Issue 16, January 2011
Welcome to the January 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
This is the first eWings issue of 2011, so let me begin by wishing all our loyal readers and supporters a very happy and bird-filled New Year.

How are you getting on with your New Year's resolutions? Not so well? Don't worry, you can have a fresh start: I have a new resolution for those of you who are not already BirdWatch Ireland members - now would be a great time for you to join us and help to fund our vital conservation work.

You can also encourage your friends and family to join: with the recent incredibly short-sighted and punative Government cuts to funding for wildlife and heritage conservation in Ireland, our birds and habitats need all the help they can get. Joining BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland's largest and most experienced wildlife conservation NGO, is the most effective way to help protect Ireland's wild birds; as a charity, we can do nothing without your support.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Final chance to put YOUR birds on the map
With just 5 weeks remaining for the winter fieldwork period of the Bird Atlas 2007-11, BirdWatch Ireland is appealing to birdwatchers across Ireland to send in their bird sightings to help fill in the remaining gaps in our coverage. That means YOU: any records of any birds at all are important - remember, it's not just rare birds we want to hear about.
Photo: Fieldfare by Shay Connolly
Get full details on how to enter your bird sightings and make a difference to the Atlas
Little Egret escapes the harsh Irish winter - by quite some distance!
When cold weather strikes, Little Egrets often have to move in order to survive. One particular Little Egret, however, which was ringed as a chick in Galway last summer by BirdWatch Ireland's own John Lusby, has rewritten the record books . . . by fleeing to the warmth of the Azores, some 2,133km away.
Photo: ringed Little Egret chick in the nest by John Lusby
Read the full story of this record-breaking Irish egret's journey
Celebrating 40 years of caring for wetlands
World Wetlands Day on 2nd February 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. BirdWatch Ireland is helping to celebrate this milestone by holding wetland events all around the country in late January and in February. These events are fun, free and informative, perfect for beginners and are fully open to the public.
Find a BirdWatch Ireland wetland event near you
Nestbox camera & bird feeder system
Taking the camera nestbox idea a step further, this set includes both a nestbox and a special feeder attachment, and comes with a high resolution video camera, a microphone and a 30 metre-long cable. The camera can be used to watch birds in the nextbox. After the breeding season, simply slide the camera out of the bird box and pop it into the feeder attachment: now you have close-up images of birds feeding. A feeder pre-filled with seed is included. This was our best seller over Christmas and comes highly recommended.
Order the nestbox camera and bird feeder system now for 179 euro, plus P&P
"Cry of the Curlew" update
Following the launch of our Cry of the Curlew Appeal last November, we would like to thank everyone who has so far donated to this vital work. With cuts to wildlife conservation being deeper than those to any other sector in December's budget, your contribution, no matter how small, is needed now more than ever.

Vital work to secure the future of our dwindling Curlew population is ongoing, and Dr. Anita Donaghy, Senior Conservation Officer, has been appointed to manage the new programme, funded by the Special EU Programmes Body, to pilot habitat restoration for Curlew in the border counties. This three year project (Halting Environmental Loss, HELP) is being carried out in partnership with RSPB in Northern Ireland and South West Scotland, with the aim of sharing best practice management and advisory techniques for key species across the three regions. We are very pleased to announce that BirdWatch Ireland has now opened an office in Letterkenny, which will be headquarters for this work.
Learn more about the plight of Ireland's Curlews and see how you can help to save them from extinction
If you haven't already discovered it, I'd highly recommend that you become a fan of the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page: it's a great place to share information with other wildlife enthusiasts and to ask questions, and it's getting bigger and more active by the day. You'll really enjoy it, I promise.

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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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