Issue 19, April 2011
Welcome to the April 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
This is always an exciting time of year for nature-lovers. Flowers are blooming, butterflies are taking wing and flocks of migrant birds are returning for the nesting season. Most of Ireland's breeding migrant birds travel to us from Africa, undertaking amazing journeys and facing an ever-growing range of threats, both natural and man-made, on the way. Illegal hunting in the Mediterranean region, a lack of suitable nesting sites and even the widening of the Sahara Desert, to name but three, all take their toll. Now, more than ever, we need to keep track of the progress of our migrant birds, and we need your help to do this.

A great way to start is by letting us know when Swallows, Cuckoos and Swifts return to your area: simply go to our Spring Alive website and let us know about them. We have also just started the very final season of the Bird Atlas, and we need to get as many records of breeding birds as possible: full details of how you can help are given below (and if you are reading this then rest assured that YOU can help).
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Bird Atlas enters its final season: please put your birds on the map
The final season of the Bird Atlas 2007-11 is now well underway and with just a few months remaining we need your help to map Ireland's birds. This spring and summer we are appealing for you to send in any breeding bird reports you can. So, whether it's a glimpse of a Kingfisher dashing along your local river, a Swallow nesting in your garden shed, a pair of Blue Tits stuffing caterpillars into hungry mouths or a seabird colony on the coast, all will be vital records for the Atlas: please do send them in.
Click to learn more, read our newsletter and, most importantly, submit your records
Dawn Chorus - celebrate with Derek Mooney and BirdWatch Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland's annual National Dawn Chorus Day will be taking place on Sunday 15th May, and full details of the events we have planned for you will be available in next month's eWings and in the Summer issue of Wings magazine.

To whet your appetite, you can tune in to a live dawn chorus broadcast with Derek Mooney (left) and the rest of the Mooney show team, including BirdWatch Ireland's own Niall Hatch, the previous weekend: it will be on air from midnight to 6:00am on Sunday 8th May on RTÉ Radio One.
Get full details of all the upcoming BirdWatch Ireland events taking place near you
Take a Day off with Yali and BirdWatch Ireland
One of Chile's leading wineries, Viña Ventisquero, has forged a unique association with BirdWatch Ireland through its Yali brand. Named after the El Yali Wetland located in the same valley as the company's winery, the brand has a policy of supporting wetlands or endangered bird species in every country where it is sold. Together, Yali and BirdWatch Ireland are launching their Take a Day off with Yali competition: simply find the unique code on each bottle of Yali wine between 1st May and 31st July and you could be a winner. As an added bonus, a contribution is made to BirdWatch Ireland for each bottle sold.
Learn more about how you could take a day off with Yali and benefit BirdWatch Ireland
Irish Birds Vol.9 No.1 out now
Irish Birds is BirdWatch Ireland's annual ornithological journal, publishing papers and notes on all aspects of birds in Ireland as well as reports on rarities, scarce migrants, rare breeders and ringing recoveries.

Vol.9 No.1 has just been published and is now available for purchase. If you have a Key Membership of BirdWatch Ireland your copy will be posted to you automatically.
Buy Irish Birds Vol.9 No.1 now for 20 euro, plus P&P, from BirdWatch Ireland's online shop
Curlews cry for H.E.L.P.
There has been a great response so far to our Cry of the Curlew Appeal, with over €30,000 received to date. This is hugely important in helping to fund initiatives to help conserve the Curlew as an Irish breeding bird. With cuts to wildlife conservation having been deeper than those inflicted on any other sector in last December's budget, this generous help is vital if this species is to be saved in Ireland.

Dr. Anita Donaghy has been appointed to manage our Curlew work, which includes a new programme, funded by the Special EU Programmes Body, to pilot habitat restoration for Curlew in the border counties. This three-year project, entitled Halting Environmental Loss (H.E.L.P.), is being carried out in partnership with the RSPB in Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland with the aim of sharing best practice management and advisory techniques for key species across the three regions. BirdWatch Ireland has established an office in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, which will be the operational base for this work.
Learn more about H.E.L.P. and about how you can H.E.L.P. save Ireland's Curlews too
Our annual programme of wildlife courses at our Cape Clear Bird Observatory on Cape Clear Island off the West Cork coast is about to get under way. All the course places for April are fully booked, but we do still have places available on both our Wildlife Photography Course and our Beginning Birdwatching Course in May. You can find full details on all our courses and book your place online.

As a charity, we simply can't operate without the support given to us by our members: if you are not one already, please become a BirdWatch Ireland member today. Members receive a new issue of our Wings magazine in the post every 3 months, as well as a special membership pack and gift and the opportunity to take part in a huge number of events all over the country and visit our wonderful nature reserves.

I would like to conclude by wishing you all a very happy and (hopefully) sunny Easter weekend and a bird-filled migration season. Don't forget to check out our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute details about what birds are being seen, to ask for help with bird identification or just to chat with fellow wildlife fans.

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.
Please note that BirdWatch Ireland will never pass your personal details on to anyone else.
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