Issue 36, September 2012
Welcome to the Sept. 2012 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
While the nesting efforts of many Irish bird species were hindered by our very wet summer, it was wonderful to see that one of Ireland's most special birds, the Roseate Tern, managed to buck the trend. Europe's largest colony, which is situated on Rockabill Island, Co. Dublin, had a very good breeding season, for the first time hosting more than 1,200 pairs of this graceful and threatened seabird.

Lots of birdwatchers contact us to ask if they can visit the Rockabill to see the tern colony for themselves. It's off limits to visitors, I'm afraid, but thanks to the team from RTÉ's Nationwide we are at least able to bring you the next best thing: this Friday's programme will include a special feature about the tern colony. Nationwide presenter Ann Cassin came over to Rockabill in July to see the chicks take their first flight, and the programme will also showcase the great work of BirdWatch Ireland and NPWS staff and volunteers, with contributions from our Fingal Branch and Balbriggan Community College students who make many of the tern nextboxes for us.

Tune in to Nationwide on RTÉ One TV at 7:00pm this Friday, 28th September as we bring you all the sights and sounds (if sadly not the smells!) of this incredible seabird colony.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Coordinated response needed to save Ireland's breeding Curlews
BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland's largest conservation charity, is calling on the Irish Government to take a range of actions for the conservation of Curlews nesting in Ireland, including developing agri-environment measures and removing the species from the hunting list. With its distinctive long, down-curved bill and haunting cry, the Curlew was for generations one of the most cherished and evocative creatures of the Irish countryside, but sadly its extinction as a breeding bird here now seems certain unless urgent action is taken.
Read about the measures we believe are needed to save this globally threatened species
BirdTrack: the perfect way to monitor autumn migrants
It's an exciting time of year to be watching the skies in anticipation of that first band of autumn migrants. As the last of our summer visitors get ready to depart, our first Whooper Swans, Brent Geese and Lapwings have already begun to arrive. Why not join the growing number of Irish birdwatchers entering sightings like these to BirdTrack, helping us to track the migratory movements of birds throughout Ireland?

Don't forget about our fantastic new BirdTrack app: Android phone users can already download it (for free!), and an iPhone version should be available by the end of the year.
Download the free BirdTrack app for Android phones and start logging your bird records
Sponsor a BirdWatch Ireland nestbox: the perfect "virtual gift"
Nestboxes are a key tool in conservation projects where we need to ensure a safe breeding site for priority breeding species, such as the rare Barn Owl and Roseate Tern. Other species that can benefit from the Nestbox Project initiative are Spotted Flycatchers on our nature reserves, Tree Sparrows on farms and Dippers that can benefit from a nestbox placed under a bridge. Sponsoring a nestbox is a great way to help us to help these birds, and it makes a great "virtual gift" too: you even get a lovely pop-up 3D gift card (like the one shown on the left) that you can personalise with your own message.
Sponsor a BirdWatch Ireland nestbox from €20 - there are five categories to choose from
Here to help you maximise your garden's potential for wildlife
If you have a garden, you can make a big difference for birds and other wildlife (such as this gorgeous Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on Verbena bonariensis) by choosing the right plants, food, living quarters and gardening techniques.

If you've ever wondered about the best ways to do this, you should check out BirdWatch Ireland's Garden Bird Year blog for help. It allows you to share in the highs and lows of a wildlife garden in Co. Wicklow throughout the seasons and is packed with expert advice.
Have a look at our Garden Bird Year blog, and check back regularly for updates and tips
Countryside Bird Survey participants brave the weather
Unseasonal weather affected both breeding birds and the fieldworkers trying to survey them this spring. What impact the weather had on breeding success will not be known for some time, but results from this year's Countryside Bird Survey (CBS) will give us some idea of how those species which suffered losses in two severe winters are faring.
Dick Coombes, our CBS coordinator, reports on a difficult 2012 survey season
A Shot Across the Bows: European Parliament negotiations on fisheries reform heat up
As regular eWings readers will know, one of the conservation issues which BirdWatch Ireland is most concerned about is the problem of overfishing: this affects the whole marine ecosystem, including our seabirds. Current negotiations in the European Parliament regarding proposed reforms in both agriculture and fisheries have been hotting up, as you can see by clicking on the YouTube link below: a passionate outburst from Chris Davies MEP warning Ireland, Italy and Spain of the need to change their tune if they are to save our fish stocks and fishing industry.

BirdWatch Ireland hopes that Irish MEPs step up to the mark and ensure the survival of fish stocks and fishing jobs well into the future by ending overfishing. It's a simple ask!
Watch some of the fiery discourse regarding the mis-management of fish stocks in Irish & European waters
If you're at the National Ploughing Championships at Heathpark, New Ross, Co. Wexford this week, please stop by the BirdWatch Ireland marquee to say hi: you'll find us at Stand 278, Row J, Block 2.

As a charity, BirdWatch Ireland really depends upon 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 access to hundreds of free events all over Ireland. You can join online via our secure web shop, or if you prefer you can always give us a call on 01-2819878 instead. 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. It genuinely makes a big difference for us.

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

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.
© 2012
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