Issue 108, September 2018
Welcome to the September 2018 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Now that September is almost at an end, we at BirdWatch Ireland have been receiving lots of queries about what is perhaps Ireland's most popular migrant, the Swallow. Several concerned people have contacted us about Swallows that still have chicks in their nests, and many people have asked us if they are late in leaving this year.

The fact is, although the bulk of our Swallows leave us during September, it is actually perfectly normal for good numbers to remain here well into October, and it happens every year. All going well, these late-brood chicks will leave their nests soon and begin the long and arduous flight to southern Africa, where they will spend our winter.

If you are interested in Swallows and other migrant birds and you like to keep an eye on their arrival and departure dates, please share this information with us via BirdTrack, a fantastic online system that allows you to log your sightings of all Irish birds, common or rare, and which allows us to build up a picture of their movements and locations. It is a great way to keep track of your own sightings over time, and the data we gather with your assistance is invaluable to us in our conservation work..
To view the articles and news below in full, simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each summary.
Empowering teachers: free Erasmus+ training videos now available
As reported in the July 2018 edition of eWings, earlier this year BirdWatch Ireland hosted 60 preschool and primary school teachers at Maynooth University for an environmental education training course as part of the Empowering Teachers and Pupils for a Better Life through Nature project, which is funded by the European Commission's Erasmus+ programme. The week-long series of practical and theoretical sessions was run in conjunction with our fellow BirdLife International partners in Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Macedonia, along with educational experts from the University of Gdańsk.

At that time, we announced the launch of comprehensive downloadable PDF resource materials for pre- and primary school teachers. We are delighted now also to announce that videos of all of the Maynooth introductory lectures and teacher training sessions are available, completely free of charge. Please share them with any teachers you know.
View the lectures and teacher training videos from our Erasmus+-funded Maynooth course
Spix's Macaw heads list of first bird extinctions confirmed this decade
Eight bird species, including two species of macaw, are set to have their extinctions confirmed following a robust new assessment of Critically Endangered species by BirdLife International. The findings reveal a worrying new trend: for the first time, mainland extinctions are outpacing island extinctions.

The eight-year study used a new statistical approach to analyse 51 Critically Endangered species. Five of the eight confirmed or suspected extinctions took place in South America, with four of them in Brazil alone, reflecting the devastating effects of the high rate of deforestation in that part of the world. (Photo: Spix's Macaw, © Al Abra Wildlife Preservation)
Learn about the extinction crisis hitting the world's birds and the eight most recent casualties
New book - To the Ends of the Earth: Ireland's Place in Bird Migration
Bird migration is one of the most fascinating phenomena in the natural world, as well as one of the most mysterious, and it is a way of life for most of the birds found in Ireland. In his new book To the Ends of the Earth: Ireland's Place in Bird Migration acclaimed author Anthony McGeehan sheds light on just how birds manage to navigate so successfully over enormous distances, as well as the reasons why, using the latest scientific findings.

Intensely engaging and informative, as well as a thoroughly entertaining read, this is a book not just for dedicated birdwatchers but also for anyone with even a passing interest in nature. It deserves to become a classic work, not merely on Irish bird life but in the global field of popular science, and comes very highly recommended.
Buy To the Ends of the Earth from BirdWatch Ireland's shop for just €29.95, plus P&P
Road to recovery for the Roseate Tern
This is the third year of the EU-funded Roseate Tern LIFE Recovery Project which is a partnership between BirdWatch Ireland, the RSPB and North Wales Wildlife Trust. The project focuses on enhancing breeding conditions at the core colonies in Ireland and the UK, while also improving five former Roseate Tern SPAs (Special Protection Areas) in preparation for a potential expansion.

Long-term conservation efforts at its remaining three colonies - Rockabill Island and Lady's Island Lake on Ireland's east coast and Coquet in Northumberland, UK - have been rewarded with steady growth, reaching a record level of 1,980 pairs in 2018. As in previous years, the growth was mostly driven by Rockabill with 1,633 pairs recorded, but also Lady's Island with 227 pairs and Coquet with 118 pairs. (Photo: Roseate Tern by Brian Burke)
Learn how partners in Ireland and the UK have joined forces to save the Roseate Tern
Dr Hibernica Finch's Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals
Dr Hibernica Finch's Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals celebrates the diversity and wonder of Ireland's fauna - from the tiny Pygmy Shrew to the enormous Killer Whale - with exquisite zoologically correct illustrations and light-hearted prose that children with an interest in Irish wildlife will adore. Giving loving and detailed information about the Robins, Puffins and owls of the air, the toads, seals and Basking Sharks of Ireland's waters, and the hedgehogs, otters and deer with whom we share the land, this is a treasure of a book with details of twenty-eight of Ireland's most compelling and iconic animals.
Buy this superb new Irish children's book from BirdWatch Ireland for just €19.95, plus P&P
BirdWatch Ireland seeks to recruit Curlew EIP Project Manager
BirdWatch Ireland is currently accepting applications for the position of Project Manager for the new Curlew European Innovation Partnership (EIP), aimed at the conservation of this severely threatened breeding species. BirdWatch Ireland is the lead partner in this EIP, which is a collaboration with the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association, the Irish Grey Partridge Trust and Teagasc.

The project will operate in two focus areas: southern Lough Corrib in Co. Galway, and the bogs important for Curlews in southern Co.Leitrim. New, innovative programs will be initiated in these areas to improve nesting outcomes through various measures, including training farmers in nest protection, agri-environment measures and capital works programmes.

The Project Manager will oversee the work of the project which has already commenced in the South Lough Corrib area and establish the project in the South Leitrim area for operation in 2019. The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Monday 8th October.
Click for full details of this new Curlew EIP project management post and to download an application form
BirdWatch Ireland will have an information stand at this year's Irish Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference, which will be taking place in Slane, Co. Meath on Saturday 27th October. Aimed at veterinary professionals, wildlife rehabilitators and interested members of the general public, the conference features a range of expert speakers and practical case studies. We will be on hand to provide information and advice on Ireland's wild birds, to deal with bird identification, habitat and dietary queries and to highlight the importance of practical conservation work. Full details of the conference are available here

Please, if you have not already done so, join BirdWatch Ireland today. Members receive a welcome pack, 4 issues of our print magazine Wings each year (plus our Bird Detectives kids' magazine for family and junior members) and a special free gift, as well access to hundreds of free events all over Ireland. You can join online via our secure web shop, or if you prefer you can always give us a call on 01-2819878 instead.

If you are already a member, please encourage your friends and family to join too, or even give them the gift of BirdWatch Ireland membership. The more members we can persuade to join us, the more support we will have for our vital work to conserve Irish wildlife.

One last thing: remember to like the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page, to follow BirdWatch Ireland on Twitter and to buy your garden bird food, feeders, books, binoculars and bird-themed gifts from BirdWatch Ireland's online shop.

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?
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