Issue 21, June 2011
Welcome to the June 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
I'd like to begin by extending a special welcome to all of the new members who joined BirdWatch Ireland at the Bloom garden show in the Phoenix Park in Dublin at the start of this month. For many of you, this will be the first time you have received eWings, and we are very glad to have you on board and are extremely grateful for your support: thank you. Thanks also to all of our existing members who called by our stands at Bloom to say hi; it's always a real pleasure to meet our supporters when we are at public events and to get your feedback.

Speaking of feedback, we are always looking for ways to improve our publications and our communications, both with our members and with the general public. You will find details below of a survey that we would love your help with: rather than asking you to provide data on birds, this time we are asking you for your thoughts and comments on our quarterly Wings magazine and other aspects of our work. If you could spare a few minutes to tell us what you think and to suggest ways that we can keep improving we would be very grateful.

If you have never seen Wings magazine and have no idea what all the fuss is about, well, please consider joining BirdWatch Ireland today. You will receive your own regular copy in the post, and as a charity your support would mean a great deal to us: the funds we raise through membership subscriptions are put to very good use indeed.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
The Final Countdown
What an incredible journey it has been so far. Since 1st November 2007, over 3,000 people across Ireland have been tirelessly walking the roads, scanning the seas, summiting mountains, island hopping, navigating river courses, surveying cities & towns, exploring woodlands, crossing bogs and recording the birds in their gardens, all in the name of the Bird Atlas. With just weeks to go before you can put your Atlas notebook to bed, we are appealing for one final push to get out birdwatching to help fill in those remaining gaps on the maps.
See what we need YOU to do before the Atlas countdown runs out: it really is simple
Wings magazine - so what do you think?
As most of you will know already, Wings is BirdWatch Ireland's quarterly membership magazine. We strive constantly to improve it and to make it as relevant as possible to your interests, so we would appreciate it if you could spare 5 minutes to complete our online survey, both about the magazine and some other aspects of our work. You don't have to be a member to share your views with us, and all participants will automatically be entered into a draw to win a fantastic pair of Opticron Oregon 8x42 binoculars worth €100.
Take part in our short online survey and let us know what you think
Action Plan for seabirds launched as seabird deaths come to light
Urgent actions that are required for the protection of Irish seabirds and the marine environment were highlighted by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as he launched a multi-stakeholder plan led by BirdWatch Ireland. Fishing interests, recreational interests, expert ornithologists and local politicians were amongst the attendees at the event in the National Sea Life Centre in Bray, Co. Wicklow on 8th June. The event was one of several held to mark World Oceans Day and European Fish Week.
Read more about the launch and download a copy of the Action Plan itself
Calling all night owls
Following on from the fantastic response we received to our appeal in last month's eWings for information on Kestrel nesting sites, this month we are asking you for any sightings (or soundings) of another rodent-catcher: the Long-eared Owl. This is the time of year when the young are most active, begging their parents for food, and by knowing where young owls are to be found we hope to map the breeding of this elusive nocturnal hunter.

Photo: Long-eared Owl by Richard T. Mills
Learn how to locate and indentify Long-eared Owls, including a sound guide to their calls
Complete Telescope, Eyepiece and Tripod Kit for only €599: the best value around
Watching and identifying birds such as waders, waterfowl or seabirds can be a challenging experience for all birdwatchers, which is where the high magnification of a telescope really comes into its own. It also offers the best way to get stunning close-up views of garden birds and opens up a whole new birdwatching world.

Buying a telescope can be a daunting experience: there are many different magnifications and styles, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Well, once again we at BirdWatch Ireland have done the hard work for you: the Opticron IS60 ED Fieldscope represents the best value we've come across in terms of price and quality.

This telescope is ideal for first-time telescope users, and our kit comes with everything you need. The 25x eyepiece combined with the 60mm objective lens delivers an exceptionally bright and sharp image, and the telescope is fully waterproof and highly durable; it also comes with a 10 year guarantee. Of course, a telescope is only as good as the tripod it is mounted on and as part of this kit we are including a Manfrotto 190XDB tripod, which offers the perfect combination of weight and stability.

We know that telescopes don't come cheap, but at €599 this kit is honestly the best value we have seen for such a high quality optical instrument. Also, remember that when you buy from the BirdWatch Ireland shop you are supporting our vital conservation work.
Buy the complete Opticron IS60 ED telescope kit from BirdWatch Ireland's online shop for just €599, plus P&P
Breaking news: the first young Little Terns of the year at our colony on the beach at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow have just fledged. Don't forget that you can keep up-to-date with the fortunes of Ireland's rarest breeding seabird via the Kilcoole Little Tern Blog, frequently updated by our dedicated wardening team.

Talking of frequent updates, if you have yet to become a fan of our Facebook page, now would be a great time to do so. It receives dozens of posts per day and is a great way to stay informed about our work and to chat with fellow nature-lovers. We also post a daily "Whoami" mystery bird quiz: an ideal way to sharpen your bird identification skills, whether you are an expert or a complete beginner.

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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