Issue 66, March 2015
Welcome to the March 2015 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
For wildlife enthusiasts across Ireland, Mooney Goes Wild on RTÉ Radio One has become an institution. BirdWatch Ireland has been a proud contributor to this landmark wildlife programme from the very beginning, and we are delighted that Derek Mooney and his team will be relaunching the programme in a new timeslot, Sundays at 10:00pm, starting on Easter Sunday, 5th April.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Mooney Goes Wild, a remarkable achievement, and all of us at BirdWatch Ireland look forward to continuing our association with the programme for many more years to come.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Irish Birds Volume 10, Number 1: out now
The new issue of Irish Birds, BirdWatch Ireland's annual scientific journal, is out now. This issue contains papers on the breeding waders of the Shannon Callows, a census of Barnacle Geese and papers on Little Tern nest movements and Buzzards re-colonising Co. Cork, as well as regular features, including common breeding bird trends, the 2013 Rare Breeding Birds in Ireland Report, the 2013 Rare Bird Report and the 2013 Ringing Report, plus notes and reviews.
Buy your copy of Irish Birds from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop for €20, plus P&P
Irish Hen Harrier Survey 2015
Regular eWings readers will be aware of the pressures facing Ireland's Hen Harriers. These enigmatic birds of prey are protected under Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive and, as such, monitoring, research and protected areas are vital components of their conservation. BirdWatch Ireland, The Golden Eagle Trust and the Irish Raptor Study Group are collectively co-ordinating the 2015 Irish Hen Harrier Survey on behalf of NPWS: please visit the survey website for updates and to submit your own Hen Harrier sightings. (Illustration: female (top) and male (bottom) Hen Harriers by Robert Vaughan)
Please click here for more information on the Hen Harrier Survey and how you can assist
Spring Alive: tell us when you see a Swallow, Swift or Cuckoo
Spring is here, which means that our returning migrant birds are well on their way. We need all of you to keep an eye out for your first Swallows, Swifts and Cuckoos of the year, and then 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!
Learn lots more about Spring Alive (and don't forget to add your own observations)
Don't forget to send us your Garden Bird Survey forms
Each winter, BirdWatch Ireland members all over the country take part in our annual Garden Bird Survey. The information they send us allows us to build up a very accurate picture of the health and distribution of our garden bird populations. If you participated and have yet to return your completed survey forms to us, please do so as soon as possible so that your data can be included.

Although not all the data is in yet, a preliminary analysis has indicated that Siskins (such as this handsome male, left) were well down on previous years. Why might this be?
Oran O'Sullivan ponders how Ireland's Siskins have fared in his Garden Bird Year blog
The Opticron IS 60 WP field scope: exceptional value at €350
A good telescope can make a world of difference to your birdwatching. The Opticron IS 60 WP field scope is the perfect choice for anyone looking to graduate up from 'binocular-only' birdwatching. An excellent all-rounder, it's neat enough to fit into a standard backpack and delivers superb optical performance. This special reduced-price bundle includes a zoom lens (18-54x) and a waterproof stay-on cover, all for €350, plus P&P.
Get your new Opticron IS 60 WP field scope from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop
Dublin Bay: History and Environment - one-day conference by the Dublin Port Company
Dublin Port Company is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the landmark decision to build the Great South Wall with a major conference on Wednesday 29th April 2015 at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin 1. BirdWatch Ireland's Dublin Bay Birds Project is funded by the Dublin Port Company, and we are proud to support this excellent initiative.

The subject, "Dublin Bay: History and Environment" has been chosen because the recent Environmental Impact Statement for the Redevelopment of Alexandra Basin has involved the collection of a large amount of new information on Dublin Bay. Dublin Port Company would like to share this information with a wider audience.

In this conference, this new information will be combined with the knowledge of other leading experts to present a fascinating picture of the history and environment of Dublin Bay. Amongst other speakers, Richard Nairn will be giving a presentation on the "Ecology of coastal birds in Dublin Bay" and Dr. Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will be speaking on the topic of "Marine mammals in Dublin Bay", while Maryann Harris, Senior Executive Parks Superintendent with Dublin City Council, will be discussing "Coastal management in Dublin Bay".
Please click here for more information about the Dublin Bay conference and to book your place today
BirdWatch Ireland and the Office of Public Works have teamed up to run a full programme of public nature events in the Phoenix Park, Dublin throughout the course of the year. Our next event will be a Family Easter Egg Hunt with a focus on nesting birds, an ideal way for kids to learn more about birds while having plenty of fun: it will take place on Easter Monday, 6th April, meeting at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre at 12:00 noon. This event is free of charge, but booking is necessary: to book, please call the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on 01-6770095. A whole host of other fun events will be happening in the park in the months to come: please keep an eye on future editions of eWings, Wings magazine and our website for full details.

BirdWatch Ireland is looking for volunteers to assist with our Shannon Callows Breeding Wader Project in Banagher, Co. Offaly during April/May this year: the exact dates will depend on the weather. Specifically, we need people who can carry out maintenance work on our predator-proof fence, which protects one of our key breeding wader sites, where Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew and Snipe all breed. We expect the work to last for between 2 and 4 weeks, and we are looking for a minimum volunteering commitment of 1 week. For more information, please see the volunteering section on the Jobs page on our website or email Kathryn Finney.

By the way, don't forget to check out the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and to follow us on Twitter. Both are a great way to stay informed about our work, to learn more Ireland's birds and to ask us questions about anything you wish. Also, if you haven't already, please join BirdWatch Ireland as a member and support our conservation work. We can't do it without you.

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.
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