Issue 43, April 2013
Welcome to the April 2013 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
It certainly took its time this year, but spring has finally arrived. For birdwatchers, this is a very exciting time, with migrants on the move, nests being built and, of course, birdsong in full swing. The dawn chorus is one of the finest experiences in the natural world, and each year we at BirdWatch Ireland do as much as possible to help people experience it for themselves.

We are delighted, therefore, once again to be linking up with Derek Mooney and his Mooney show team for their hugely popular annual dawn chorus celebration on RTÉ Radio One in the early hours of the morning of Sunday, 5th May. The special programme will be broadcast live from midnight until 6:00am and will feature some of BirdWatch Ireland's birdsong experts, including Jim Wilson at our Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Cork and Niall Hatch in studio in Dublin. For more details, check out the Mooney show pages on the RTÉ Radio One website.

As always, we're keen also to give you the chance to experience the wonder of the dawn chorus in person. BirdWatch Ireland's National Dawn Chorus Day is far and away our most popular annual event, and and once again this year we've lined up a great selection of free birdsong events all over the country. It's taking place on Sunday, 19th May, everyone is welcome and you don't need to know anything at all about birds to take part, so why not find the event closest to you and come along with your friends and families? I promise that the early start is well worth it. Details of our National Dawn Chorus Day events can be found here and more events will be added as soon as they are confirmed, so please check back often.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Charities call on the public to avoid disturbance to nesting seabirds
Two of Ireland's leading conservation charities, BirdWatch Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust, are urging people to visit Ireland's magnificent coastal and island bird colonies this summer but to ensure that birds, their nests and eggs are not disturbed. The two organisations have issued a joint code of conduct highlighting the fact that all breeding birds in Ireland are protected under the Wildlife Acts and that people should keep their distance, even though many coastal birds seem tame. (Photo: Puffin by Shay Connolly)
Read the full text of the code of practice here, and please avoid disturbance to seabirds
Festival of Fish: raising awareness of the need to end overfishing
On Saturday April 20th, BirdWatch Ireland and fellow Irish OCEAN2012 members hosted a Festival of Fish on Bray Promenade in Co. Wicklow to highlight concerns for Irish fish stocks. The event was very well attended and was packed full of family fun, with fish painting, face painting, demonstrations by the Green Divers, a beach clean-up, a guided bird walk and, to finish off the event, a parade along the seafront of the "fish artwork" from the day to highlight the OCEAN2012 Europe-wide campaign to 'End Overfishing'.
Read more about the Festival of Fish and the need to rebuild our ocean's fish stocks
Spring is in the air: time to brush up on birdsong
This is the time of year when the sound of birdsong begins to reach its peak, as our resident songbirds are joined by newly arrived summer migrants. By mid-May the gardens, parks and woods echo to the sounds of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Robins, as well as Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. For those new to birdwatching, learning how to identify birdsong can be quite challenging; however, the many birdsong identification CDs available in the BirdWatch Ireland Shop are a great way to begin. They are the ideal learning tool and are also, of course, the perfect way to get ready for our National Dawn Chorus Day on Sunday 19th May. (Photo: Robin by Clive Timmons)
View the full range of birdsong CDs available from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop
Bird Atlas 2007-11: don't forget our special pre-publication offer
Be one of the first to receive Bird Atlas 2007-11, the most important British and Irish bird book for decades. It's the most complete and comprehensive overview of bird distribution and change in Britain and Ireland, with over 1,300 maps describing patterns of distribution, abundance and change for nearly 300 species. Discover the changing fortunes of our birds and have the latest scientific findings about distribution and change at your fingertips, including chapters telling the atlas story and highlighting the factors influencing our changing bird fauna ... all to be revealed when the book is published in autumn 2013. Order now for €54 (plus €10 P&P) and save a third off the retail price of €84!
Don't miss out on this great offer: order by 31st July 2013 to avail of our special low price
BirdWatch Ireland appeals for Curlew records
BirdWatch Ireland is again urgently appealing for records from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan of the now rare and endangered Curlew. Large brown ground-nesting birds with distinctive long down-curved bills, Curlews nest mostly on bogs and rushy pastures. Once common throughout the north and west of Ireland, indications are that the species is on the verge of extinction as a breeder here. (Photo: Curlew by Andrew Kelly)
Read more about the plight of Ireland's nesting Curlews and how to report your sightings
Job opportunity: BirdWatch Ireland seeks to recruit a Sensitivity Mapping Officer
Bird sensitivity mapping identifies areas in which there are particular bird sensitivities to development and is particularly relevant to the development of wind energy and associated infrastructure. Climate change is an enormous threat to wildlife and developing renewable energy technologies such as wind power is an important part of the response required to mitigate against climate change. Sensitivity mapping is a tool to provide support for enabling wind energy developers and regulators to foresee and address potential conflicts between ecological needs of birds and wind energy development. It is also a useful tool for county-based or regional renewable energy strategies.

BirdWatch Ireland is seeking to recruit a Sensitivity Mapping Officer to progress a programme of work devised to deliver a consolidated Avian Sensitivity Map for Ireland. The consolidated Bird Sensitivity Map for Ireland will have several layers and will be GIS based, and it will be specifically designed to facilitate ease of use and accessibility for a range of users. The closing date for applications is Monday, 20th May 2013.
Please click for more information about the position and details of how to submit an application
BirdWatch Ireland is also seeking to recruit a Case Work Intern for a 6 month period to assist with its policy and advocacy work. The successful applicant would stand to gain experience in researching and compiling responses to a range of developments throughout Ireland. You can find full details of this exciting internship opportunity here.

Run jointly by BirdWatch Ireland and RSPB Northern Ireland, this year's All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation will take place on 17-19 May at the beautiful La Mon Hotel on the outskirts of Belfast. The theme of the conference is 'Connection' and will highlight the links between our natural heritage and our culture. Please click here for more information and to book your place.

Have you seen your first Swallow, Swift or Cuckoo of the year yet? Don't forget that we need you to log them via our Spring Alive website. There, you can also learn more about these remarkable global travellers and track their arrival. The project is ideal for children and teachers, and right now people all over Europe and Africa are taking part, so please spread the word far and wide: we need as many records as possible . . . including yours!

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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