Issue 13, October 2010
Welcome to the October 2010 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
It seems hard to believe, but eWings is now one year old. Thank you to all of our loyal subscribers: we have watched with great excitement as your ranks have grown over the past 12 months and we really appreciate your support.

Thanks also to all of the new members who joined BirdWatch Ireland at last month's Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois; we are very grateful to have you on board. We also signed up hundreds of new eWings subscribers in our Electric Picnic marquee . . . so if you are sitting there wondering why you are receiving this strange new email newsletter that may well be the reason! Please do read on: we're sure you will enjoy it.

If you are not already a BirdWatch Ireland member but like what you read each month, perhaps we could persuade you to join us today. We are a charity and rely massively on the funds our members provide to enable us to conserve Ireland's birds and other wildlife, and we can't do any of it without you.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Cry of the Curlew Appeal - we need your help
The haunting cry of the Curlew is one of the most evocative summer sounds of Ireland's uplands. However, we need to act now to ensure it doesn't become a mere memory: the Curlew is now among Ireland's most threatened breeding birds. BirdWatch Ireland hopes to carry out a programme of work to bring these birds back from the verge of extinction, but we can't do it without your help.
Learn about the plight of the Curlew and donate to our Cry of the Curlew Appeal Fund
Red Kite breeds in Ireland for first time in over 200 years
The Red Kite, one of our most magnificent birds of prey, has successfully bred in Ireland for the first time in over two centuries. Oran O'Sullivan has the full story in an exclusive preview from the Winter 2010 issue of Wings magazine. It's taken from the magazine's kids' section, Wingers, but we're sure it will be of interest to readers of all ages.
If you don't already receive Wings and would like to, simply join BirdWatch Ireland today.
Photo: Red Kite by Shay Connolly
Read more in an exclusive extract from the Winter 2010 issue of Wings (PDF: 457KB)
A Sting in the Tale: providing nettles to help Corncrakes
When Corncrakes first arrive back to Ireland from their African wintering grounds, tall vegetation in which to shelter is often in short supply. With this in mind, BirdWatch Ireland has just finished a project to create suitable cover to protect this highly threatened bird: cultivating large patches of nettles in key breeding areas.
Photo: Corncrake by Eddie Dunne
Read more about this new initiative to help bring Corncrakes back from the brink
The Complete Field Guide to Ireland's Birds
This excellent field guide from Eric Dempsey and Michael O'Clery, without doubt the best guide to Ireland's birds on the market, has just been published. Almost 370 species are illustrated in full, along with key identification features, voice, diet, habitat and status information and highly accurate distribution maps. It will easily fit into a jacket pocket or a rucksack and is ideal for use in the field.
This book is destined to become an essential part of every nature lover's bookshelf. If you watch birds in Ireland and only buy one book this year, it should be this one.
Order The Complete Field Guide to Ireland's Birds now - price 20 euro, plus P&P
Irresponsible mink release in Donegal poses serious threat to wildlife
BirdWatch Ireland is seriously concerned by the recent release of 5,000 mink from a fur farm near Ardara in Donegal, warning that it could have devastating consequences for wildlife in the area and particularly for already rare ground-nesting birds. Western Donegal contains some of the most threatened bird species in all of Ireland, and indeed is the last Irish refuge for the threatened Red-throated Diver, of which only 4-8 breeding pairs remain. Ground nesting birds are especially vulnerable to mink predation and their potential increase in numbers as a result of this release poses a particularly serious threat.
Learn more about this reckless act and the effects that introduced mink have on our birds
BirdWatch Ireland is also on Facebook: why not become our Facebook fan and take part in our online community there? There is lots of information and a huge range of discussions on our page, and our daily "Who am I?" bird identification feature is proving particularly popular. You might even win a prize if your i.d. skills are up to scratch.

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who have been instrumental in the setting up of the newest BirdWatch Ireland Branches in Cos. Cork, Carlow and Kildare. Having an increased presence in these counties means more effective monitoring, surveying and conservation work, as well as lots more events for BirdWatch Ireland members. BirdWatch Ireland Branch run a huge range of talks and outings, so there's a good chance that there are events taking place soon near you. Also, watch this space for details of forthcoming new Branches in Cos. Wexford and Wicklow.

If you received this email from a friend and would like it to be delivered automatically to your inbox each month or if you know of someone else who would like to receive eWings, please visit our eWings sign-up page.

Good Bird Watching,
Oran O'Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, BirdWatch Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
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.
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