Issue 17, February 2011
Welcome to the February 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
I'd like to start with a quick thank you to all the eWings readers who have been taking part in our Garden Bird Survey this winter. It has without doubt been a tough one for many of our garden birds, but it's only through the contributions of garden birdwatchers across the country that we can get a full picture of exactly how their populations are faring.

We are now well into the final month of the survey, but it's still not too late to get involved and tell us about your garden birds. I'd also like to request all of you who have been doing the survey for us to please send us your paper forms or submit your observations to us online as soon as possible after the end of February.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Buzzard Comeback - numbers continue to soar
The success of the Buzzard gives a heartening respite from the all-too-frequent accounts of declining bird populations. Driven to extinction in Ireland by the early part of the 20th century, the Buzzard's natural re-colonisation after a significant absence is testament to the adaptability of the species. The population recovery is continuing, but the issues responsible for this majestic bird's initial extinction from Ireland have unfortunately not completely disappeared. Photo: Buzzard by Shay Connolly
Read the full story in an exclusive extract from the latest issue of Wings magazine
Ruddy hell: Turnstone flies 27,000 kms - twice!
Researchers with Birds Australia, BirdWatch Ireland's official partner Down-Under, have recaptured a Ruddy Turnstone, a species which will be well known to many Irish birdwatchers, which has completed a 27,000 km round trip migration for the second time. The bird had a special sensor, weighing a mere 1g, attached to its leg. This device recorded where the bird was each morning and evening, allowing its remarkable migratory journey to be mapped. Photo: Turnstone by Shay Connolly
Read the full story of this tiny bird's amazing long-distance journey
New Courses at Cape Clear Bird Observatory in 2011
The popular field courses hosted by BirdWatch Ireland's Cape Clear Bird Observatory on Cape Clear Island, off the West Cork coast, have been expanded to offer something for everyone. Several new courses have been added, covering a wide range of topics, designed to aid the beginner and those with some experience in the craft of birdwatching and in more specific subjects depending on the course chosen. Courses vary from two to five days duration and each course will combine both indoor and outdoor sessions.
Get details of all our 2011 Cape Clear Courses and book your place online
Show the birds some love: National Nestbox Day, 14th February 2011
Yes, we know that 14th February is St. Valentine's Day, but it is also the perfect date to put up nestboxes. Although the breeding season is a couple of months away yet, mid-February is when many common garden species, including Blue Tits and Robins, begin to prospect for suitable nest sites. Our Wings shop has a wide range of high quality nestboxes to suit all budgets and locations. They also make an original Valentine's gift alternative to flowers and chocolates for the bird-lover in your life. (Photo: Blue Tit by Derek Lawlor)
See the full range of nestboxes available from our Wings online shop
All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation 2011: places still available
Regular reader of eWings will already be aware that preparations for the 44th Annual All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation, run jointly by RSPB Northern Ireland and BirdWatch Ireland, are well underway. This year's conference will look at "landscape conservation", its benefits and how to go about it. Entitled "Building a Better Future for Wildlife and People", the conference will throw out ideas on how a more holistic approach to conservation will benefit not just wildlife, but society in general.

The conference will run over the course of three days from the evening of Friday 25th March to the afternoon of Sunday 27 March 2011, and the venue will be the Hilton Templepatrick Hotel, Co. Antrim. It promises to be a very interesting and enjoyable event, boasting some exceptional speakers, and offers a great opportunity to meet staff from both organisations and find out more about their work, as well as to meet fellow bird enthusiasts. A limited number of places are still available, and if you are a member of either BirdWatch Ireland or RSPB then you can avail of a generous discount.
Find out more about this year's All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation and book your place today
I'd like to take this opportunity to make my traditional plea for membership: if you are not already a BirdWatch Ireland member, please do consider joining us today. You've seen some of the valuable work that we do, and as a charity none of it would be possible without the generous support we receive from our members. There is a lot in it for you too: BirdWatch Ireland members receive our quarterly Wings magazine, as well as a special membership pack and gift and the opportunity to take part in our nationwide events and visit our nature reserves.

To those of you who are already BirdWatch Ireland members, a sincere thank you - your ongoing support is very much appreciated, and we hope that you enjoy being part of our organisation.

One last thing: if you enjoy the kind of news and information that we bring you in eWings each month, don't forget that you can also find us on Facebook and get even more. Our online community there is growing by the day and it's a great forum for discussions, bird identification tips and friendly chat about birds.

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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