Issue 20, May 2011
Welcome to the May 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
The last of our summer migrants are on their way to Ireland at the moment, so if you haven't yet seen your first Swift of the year, keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks: they should be just around the corner. When you do see one, don't forget to log it for us at our Spring Alive website. Another way to keep up to date with news of our arriving migrants is to become a fan of our Facebook page. It's a great way to share information with fellow nature-lovers, and our daily "Whoami" mystery birds quizzes are a great way to sharpen your bird i.d. skills.

Bloom, Ireland's largest gardening, food and family event, will be taking place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday 3rd to Monday 7th June. BirdWatch Ireland will be running both an educational marquee for children and an information and membership recruitment stand. We have also arranged a discount for all eWings readers who book their tickets in advance using the Bloom website: if you book online and enter our special promotional code BIRD11 you will save €7.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
National Dawn Chorus Day 2011 - Sunday 15th May
National Dawn Chorus Day, when our experts all over Ireland bring people out to enjoy the marvel of birdsong, is the most popular event in the BirdWatch Ireland calendar. It's this coming weekend, on Sunday 15th May, and our branches throughout the country are planning a whole range of dawn chorus walks and other birdsong-themed events on and around this date. Everyone, member and non-member alike, is welcome to attend, and the events are free of charge and perfect for beginners. Trust us, the early start is well worth it!

Photo: Robin in song, by Kimberle Stark
See the full schedule of National Dawn Chorus Day events that we have lined up for you
Problems for our Puffins
The Puffin needs no introduction - absolutely everyone knows what it looks like and many people would rank it as their favourite bird. Over 20,000 pairs of Puffins nest in Ireland, but we still don't know all that much about them. Concern is growing that threats such as rats, climate change and lack of food pose serious problems for their survival, and BirdWatch Ireland is working hard to see what can be done to save this iconic and much-loved bird.

Photo: Puffin (of course), by Michael Finn
Read all about Ireland's Puffins in a special extract from the Summer 2011 issue of Wings
Announcing Bird Detectives, our new children's magazine
We at BirdWatch Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of Bird Detectives, our new twice-yearly 16 page magazine for children. It will be sent out automatically to all of our Family and Junior members. Young wildlife enthusiasts can now follow our newest member of staff, Shelduck Holmes, as he investigates Ireland's birds and unravels the mysteries of their lives. How? By using his powers of de-duck-tion, of course!
To get Bird Detectives, join as a Family member (or upgrade your existing membership)
Kilcoole's Little Terns: blogging to the world
The Little Tern is Ireland's rarest breeding seabird, and the largest colony of this charming little bird is on the beach at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. Every summer, as part of a conservation project run by BirdWatch Ireland and NPWS, we have a team of wardens on the beach around the clock to protect and monitor them. You can follow the terns' progress, including photos and video, on our revamped Little Tern blog, which is now up and running.

Photo: Little Tern carrying a sand-eel, by Michael Finn
Visit the Kilcoole Little Tern Blog, and don't forget to check back regularly for updates
Opticron Oregon 8x42 binoculars for €99: the best value binoculars around
Binoculars are perhaps the most important piece of equipment that a birdwatcher can have, but with all the different makes and models on the market it can be difficult to choose the right pair at the right price. Well, we at BirdWatch Ireland have done the work for you: the Opticron Oregon 8x42 represents the best value we've come across, at just €99.

Why are they so good? They are fully waterproof, which in this price range is almost unheard of in a binocular, nitrogen-filled (meaning that they won't fog up inside), have a wide angle field of view, are coated in a durable protective rubber finish, are easily adjustable to suit your eyes (especially important if you wear glasses), and come with a 5 year guarantee. Also included are a carrying case, cleaning cloth, durable neck strap and rainguard. Best of all, if you buy them from the BirdWatch Ireland shop not only will you getting a great pair of binoculars, you will also be supporting our vital conservation work.
Buy a pair of Opticron Oregon 8x42 binoculars from BirdWatch Ireland's online shop for just €99, plus P&P
We'd like to make a special appeal for details of any Kestrel nests that any readers of eWings might know of. John Lusby, who is BirdWatch Ireland's Raptor Conservation Officer, is conducting a research project into the ecology of this declining species. To do that, he needs to monitor as many Kestrel nest sites as he can, so he would very much welcome any help you can give him. If you are aware of the location of any Kestrel nests, please email John directly at

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