Issue 49, October 2013
Welcome to the October 2013 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
On your behalf I would like to begin by expressing our thanks to Alan Lauder, our former Chief Executive, who earlier this month left BirdWatch Ireland to pursue other career options. During his time in charge, Alan guided the organisation through an incredibly challenging economic climate, ensuring that BirdWatch Ireland could continue to focus on its core conservation responsibilities.

Recent years have been tough for Irish charities and we are grateful to Alan for his wise, capable, energetic leadership during this period. His contribution to Irish conservation has, and will continue to be, immense and we would like to wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours. We are also delighted that Alan has kindly agreed to continue to assist and advise BirdWatch Ireland over the coming months, when the need arises.

With Alan's departure, and in light of the challenges that it presents, BirdWatch Ireland's Board of Management has taken the opportunity to reorganise our charity's managerial structure. A new Management Team has recently been appointed and consisting of the following:

- Head of Policy, Communications and People Engagement: Siobhán Egan
- Head of Conservation and Science: Olivia Crowe
- Chairman of the Board: Kieran O'Byrne

The core business of what we do, our Conservation and Policy work, will continue under Olivia and Siobhán, who have been instrumental in developing their roles over the years. We wish them well in their new positions. As and from the end of October, I as Chairman of the Board, will be assisting Olivia and Siobhán in a voluntary capacity until the New Year, and the Operations Team will of course continue to support the organisation as they have done over many years. It is a time of change within the organisation and with fewer staff this will be a significant challenge. I would also like to thank those others that have recently left us, for all their hard work and I hope we will find a way to engage them again in the future.

It is important to the financial independence of BirdWatch Ireland to look at new funding streams and for this reason we have developed the Corporate Engagement and Funding Team led by Niall Hatch and Brian Caffrey in addition to their existing roles. This new Team will enable BirdWatch Ireland to develop relationships with corporates and also cultivate new areas of funding to ensure that we can deliver on our conservation strategy, based on sound financial foundations.

The Board and staff of BirdWatch Ireland are excited about these changes as we look to expand the funding we can generate for the organisation in new ways. We will be looking to you, our members and supporters, as always, to spread the word about the work we do and to help recruit more members into the organisation. By increasing our overall funds and our membership, we can continue to grow BirdWatch Ireland into the future and fulfil our mission of protecting Ireland's birds and biodiversity.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
The new issue of Wings magazine is almost ready: here's a sneak peak
We've been hard at work here at BirdWatch Ireland putting the finishing touches to the 'Winter 2013' issue of Wings magazine. It's a bumper 36-page issue, packed with great articles, fascinating features and our best competition ever (more details below), and it will be posted out to BirdWatch Ireland members shortly. In the meantime, click the link below for a sneak preview ... or, if you're not a member, to see just a little of what you're missing out on. To receive Wings and support our conservation work, join BirdWatch Ireland today.
Read Dick Coombes' Winter Diary, an exclusive extract from the new Wings (PDF: 440KB)
MedFest 2013: learn about Mediterranean Gulls & other Irish seabirds
Ireland is renowned for its breeding seabirds, but what do they do in winter when they are not tied to their colonies? Come along to MedFest 2013 in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, between 10:00 and 16:00 on Saturday 9th November, where BirdWatch Ireland's seabird experts will be on hand to tell you all about them. We have picked this location as it is the premier place in Ireland to see Mediterranean Gulls (left: photo by Ken Kinsella). What is such an exotic-sounding bird doing in a place like Dún Laoghaire? Come, enjoy the birds and we'll tell you all about it, as well as our work on the FAME project . . . and also how to tell a Herring Gull from a Black-headed Gull and a Cormorant from a Shag! We look forward to meeting you there: look for our marquee on the green space beside the seafront car park on Windsor Terrace, Glasthule, Dún Laoghaire (adjacent to the old baths).
Click here for more information about FAME and BirdWatch Ireland's seabird work
Beautiful new Emma Bridgewater pottery: an ideal Christmas gift
Have you seen our beautiful range of bird-themed pottery from Emma Bridgewater? All are hand-decorated and each design is only available for a limited time. With Christmas just around the corner, these make a unique present for friends or loved ones. This year we have several new designs, including 'Snowy Owl in a Snowstorm', 'Robin in a Snowstorm' and a lovely boxed set of 'Three Snowstorm Filled Mini-mugs' containing scented candles. We also have a wide range of boxed mugs, teatowels and other bird-themed gift items.
This pottery is strictly limited edition, so don't wait until December: order yours today!
Shameful, illegal massacre of "protected" eagles by hunters in Malta
Following multiple reports this autumn of Greater Flamingos, Ospreys, Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and many, many more protected birds having been killed in what the Maltese Government calls "isolated incidents", we've received awful news from BirdLife Malta, that illegal hunters in their country who target migrating birds have been sinking to new lows. At least 14 rare and highly protected migrant eagles have been shot out of the sky in recent days, right in front of watching BirdLife Malta volunteers. As BirdLife Malta's Irish partner, BirdWatch Ireland calls on the Maltese Government to take urgent action against illegal hunting, to enforce EU and national law and to put a stop to this disgrace.
(Photo: Short-toed Eagle in Malta, one of the species illegally targetted by hunters)
Read more about the shocking and unacceptable massacre of migrant birds in Malta
New hope for Ireland's threatened Red Grouse
A Red Grouse Species Action Plan was launched at the recent National Ploughing Championships by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Collaborative efforts over the past few years by groups with concerns for this Red-Listed species, including BirdWatch Ireland, helped to produce the plan. Sinéad Cummins, our Species Policy Officer, notes that, "The Red Grouse has always been much-loved by both wildlife and game enthusiasts, and recent declines have been the catalyst for many groups to recognise that action needs to be taken to prevent further losses."
Click here to download the Red Grouse Species Action Plan (PDF: 53.5MB - large file)
European Parliament votes to improve fisheries data collection, control & enforcement
On 23rd October, members of the European Parliament agreed a position on the proposed European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The EMFF is worth over €6.5 billion between 2014 and 2020. Effective implementation of the recently agreed reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, CFP, including its targets for the ending of EU overfishing and the restoration of fish stocks relies on a supportive EMFF. Members of the Parliament supported a significant shift of additional funds into data collection, control and enforcement, and strengthened provisions to withhold funding in case of non-compliance with the rules of the CFP by member states. However, they also voted in favour of subsidies for engine replacements and other measures known to facilitate overfishing.
Read more about this development and the reaction of OCEAN2012, of which BirdWatch Ireland is a member
Our members already know that BirdWatch Ireland membership comes with all sorts of great benefits, but we have something extra-special lined up for you next month: our best competition ever. A lucky BirdWatch Ireland member will win a birdwatching holiday for two to Portugal worth over €2,500!

This fantastic prize is courtesy of Visit Portugal Birdwatching and Birds & Nature Tours, and full competition details will be announced in the Winter 2013 issue of Wings magazine, which will be posted to all BirdWatch Ireland members within the next couple of weeks. Only BirdWatch Ireland members receive Wings, and only BirdWatch Ireland members get to take part in the competition, so if you're not a member, well, that's no problem - simply join BirdWatch Ireland today!

By joining BirdWatch Ireland, you'll be supporting Ireland's largest and most effective wildlife charity and helping to protect our flora and fauna. If you're looking for additional ways to do this, don't forget that we've just launched a lovely new range of BirdWatch Ireland Christmas cards, 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 Ireland's wildlife.

Best wishes,
Kieran O'Byrne, Chairman, 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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