Issue 48, September 2013
Welcome to the Sept. 2013 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
We've had a fairly mild September this year; hopefully the recent warm weather will have given a boost to our birds, especially those insect-eaters such as Swallows and House Martins that have such a long and difficult migratory journey ahead of them. We've had several reports of late-nesting birds around the country too, taking advantage of the unseasonably mild conditions, so fingers crossed that all works out well for them as well.

We all know that it won't be long before temperatures drop, however, making life difficult for our garden birds. Providing the right kinds of food for them can mean the difference between life and death. Don't forget that BirdWatch Ireland can deliver high quality bird food directly to your door: check out the full range of garden bird food available from our online shop. By buying your bird food from BirdWatch Ireland, you are helping to fund our vital work to conserve birds and their habitats, so Ireland's wildlife benefits even more when you choose to shop with us.

I'm loathe to mention it while we're still in September, but with winter well and truly on its way, it won't be long before Christmas is upon us. BirdWatch Ireland is here to help you get ready for it, and we already have a lovely new range of BirdWatch Ireland Christmas cards in stock, and well as a gorgeous new 2014 BirdWatch Ireland Calendar packed with beautiful Irish bird photogaphy. By sending these to your friends and family, you will be both funding conservation in Ireland and helping to spread the word about the work that BirdWatch Ireland does as a charity. Please, buy your Christmas cards and calendars from us this year and do a good deed for wildlife.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
School gardening is for the birds . . . and for lots of other wildlife too
It's September, the kids are back at school, and school gardening is back in full swing. Creating a school garden is a great way to encourage and protect a whole range of birds and other creatures, not to mention to bring wildlife to the attention of children who might otherwise never notice it. In an exclusive extract from our current Wings print magazine, Lynn O'Keeffe-Lascar gives some handy tips on how best to help wildlife in school gardens: especially handy for any school with its sights set on a Green Flag. By the way, if you would like to receive Wings magazine, then please join BirdWatch Ireland today.

(Photo: Bullfinch, a beautiful bird which loves garden "weeds", by Colin Rigney)
Read Lynn's tips for getting your school garden into great shape for native wildlife
500 children across Asia make unique Spoon-billed Sandpiper film
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is one of the world's most charismatic and most critically endangered birds. Breeding only in the Russian Far East, it winters in South-East Asia and faces many threats, mostly manmade, on its migratory journey. To highlight the difficulties which this amazing little bird encounters, 500 children from 8 countries along the species' flyway (Russia, Republic of Korea, Japan, mainland China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh) hand-coloured over 1,200 frames to create a unique animated video.

The project was sponsored by Eric Hosking Charitable Trust and was organized by the China Programme of BirdLife International/Hong Kong Bird Watching Society.

Photo: Spoon-billed Sandpiper in breeding plumage (Birds Russia)
Watch the results of the kids' hard work and learn more about "Spoony" and his plight
Complete Bird Station, only €39.00: the ideal way to feed garden birds
Bird-feeding stations are great way to provide food for garden birds, and because they can be positioned anywhere, you can easily watch the birds at close quarters. The Complete Bird Station offers an all-in-one package to get you started feeding birds in your garden. It comes with peanut, seed and nyjer seed feeders as well as a seed tray, water dish and fat-ball hanger. Packaged in an attractive presentation box, it also makes a perfect gift to family and friends to introduce them to the delights of watching birds. Each station comes with a spike for use on soft ground; however, they can also be used on hard surfaces, such as patios, by using our decorative patio base which may be purchased separately.
Order your Complete Bird Station today from BirdWatch Ireland's secure online shop
EU legislative proposal to tackle invasive alien species is finally here
Earlier this month, the European Commission published its long-awaited legislative proposal on Invasive Alien Species, which aims to tackle the negative impacts that organisms introduced by people outside their natural range have on biodiversity, the economy and human health. This is the first piece of EU legislation relating to biodiversity to be proposed by the European Institutions for almost two decades, and it is a promising step forward. There are at least 1,500 Invasive Alien Species present already in the EU. They are one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and can also affect human health, as well as cause serious economic damage. Indeed, in the EU alone, the economic cost of this damage has been calculated to be at least €12 billion annually.
Learn more about the threats posed by Invasive Alien Species and the need for action
Please report your sightings of wing-tagged Hen Harriers
The Hen Harrier is a ground-nesting bird of prey, and its conservation status in Ireland is listed as 'Vulnerable'. This summer, 10 juveniles were wing-tagged in the Slieve Bloom Mountains SPA in Cos. Laois and Offaly as part of a NPWS monitoring project. Each has a blue wing tag on the right wing (denoting the Slieve Blooms) and a white tag on the left wing (denoting 2013 as the year of tagging). The project will hopefully provide vital data about where Slieve Bloom Hen Harriers go in winter and whether wing-tagged birds survive to return eventually to breed in the Slieve Blooms or other uplands.
Your help is vital: click here for details and to find out how to report tagged Hen Harriers
Wildlife Law Internship position available with BirdWatch Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland is seeking a suitably qualified person to join its Conservation Team as an Intern in the area of wildlife legislation for a 6 month period. The post is an internship position; no salary is available. The position will operate on a part-time basis (3.5 days per week, subject to negotiation) and flexible work arrangements can be considered.

The position involves analysis of gaps and strengths of existing wildlife legislation, consulting with a range of internal and external experts, reporting on recommendations and draft legal text as well as producing a user-friendly explanation of wildlife legislation needs. The successful applicant would stand to gain experience working in the environmental NGO sphere and researching environmental law and have opportunity to gain experience in inputting to the work of our Conservation Team.

An application form is available for download here (DOC: 110KB).
The closing date for applications is Monday, 7th October 2013.
Click here to download full details of this internship position from the BirdWatch Ireland website (PDF: 350KB)
In last month's eWings we told you about the fantastic new field guide The Birds of Ireland by Jim Wilson and Mark Carmody, which is endorsed by BirdWatch Ireland. Did you buy your copy? If not, make sure to order your copy from the BirdWatch Ireland shop now, before they sell out. At just €15, it's fantastic value, and it's just the thing to help you identify birds.

Your new field guide won't just come in handy outdoors - it's also the perfect thing to help you with our daily Whoami mystery bird quiz, which you can take part in on the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and by following BirdWatch Ireland on Twitter. It's a fun way to practise your bird i.d. skills, so go on, give it a try!

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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