Issue 35, August 2012
Welcome to the August 2012 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
In last month's issue of eWings we announced the launch of our new Barn Owl NestWatch project, which we are running in conjunction with RTÉ Radio One's Mooney show. We've been streaming camera footage via the show's website from live within a Barn Owl nest near Tralee, Co. Kerry, and the response so far from the public has been simply staggering. It has been amazing to witness the trials and tribulations of the two chicks and their parents over the past month, and we have been afforded an unprecedented view into the hitherto hidden family life of these enigmatic, secretive and rare nocturnal birds.

If you haven't logged on yet to take a peak into the Barn Owl nest for yourself, there's still time: simply click here to watch all the action live on the Mooney show website. You'll want to hurry though: the youngsters are already making short flights ouside the nest and it won't be long before they leave it for good. We would like to give a special word of thanks to Derek Mooney and his team for all of their help and hard work in making this exceptional experience possible.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Wishing you a very happy National Heritage Week
It is currently National Heritage Week, so what better time to acknowledge all of the vital BirdWatch Ireland work that the Heritage Council is currently helping to fund: we are most grateful for all of their support and the assistance they give to Irish NGOs, amongst others.

You can find details of this weekend's National Heritage Week events and activities here.
Learn more about the BirdWatch Ireland projects that the Heritage Council supports
Having a Quail of a time
Most people are completely unaware that Ireland holds a regular breeding population of Quail, Europe's smallest gamebird. Indeed, these tiny migratory birds have nested in Ireland for centuries, though today the nesting population is more or less confined to a small part of Co. Kildare. Secretive and elusive, they are one of the hardest Irish birds to find, and nobody knows more about their habits than Athy farmer Jim Fox, who is passionate about the Quail that nest on his land. (Photo: male Quail by Tony Hamblin)
Read Jim's article on Quail in Ireland in an extract from the Autumn 2012 issue of Wings
European Fish Weeks: calls to end overfishing gather momentum
Working with other NGOs can make a difference when it comes to promoting campaigns. The more voices that can lend support, the better. In July, An Taisce and BirdWatch Ireland hosted an event at Tailor's Hall in Dublin to raise awareness of OCEAN2012's European Fish Weeks campaign to end destructive fishing methods and to ask our politicians to "End Overfishing or Fishing will be over".
Learn more about the European Fish Weeks campaign and the threats overfishing poses
East coast terns have a tough time of it
The summer of 2012 has broken meteorological records, most notably in the amount of rainfall dumped on us and the lack of sunshine. This has had severe effects for many Irish breeding birds, not least the five species of tern that nest here and for which Ireland is so important. Tern colonies along the east coast were affected particularly badly, with stormy conditions hitting them hard. (Photo: Common Tern by Terry Flanagan)
Dr. Stephen Newton fills us in on the ups & downs of our east coast tern colonies in 2012
Complete Bird Station: all you need to feed garden birds for just €49
Bird feeding stations are a popular and cheaper alternative to traditional wooden bird tables. Being made of metal, they are durable and long-lasting, yet light enough to be easily moved. Each station comes with a spike for use on soft ground, but can also be placed on hard surfaces with our decorative patio base (sold separately). The Complete Bird Station comes with peanut, seed and nyger seed feeders as well as a seed tray, water dish and fat ball hanger. Attractively packaged in a presentation box, it also makes a perfect gift for family and friends to introduce them to the delights of watching garden birds.
Order your Complete Bird Station today from the BirdWatch Ireland shop for €49 plus P&P
Have you ever been to a BirdWatch Ireland local branch event? Now's your chance!
Recent surveys have shown us that, for some reason, most BirdWatch Ireland members have never been to any of the events organised by our network of 30 local branches. Literally never. That's very odd: we ran over 400 different events last year alone, and one of the very best things about being a member of BirdWatch Ireland is being able to go along to these at no extra cost.

Of course, those thousands of members who actually do attend the birdwatching walks, indoor talks and other wildlife-themed events organised by our branch volunteers overwhelmingly tell us that they thoroughly enjoy them. So, what's stopping people?

Some tell us that it's a fear of not knowing enough about birds: trust us, that doesn't matter at all - everyone starts somewhere, and branch events are the best way to learn. Others tell us that they don't have enough time: it only takes an hour or two, that's all. Yet more tell us that they worry about sticking out or not knowing anyone there: our branch volunteers have lots of experience in making people feel welcome, and once you go for the first time, believe us, you'll want to come back for more.

If you've never been to a BirdWatch Ireland event, well, now's your chance. We have a full programme of events taking place all over the country over the next 3 months, and there are bound to be some taking place not far away from you. Many branches are even holding special New Member Events designed to make absolute beginners feel fully at home. So, enough with the excuses - just go along and have some fun!
See a full list of BirdWatch Ireland events taking place near you, including our special "New Member Events"
You know about the conservation work that we do and the great events that we run: as a charity, we can't do these things without your support. So, please, if you haven't already done so, join BirdWatch Ireland today. Members receive a welcome pack, 4 issues of our print magazine Wings each year (plus our Bird Detectives kids' magazine for family and junior members) and a special free gift, as well as the chance to go to all of those great events and visit our nature reserves.

If you don't want to join online, you can always give us a call on 01-2819878. If you are already a member, don't forget that membership also makes a great gift for friends and family.

The best way of all to join, however, is by direct debit: it gives you an extra 3 months' membership free and saves us money which then goes to fund our conservation work. We would also like to encourage existing members to switch over to direct debit payment: simply email to request a direct debit payment form from us.

One last thing: don't forget to like the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and follow BirdWatch Ireland 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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