Issue 24, September 2011
Welcome to the September 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
First up, I'd like to begin by welcoming all of the new eWings subscribers who braved the mud to sign up at our marquee at Electric Picnic earlier this month in Stradbally, Co. Laois. It was great to have the opportunity to meet so many enthusiastic people there, and we hope that you will enjoy reading about our work and about wildlife conservation issues in Ireland. We also hope that we can count on your support: as a charity, we can achieve nothing without the help of concerned nature-lovers.

A great way to do this is to become a fan of the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page, where you can post your photos, ask us questions, take part in our daily quiz, or simply read all about what other fans are seeing and doing all over the country. You can also follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with our news as it happens.

An even better way is also to become a member of BirdWatch Ireland: the money we receive from membership subscriptions is essential for us, and there are lots of great benefits for our members too, including a range of excellent magazines, local Branch events, access to our nature reserves and lots more. If you are already a member, why not persuade a friend to join up as well or buy membership for someone as a gift? Your help would honestly mean a great deal to us.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Agri-environment: helping farmers to help farmland birds
There has been much media attention over the past few weeks about findings that many farmland birds are in serious decline, both in Ireland and across the EU. In light of this, and due to the threats posed to biodiversity by policies promoting intensive agricultural production, BirdWatch Ireland is calling on the Government to ensure that sufficient funding is put in place for agri-environment schemes. BirdLife International partners in Europe, including BirdWatch Ireland, have also joined forces to voice their concerns in a letter to the President of the European Commission.

Photo: Skylark, one of our iconic yet declining farmland birds, by Stephen McAvoy
Learn more about President Barroso's commitments and what needs to be done now
Garden Bird Photo Competition with TV3's The Morning Show
BirdWatch Ireland has joined forces with The Morning Show with Sybil and Martin on TV3 to bring you our Garden Bird Photo Competition 2011. Amateur photographers are invited to submit one photograph only of an Irish garden bird or birds, and there are some great prizes up for grabs.

BirdWatch Ireland's own Niall Hatch will be joining hosts Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King on the programme between 11:00 and 12:00 every Thursday morning for the next few weeks, and he'll be sharing photo tips, as well as advice on caring for your garden birds.
Find out how you can take part and what you could win, as well as full terms & conditions
Almost half a million birds slaughtered in Cyprus so far this autumn
eWings readers who have visited the island of Cyprus during periods of bird migration cannot have failed to notice the huge problem of illegal shooting and trapping of birds there, affecting a vast range of species (such as the Kingfisher on the left, stuck on a limestick). BirdLife Cyprus, one of our key international bird conservation partners, calculates that almost half a million migratory birds have been killed illegally this month alone and it is demanding urgent action to halt the slaughter. You can help them to do this.
Read more about the shameful situation in Cyprus and sign the BirdLife Cyprus petition
Bird-feeding Station: now available from our Wings shop
With autumn well and truly here, birds are now starting to return to our gardens in ever-increasing numbers. A metal bird feeding station makes a more durable alternative to the traditional wooden bird table, and offers an all-in-one feeding, watering and bathing station for our garden visitors. These bird-feeding stations are also highly attractive, with a spiral finial, detailed brackets and a highly durable yet decorative finish. Each comes with: double feeder bracket, water dish for bathing and drinking, mesh seed tray, small bracket with removable fat ball hanger, and a heavy-duty pole with stabiliser base.
Buy your own garden bird-feeding station from BirdWatch Ireland for just €54, plus P&P
Exciting BirdWatch Ireland Branch developments in Cos. Meath and Kilkenny
BirdWatch Ireland's network of 28 local volunteer-led branches around the country forms the backbone of our local conservation and public awareness work, and it has been fantastic to see the rapid growth in interest in them over the past couple of years. Our branches also run all manner of events, such as birdwatching walks, survey workshops and public talks, both for our members and for the general public.

We are always looking for ways to develop our branch network and to reach people in new areas, so we are delighted to announce the launch of a new Meath Branch of BirdWatch Ireland which will serve the whole county. The initial meeting to set up this branch and discuss its activities will take place at 8:00pm on Wednesday, 5th October, in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan and will also feature a talk on Ireland's Garden Birds by Niall Hatch. All are welcome and admission is free.

The following evening, Thursday, 6th October, Niall will be giving his garden bird talk at the relaunch meeting of our Kilkenny Branch at 8:00pm in the Club House Hotel, Kilkenny city. Again, all are very welcome and your suggestions for the future of the branch and its activities are very welcome.
Find full details of your own local BirdWatch Ireland branch and upoming local events all over the country
The new BirdWatch Ireland Irish Birds Calendar 2012 has just arrived, hot off the presses, and is now available from the BirdWatch Ireland on-line shop for €7, plus p&p. Featuring beautiful images from some of Ireland's best bird photographers, it is without doubt our finest calendar yet. Best of all, all proceeds from the sale of the calendar go to support BirdWatch Ireland's vital conservation work.

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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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