Issue 26, November 2011
Welcome to the November 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
I'd like to start with a very big thank you to Andrew Lynch, who ran the Dublin City Marathon to raise funds for our Cry of the Curlew Appeal. Many thanks also to all of the eWings readers who sponsored him and who have thereby contributed to our urgent efforts to save this highly endangered Irish breeding bird. Your generosity meant that Andrew smashed his own fundraising target for our appeal fund, and the money he so kindly raised through his marathon effort will be put to very good use indeed.

Have you ever thought about doing a sponsored activity or event to raise money for BirdWatch Ireland? In these financially difficult times, we need your help and support more than ever for our vital wildlife conservation work, and collecting sponsorship money from friends and family might be the perfect way for you to do this. If you are interested or have any events in mind, please email us at or give us a call at 01-2819878 and we will send you a sponsorship pack and help you in any way we can.

Don't forget to become a fan of BirdWatch Ireland's Facebook page and also to follow us on Twitter.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
On a Wing and a Prayer - Ireland's Birds of Prey need your help
Birds of prey, also known as raptors, are amongst the most beatiful and majestic of all creatures. They are also crucial indicators of the health of our environment, but in Ireland they are in serious trouble. Regular eWings readers will know all too well how frequently these amazing birds are shot and poisoned, both deliberately and accidentally, and we will not sit idly by and allow this to continue. We need your support to do this, so we are launching a new Wing and a Prayer appeal to raise vital funds to help conserve Ireland's birds of prey and rid our country of the scourge of ignorant and pointless persecution.
Learn more about our plans to help Irish raptors and, please, donate to our appeal fund
Garden Bird Survey: let us know what's going on in your garden
BirdWatch Ireland's most popular annual survey is, without doubt, our Garden Bird Survey. Taking part is fun and easy, as well as a great way to learn more about garden birds. This winter's survey kicks off on 28th November and will run for 13 weeks, so please give it a go: you can download a survey form and instructions here or, if you prefer, enter your bird counts online. A word of warning though: it can become seriously addictive.

Photo: Blue Tit, one of our most familiar garden birds, by Andrew Kelly
Read our Garden Bird Survey report for last winter, one of the harshest on record
Wexford Goose Festival 2011: Saturday 19th November
The Greenland White-fronted Goose is a bird that is very close to our hearts here in BirdWatch Ireland: it is featured in our logo, after all, and represents one of our most important conservation successes. To celebrate the return of the wintering geese to the fantastic Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, we are proud to announce that we will hold our 2011 Wexford Goose Festival there on Saturday 19th November. We will have wildfowl i.d. workshops with Dick Coombes, telescope and binocular demonstrations from Opticron and experts on hand to show you the birds, all free of charge. Geese are guaranteed.
Read full details of what we are planning for you at the Wexford Goose Festival 2011
Do you have Tree Sparrows in your garden?
We are planning a colour-ringing study of Tree Sparrows at a number of sites around the country. This involves putting uniquely-marked coloured rings on the birds' legs, allowing us to track their movements and survival rates without having to catch them again. We are keen to hear from anyone who regularly gets Tree Sparrows in their garden or local patch during the winter: ideally, we want sites with at least 10 birds, and preferably more. If you can help, please email Alex Copland at

Photo: Tree Sparrow, by John Fox. Note the chestnut crown and black cheek spot.
Learn more about the scarce Tree Sparrow, one of Ireland's most charming birds
Emma Bridgewater mugs and kitchenware - a perfect Christmas gift
With Christmas fast approaching, now is the time to think of that perfect gift for all your birdwatching friends! What better present than a beautiful limited edition mug depicting their favourite bird? From Blue Tits and Robins to Yellowhammers and Kestrels, we have a wide selection of hand-designed pottery and kitchenware from renowned designer Emma Bridgewater. Highly collectible and much sought after, many of the 2010 designs were sold out long before Christmas, so don't miss a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping while supporting BirdWatch Ireland's conservation work at the same time.
See the full range of beautiful Emma Bridgewater kitchenware available from the BirdWatch Ireland shop
I know that we ask for your help with a lot of things, but I just have one final plea. If you enjoy reading eWings each month and like the work that we do, but you have not yet become a member, then please join BirdWatch Ireland today. You get a lovely membership pack, free gift and quarterly magazine, of course, but much more importantly your membership subscription will help to conserve and protect Ireland's birds, as well as a whole range of other animals and plants. We are very good at what we do, but as a charity we can't do it without your help: please do join us and make a real difference for Ireland's wildlife.

By the way, did you know that you can visit our shop in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow to do your Christmas shopping in person? Our shop is normally open from Monday to Friday, but during the month of December we will also be open on Saturdays 3rd, 10th and 17th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Our experts will be on hand to help you select the perfect gifts for your loved ones and to give you advice on feeding birds, help you to choose binoculars and recommend books, DVDs, etc. Simply click here for directions to the BirdWatch Ireland shop. Why not make a day of it and also visit our nearby East Coast Nature Reserve?

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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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