Issue 27, December 2011
Welcome to the December 2011 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Welcome to the final eWings of 2011 - doesn't time fly? If you are like me and tend to leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute, perhaps waiting for gift inspiration to strike, maybe we can help you: have you thought about getting a gift membership of BirdWatch Ireland for your friends or family members? They get a lovely membership pack and welcome gift, four issues of our Wings magazine in the post each year (which will remind them of your kindness on a regular basis, of course) and the chance to attend literally hundreds of local branch events. You will also really be helping us to conserve Ireland's birds and other wildlife.

If you place your gift membership order through our online shop at any time up to and including Wednesday 21st December then that should ensure delivery of the membership pack anywhere in Ireland in time for Christmas. If you prefer to order over the phone instead, just give us a call during office hours on 01-2819878.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Extra, extra - read all about it: Tree Sparrow Tribune is out now
Last month, we brought you news of our new project to monitor Tree Sparrows using coloured leg rings. We received a great response to the article, so Alex Copland has prepared the first edition of his new Tree Sparrow Tribune to tell you more.

As part of his ongoing ringing and monitoring work, Alex still needs eWings readers to let him know of any Tree Sparrow flocks you encounter anywhere in the country. If you can help, please email him at
Read about our plans to study the Tree Sparrow, one of Ireland's least-understood birds
Going . . . going . . . last chance to sponsor a species in the Bird Atlas
The fieldwork has finished, the final records are being submitted, and the data are being scrutinised, but you have one last chance to secure a place in birding history by having your name or company logo appear in the landmark Bird Atlas. Seven species are available to sponsor: Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier, Oystercatcher, Iceland Gull, Fieldfare and Hooded Crow. We will be holding an auction for these final species, and bids of €350 and over are invited between 30th January and 1st February. Register your interest by contacting Niall Hatch (
If you would like to learn more about our landmark Bird Atlas project, please click here
Will Minister Conveney listen to science in protecting our seas?
Seabirds, like humans, depend on a healthy marine environment, one reason why BirdWatch Ireland is a member of OCEAN2012, a coalition dedicated to ensuring that the 2012 reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) stops overfishing, ends destructive fishing practices and delivers fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks. This week Minister Coveney, along with other fisheries ministers, will set fishing limits for stocks in a setting where science has taken second place to politics: this is unacceptable. The current CFP has been a disaster: will Minister Coveney be the man to make a difference?
See why Minister Coveney must listen to science in protecting our marine environment
Give the gift of birdwatching with our Beginning Birdwatching Kit
BirdWatch Ireland has produced a Beginning Birdwatching Kit that would make an ideal Christmas gift for anyone interested in wildlife. It contains everything a budding birder needs: a high-quality pair of binoculars, a field guide, a bird-finding guide, a birdsong book & CD and lots more, plus a year's membership of BirdWatch Ireland, which includes 4 issues of our Wings magazine throughout the year. The kit comes gift-wrapped and with a personalised gift card. Order by Wednesday 21st December for delivery by Christmas.
Order the BirdWatch Ireland Beginning Birdwatching Kit now for 199 euro, including P&P
Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve photo exhibition in Cobh, Co. Cork
Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve, located near Cobh, Co. Cork and managed by BirdWatch Ireland, is a fantastic place for wildlife, and will be particularly well known to listeners of the Mooney show on RTÉ Radio One as the location for our main National Dawn Chorus Day broadcast each May.

The reserve has plenty to offer all year-round, however, and to celebrate this a special exhibition entitled A Year in Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve featuring the work of renowned photographer Rónán McLaughlin will be running at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh until Sunday 29th January: definitely worth checking out.
Click here for more details on Rónán's Cuskinny Marsh exhibition and information about the venue
We are pleased to announce that the dates and venue for the 2012 All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation, run joinly by BirdWatch Ireland and RSPB Northern Ireland, have been set. The theme of this conference, our 45th, will be Birds for Life: Recreation, Education, Conservation and it will take place from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th March at the Radisson BLU Hotel & Spa in Cork. Full details on speakers, field trips and booking arrangements will follow in the next issue of eWings.

Our BirdWatch Ireland shop in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow is usually open only on weekdays, but we will also be open this coming Saturday, 17th December, between 9:00am and 5:00pm to facilitate Christmas shoppers. You can click here for directions on how to find us, and if you can't make it along in person, don't worry: you can do your shopping online instead.

Before I sign off, don't forget to become a fan of BirdWatch Ireland's Facebook page and also to follow us on Twitter: the best ways to keep up to date with our work and with Ireland's birds over the Christmas season.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and bird-filled New Year,
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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