Issue 25, October 2011
Welcome to the October 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
A very special welcome to the 25th issue of eWings, marking exactly 2 years since BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter first appeared. Over that time, it has been great to see the number of subscribers grow each and every month, and it has proven to be a great way to supplement the news and information that appears in our longstanding quarterly print magazine, Wings. We are very grateful to all our readers for your continued support and all of your feedback.

Talking of feedback, one of the very best ways to share your views with us and with fellow nature-lovers is via the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with Irish conservation news as it happens.

If you have yet to do so, please do also become a member of BirdWatch Ireland: as a charity, the money we receive from memberships is essential for us, and there are lots of great benefits for our members too, including our excellent Wings magazine, 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 too? BirdWatch Ireland membership also makes a great gift for friends and family, and of course supports our vital conservation work, benefitting not just birds alone but all of Ireland's native flora and fauna.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
National Feed the Birds Day - Saturday 29th October
Winter is almost upon us, and birds are already flocking to gardens all over Ireland in search of food and shelter. In harsh weather, feeding your garden birds can mean the difference between life and death, and it's also a great way to learn more about them. With this in mind, we're declaring this Saturday our first National Feed the Birds Day: the perfect day to begin feeding your birds for the season. We've prepared a bird feeding factsheet to get you started, and we'll also have a special event at our Wicklow office to mark the day.

Photo: Long-tailed Tit on a peanut feeder, by Andrew Kelly
See the free public activities we're planning this Saturday in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
CAP reform 2014-2020: failing to move forward
BirdWatch Ireland has expressed huge disappointment at the proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2014-2020 announced by EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş. Despite repeated EU promises of rewards to farmers who benefit native flora and fauna, what has been published mostly fails to deliver.

Photo: a Lapwing on its nest, by Anthony McGeehan
Read more about BirdWatch Ireland's concerns over the proposed CAP reforms
Woodpecker update: as many as 50 pairs now breeding in Ireland
Until recently, Ireland was famous in the bird world for its curious lack of woodpeckers, a group of birds common in most other countries. As regular eWings readers will know, all this changed just a few short years ago when the Great Spotted Woodpecker began to colonise eastern counties. This was perhaps the most popular story we've ever covered, so it seems fitting in this, our 25th issue, to give you an update on the progress of these amazing birds and the results of our DNA work to determine their origin.
Read more in an exclusive extract from the Winter 2011 issue of our Wings magazine
Marathon effort to prevent the Curlew from running out of time
The sad plight of Ireland's breeding Curlews has featured prominently in the media recently: hopefully you are already aware of BirdWatch Ireland's Cry of the Curlew Appeal to try to prevent their extinction.

We are delighted that one of our brave volunteers, Andrew Lynch, shares our concerns to such an extent that he is running the Dublin City Marathon this coming Bank Holiday Monday to raise money to help save this iconic Irish bird. Please lend him your support: every cent raised will make a difference.
Click to sponsor Andrew in his Marathon effort and do your bit to save Ireland's Curlews
High quality bird food delivered straight to your door
Feeding a wide range of quality bird food is an excellent way to help our garden birds survive the harsh winter. Although birdfood is available throughout the country, it varies considerably in quality and price. Many seed mixes on the market use cheaper ingredients such as wheat, whole oats and other unsuitable grains to bulk out the more expensive ingredients such as sunflower seed. Unfortunately, many of the smaller garden birds cannot eat these and they are either thrown aside by the birds or attract crows and pigeons which may deter the other smaller birds from feeding.

BirdWatch Ireland can deliver a wide variety of high quality birdfood straight to your door. From peanuts and seed to more specialist foods such as Nyjer seed and mealworms, we can meet all your garden bird requirements during the coming months. We supply seed mixes which exclude wheat and other undesirable ingredients, making our products far more suitable for garden birds. As a result, some of our bird food may seem more expensive than that sold by other suppliers, but the fact that there is minimal waste and our birdfood range contains high energy ingredients ensures that you and the birds in your garden get the best value for money.

Best of all, when you buy your birdfood from BirdWatch Ireland, you are actively supporting wildlife conservation in Ireland and therefore doing even more to help your birds.
Don't leave it until the snow hits this winter: order your birdfood from us now
Have you recently upgraded your binoculars? If so, perhaps you might be able to help one of our members, Rose Hogan, who is an Environmental Education Specialist with Laikipia Wildlife Forum in Nanyuki, Kenya. Rose would be extremely grateful to receive donations of binoculars (and hand lenses too) for use on teacher training courses aimed at strengthening the teaching of ecological and sustainable environmental management topics in Kenya, and also on wildlife field trips for local students. Both old and new binoculars will be very gratefully accepted, but it is important that they are in full working order. For more details or to donate optical equipment that might otherwise just sit gathering dust, please contact Rose 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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