Issue 60, September 2014
Welcome to the Sept. 2014 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Now that September is almost at an end, we at BirdWatch Ireland have been receiving lots of queries about what is perhaps Ireland's most popular migrant, the Swallow. We've had several concerned reports about Swallows that still have chicks in their nests, and many people have asked us if they are late in leaving this year.

The fact is, although the bulk of our Swallows leave us during September, it's actually perfectly normal for good numbers to remain here well into October, and it happens every year. All going well, these late-brood chicks will leave their nests soon and begin the long and arduous flight to southern Africa, where they will spend our winter.

If you are interested in Swallows and other migrant birds and you like to keep an eye on their arrival and departure dates, please share this information with us via BirdTrack, a fantastic online system that allows you to log your sightings of all Irish birds, common or rare, and which allows us to build up a picture of their movements and locations. It's a great way top keep track of your own sightings over time, and the data we gather with your assistance is invaluable to us in our conservation work.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Wader study looking for your help
Thanks to support from the Dublin Port Company, we have been catching and colour-ringing Oystercatchers, Bar-tailed Godwits and Redshanks in Dublin Bay. The bay supports in excess of 30,000 waterbirds each winter, so it is vital that we keep tabs on how they are doing. Colour-ringing is a fantastic way to do this and allows us to assess how stresses like migration, severe weather and human disturbance affect them. The colour-rings can be read in the field using a telescope or camera, so you can make a valuable contribution to the project by letting us know about any colour-ringed birds you see. This work will inform on measures that may reduce the impacts of disturbance, development and climate change and facilitate decision-making regarding such activities in Dublin Bay. (Photo: Colour-ringed Redshank by John Fox)
For more information on our colour-ringing work, please visit our Dublin Bay Birds blog
Birds of the Homeplace: The Lives of Ireland's Familiar Birds
Following the success of Birds Through Irish Eyes, Anthony McGeehan and Julian Wyllie take on the task of showcasing over seventy species of familiar Irish birds in this fantastic new book, Birds of the Homeplace. Familiar the birds may be, but their lives can fascinate and they are adapted to survive in ways that will surprise. Distinctive descriptions, written in McGeehan's trademark witty and elegant style, are complemented by stunning photographs. "Common-or-garden" is a term that has patronised Ireland's familiar birds for too long: discover what Ireland's birds actually do and enjoy them even more.
Birds of the Homeplace is available from the BirdWatch Ireland shop for €24.99, plus P&P
On the Rocks - the plight of Ireland's wild Rock Doves
The feral, or domestic, pigeon is one of our most familiar birds, at home in towns and cities across Ireland and the globe. Less well known, however, is its wild ancestor, the Rock Dove, a shy bird which still occurs in fragmented colonies along our western seaboard. Concerns are growing that domestic pigeons pose a threat to the genetic purity of our remaining wild Rock Dove population, as Anthony McGeehan explains in an extract from the current issue of Wings magazine. (Photo: Rock Dove by Anthony McGeehan)
Read Anthony's article about the plight of Ireland's wild Rock Doves (PDF: 983KB)
Opticron Adventurer 15x-45x Telescope Kit: fantastic value at €149
A good telescope can make a world of difference to your birdwatching. The range of models on the market can be bewildering, however, and the prices can be very offputting. If you've yet to take the plunge and buy a telescope, you're in luck: the Opticron Adventurer 15x-45x Telescope Kit is the perfect starter choice. Lightweight and compact, it is fully rubber-armoured with a retractable sun shade and twist-up rubber eyecup, and boasts a 60mm objective lens, fully coated optics and and integral 15-45x zoom eyepiece. It comes complete with a carry case and table top tripod, and at just €149 is unbeatable value.
Buy the Adventurer 15x-45x Telescope Kit from BirdWatch Ireland for €149, plus P&P
Help stop the barbaric slaughter of Ortolan Buntings in France
LPO, our BirdLife International partner in France, is asking as many people as possible to write to Bernard Cazeneuve, French Minister of the Interior, to protest the cruel slaughter of 30,000 Ortolan Buntings in the Landes region of south-western France. Trapped and then forcefully fattened in the dark, these sparrow-sized little birds are then killed by being drowned in Armagnac. This is completely illegal under French and EU law, but the authorities responsible for enforcing the law turn a blind eye. Each bird is then sold illicitly for up to €150. This is a disgrace for France and an irretrievable loss for a species in serious decline. (Photo: Ortolan Bunting by Aurelien Audevard)
Click here to find out how you can register your objections to this barbaric practice
Become a BirdWatch Ireland Business Supporter
As a charity, BirdWatch Ireland relies on the public for support. A great way to help us to carry out our vital conservation work is to sign up as an official Business Supporter of BirdWatch Ireland. It's the perfect way for companies, partnerships and other businesses to provide financial and moral support for Ireland's leading environmental NGO. At the same time, it provides a wide range of benefits for your business, your staff and your customers, and there may also be significant tax advantages.

We have a range of different Business Supporter packages, each of which can be tailored to best suit the needs of your business, large or small. Whether you're a CEO looking for a charity to partner with, or you work for a company which shares our concern for Ireland's natural heritage, we would love to talk to you.
For more information, please visit the Business Supporter section on the BirdWatch Ireland website
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.

Yours sincerely,
Niall Hatch, Development Officer
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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