Issue 28, January 2012
Welcome to the January 2012 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
A very happy New Year to all of our readers. eWings now goes out to more than 15,000 people each month, which is staggering: many thanks from all of us here at BirdWatch Ireland for your ongoing support.

How have your New Year's resolutions been going? If you're still looking for one, or indeed if you've made a resolution that you're sick of and would like to swap it for a new one, why not become a member of BirdWatch Ireland? You'll get a lovely membership pack and welcome gift, four issues of our Wings magazine in the post each year and the chance to visit our nature reserves and to get involved with lots of wildlife-themed activities. You'll also really be helping us to conserve Ireland's birds and other wildlife, which is a nice bonus.

If you are already a BirdWatch Ireland member, perhaps your resolution could be to get more involved with your local branch. We have a network of almost 30 BirdWatch Ireland branches all over the country, all run by volunteers. They hold a huge range of events and outings for our members, representing the very best way to learn more about birds and their habits. They also run lots of local conservation projects that you can assist with, if you like, and offer a great way to meet like-minded wildlife enthusiasts. You don't need to know anything about birds to enjoy our branch activities, and beginners are always extremely welcome.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
45th All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation: 9th to 11th March
The 45th All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation, run joinly by BirdWatch Ireland and RSPB Northern Ireland, will be taking place from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th March at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Little Island, Cork.

The conference theme is Birds for Life: Recreation, Education, Conservation and the full programme of events has just been announced. Follow the link below for more details and to download a printable booking form: if you prefer, you can also book on-line here.
Download our All Ireland Conference programme and booking form (PDF: 148KB)
Highs and lows for Red Kites in 2011
After an absence of 200 years as a breeding species in Ireland, Red Kites are once again a familiar sight in parts of the east coast. The Irish Red Kite Reintroduction Project has gone from strength to strength, and in 2011 there were 14 breeding pairs of kites in Wicklow, which produced a minimum of 17 young. It was with great disappointment therefore that a total of eight dead kites were recovered in Fingal during the autumn and winter of 2011, representing just over 20% of the birds released in this area.
Photo: the remains of Red Kite "A5", found dead on 5th November 2011 (Marc Ruddock)
Read more about the mixed fortunes of Ireland's reintroduced Red Kites during 2011
Epson and BirdWatch Ireland Photo Competition
Epson and BirdWatch Ireland have teamed up to give photographers a chance to win one of Epson's sleek photo printers, such as the amazing Epson Stylus Photo R3000 printer you see on the left, worth €766. The theme of the competition is "Ireland's Winter Birds": entries are limited to 2 photographs per person, so choose carefully!
See full details of how to enter, as well as the outstanding Epson prizes on offer
Irish Birds Volume 9, Number 2 - out now
Irish Birds is BirdWatch Ireland's annual scientific journal. Volume 9 Number 2 is now out, running to some 191 pages. It contains, amongst many other items, some fascinating papers on Merlins and Hen Harriers, the results of our 2007-8 bird surveys in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and "A distant history of Irish birds". It also contains the Irish Rare Breeding Birds Panel Report 2010, the 2010 Irish Ringing Report and the Irish Rare Bird Reports for both 2009 and 2010. Please note that if you currently hold Key Membership of BirdWatch Ireland you will automatically receive your copy of Irish Birds in the post shortly.
Order Irish Birds Volume 9 Number 2 from our Wings shop for €20, plus P&P
Final Call for Bird Atlas 2007-11 Records
31st January 2012 is the closing date for entry of bird records to the Atlas. Many thanks to each and every one of you who has already submitted sightings to the Atlas. We are now appealing for any outstanding bird records. All bird sightings (winter and breeding season) from November 2007 to September 2011 are relevant. In particular, records of scarce and hard-to-find species such as Woodcock, Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl, Brambling, Red Grouse, Curlew, Water Rail, Sparrowhawk, Teal and Whinchat would be very useful.

All records can be entered directly to the Bird Atlas website, e-mailed to or posted to Brian Caffrey, BirdWatch Ireland Midlands Office, Crank House, Banagher Co. Offaly.

This month also marks your last chance to sponsor a bird in the 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. Email Niall Hatch ( to register your interest.
Visit the Bird Atlas 2007-2011 website and learn more about this landmark project that needs your support
Would you like to give us a hand with one of our most important conservation projects? Kathryn Finney, our Breeding Wader Management Officer, needs volunteers to help repair and maintain the predator-proof fence around one of the key sites for breeding waders in the Shannon Callows. It is situated close to Banagher, Co. Offaly, and we are looking for people who are willing to do a week or more outdoor work on the fence in advance of the 2012 nesting season. Please read Kathryn's information sheet for more details.

World Wetlands Day 2012 will be taking place on 2nd February, and to mark the occasion many of of our local BirdWatch Ireland branches will be holding special public wetland events on or around this date. Check out our local events page to see what's happening near you.

Don't forget to become a fan of the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and also to follow us on Twitter: you'll be glad you did!

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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