the support of its members. As Ireland's largest conservation charity, we have a special responsibility to ensure that the protection of Ireland's flora and fauna is kept on the agenda, and to work as hard as possible to safeguard the future of Irish biodiversity.

If you are already one of those members, thank you: your support means a great deal to us. Please encourage your friends and family to join as members too.

If you are not yet a BirdWatch Ireland member, we need you to join us. Membership brings numerous benefits, including:
  • The knowledge that your money is supporting the protection and conservation of Ireland's wild birds;
  • 4 issues of Wings, our membership magazine, in the post each year;
  • 2 issues of Bird Detectives, our children's magazine, per year, for Family and Junior members;
  • A fantastic welcome pack, a set of bird identification posters and free gift; and
  • The opportunity to attend over 450 free local BirdWatch Ireland Branch events each year.
Please remember that the ultimate beneficiaries are the birds themselves, as well as other Irish wildlife. We use the money you entrust us with to conserve and protect them, to monitor and safeguard them, and to fight for and defend them. Please, become a BirdWatch Ireland member today and lend them your support.

See you again next month!

Niall Hatch
Public Relations, Branches & Development Officer

P.S. Would you like to make a donation to support our vital conservation work?
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
A63 RW83
Tel: (+353)-(0)1-2819878

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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