Issue 22, July 2011
Welcome to the July 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Many thanks to all of the eWings readers who have taken the time to respond to the online survey we announced in last month's issue. Unlike our regular surveys, where we ask for records of birds and other wildlife, this one is all about your thoughts on our print magazine Wings, which is sent out quarterly in the post to all BirdWatch Ireland members, as well as about your views on some other aspects of our work.

There is still time for you to share your views with us, and all of the feedback we receive will be used to ensure that we keep our work and communications as revelant as possible to our supporters. You don't need to be a BirdWatch Ireland member to participate: feedback from non-members about what they think of us is every bit as valuable to us. The survey should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and by taking part you will automatically be entered into a draw to win a fantastic pair of Opticron Oregon 8x42 binoculars worth €100. Taking part is easy: simply follow this link to our online survey and share your views with us.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Catastrophic Curlew declines uncovered
Regular readers of eWings will know of BirdWatch Ireland's Cry of the Curlew Appeal, part of our efforts to save the Curlew, one of Ireland's most iconic birds, from extinction in this country. We knew things were bad . . . but following the completion of our first surveys in Cos. Donegal and Mayo it has become clear that things are even worse than we feared. Only 4 nesting pairs were found in each county, formerly strongholds for this bird: this represents an mind-boggling decline of 96% in 20 years.
Anita Donaghy reports on our shocking findings - see how you can help us save this bird
The Black-tailed Godwit - one of Ireland's most important migrants
There is something magical about bird migration, and one of our most important migrants of all is the charismatic Black-tailed Godwit: 18,000 are currently winging their way to us from Iceland to spend the winter. Jim Wilson tells us all about them in an exclusive extract from the forthcoming Autumn 2011 issue of Wings magazine. If you would like to receive Wings in the post and support our work, simply join BirdWatch Ireland today.

Photo: Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit by John Fox
Read Jim's article from Wings about our Black-tailed Godwits and their amazing journey
A day in the life of a Kestrel nest - Irish reality TV at its best
It's not often you get the chance to sneak a peek into the normally secret lives of nesting birds of prey, but thanks to a video on BirdWatch Ireland's new YouTube channel you can do just that. Filmed under licence by our raptor conservation team in Clifden, Co. Galway, this six minute video offers a fascinating insight into the lives of a family of Kestrels. Watch out for more videos to follow.
Come dine with the Clifden Kestrels in BirdWatch Ireland's reality TV exclusive
Looking for the best guide to Ireland's birds? We have just the thing
Watching birds is a fascinating interest, but trying to identify them can be immensely frustrating - just how do you put a name to that small brown blur flitting around in the bush? You need a field guide, but choosing the right one is a frustrating task in itself: go into any bookshop and you will find shelf upon shelf of "bird guides". Where to start? Well, we believe that The Complete Field Guide to Ireland's Birds is by far your best bet. Why? The text and artwork are superb, and it only includes birds that actually occur in Ireland, so you don't need to trawl through pages of birds which you'll never see. Accurate distribution maps and "time of year" bars enable you at a glance to see where and when each species occurs, and at only €20.00 it is excellent value.
Buy The Complete Guide to Ireland's Birds from BirdWatch Ireland for just €20, plus P&P
Keep an eye out for BirdWatch Ireland on The Morning Show on TV3
If you'd like to learn more about Ireland's birds, as well as the conservation challenges that they face, be sure to watch out for BirdWatch Ireland's own Niall Hatch on the regular bird slot on The Morning Show on TV3. The programme is broadcast each weekday between 11:00am and noon, and every second Thursday Niall is live in studio to chat to hosts Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King about all matters avian.

If you miss the live show, don't worry: you can catch up on The Morning Show website, where you will find a full archive of past shows - simply follow the link below. The most recent topic covered was "Ireland's Thrushes" on 28th July, and the next segment is due on 11th August. Also, there was a special feature filmed for the show at our Kilcoole Little Tern colony, which was aired on 21st July - well worth a look.
Visit The Morning Show website and view previous shows online - and don't forget to check back regularly
Have you seen any Buzzards with plastic tags on their wings? As part of a long-term study into the range expansion and movements of this magnificent bird of prey in Ireland, the Irish Raptor Study Group has been tagging Buzzards in Co. Cork, in cooperation with similar schemes in Northern Ireland and in Britain. All Buzzards wing-tagged in Cork in 2011 have dark blue tags on the right wing and orange tags on the left wing. If you happen to spot one, please email the details to Dr. Allan Mee ( or Tony Nagle (

Our Little Tern Conservation Project at Kilcoole Beach, Co. Wicklow will very shortly be finishing up for another year. It's been an excellent breeding season for these charming little seabirds, with a total of 99 breeding pairs nesting on this small patch of shingle beach, the third-highest total ever. For the full story, as well as to keep up-to-date with any last-minute developments at the colony, visit our Kilcoole Little Tern Blog, which is frequently updated by our dedicated wardening team.

By the way, if you like frequent online updates, then you'll love the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page. Become a fan today and take part in our daily "Whoami" mystery bird quiz, ask us your questions and share your photos and tips with fellow nature-lovers.

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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