Issue 6, March 2010
Welcome to the March 2010 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to vote in our Bird of the Year competition, which we announced in last month's issue. Several thousand people have already made their choice, but there is still time for you to have your say and cast your vote today. Voting will close on Friday 19th March, and the winning bird will be unveiled at our All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation in Sligo from 26th to 28th March.

You also still have time to sponsor a species for the Bird Atlas 2007-2011, as there are a few birds for which sponsors are still needed. Each of the species featured in the Atlas can be sponsored, either by companies, groups or individuals, and the name of each sponsor will appear alongside the revelant entry. All proceeds raised through this sponsorship scheme go to fund the Atlas project itself, and all sponsorship bids are welcome.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Countryside Bird Survey - volunteers required
There's a stretch in the evenings, the dawn chorus is gaining confidence and any day now the advance parties of Wheatears, Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins will be hitting our shores. Spring is on the way and the Countryside Bird Survey (CBS) is about to commence its 13th season of early morning bird counts all around Ireland. We are urgently looking for volunteers to help. All that is required is a good working knowledge of our common and widespread birds, by sight and sound. Counts are carried out along two walking routes in a 1km square. This is done just twice between 1st April and 30th June, each visit taking about an hour and a half.
Learn more about the Countryside Bird Survey and find out how to take part
Cape Clear Bird Observatory courses
BirdWatch Ireland's highly popular field courses, held on Cape Clear Island off West Cork, offer something for everyone. The courses are designed to aid both the beginner and those more experienced in the craft of birdwatching. Courses vary from two to five days duration and each course will combine both indoor and outdoor sessions.

Courses scheduled for 2010 include Beginning Birdwatching, which is ideal for novices, Birds, Butterflies & Flowers and our ever-popular Migration and Seabirds. The courses are held from April to September and numbers are limited to ensure everyone receives individual attention.

Cape Clear Bird Observatory, owned and managed by BirdWatch Ireland, was established over 50 years ago and is steeped in ornithological history. A birdwatching trip to this beautiful location is one of the most rewarding delights of birdwatching in Ireland, and we also offer accommodation the the observatory building itself. Photo: Gannet by John Carey
Read all about the courses on offer during 2010 and book your place online
Flagship species suffers decline
The bird that features so prominently in the BirdWatch Ireland logo is the Greenland White-fronted Goose, a charismatic bird for which Ireland is a crucial wintering ground. Over the course of the last 10 years, numbers of these migrant geese have fallen to historic lows for reasons that are not fully understood.

In an exclusive extract taken from the current issue of Wings, our quarterly print membership magazine, Olivia Crowe, Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, investigates the problem and sees what can be done.
Read the full article on the goose decline, taken from the Spring 2010 issue of Wings: PDF - 810KB
Another Irish eagle poisoned
BirdWatch Ireland has been shocked and appalled by the recent poisoning of yet another reintroduced bird of prey in Ireland. The latest victim, a young Golden Eagle called Conall, was found dead on the Sligo-Leitrim border. Conall was one of the first Golden Eagles to have hatched in Ireland for over 100 years, following the Golden Eagle Trust's reintroduction project.

BirdWatch Ireland is calling on the Irish Government to step up to its responsibilities to the people, wildlife and unique natural environment of Ireland, as well those imposed on it under EU law, and to properly legislate against the indiscriminate and improperly controlled use of poisons in agriculture. The use of poisoned meat baits in Ireland must be banned.
Read more about Conall's senseless death and the threats Ireland's birds of prey face from poisoning
Mother's Day gift ideas
Mother's Day will be on Sunday 14th March - you can thank us later for the reminder. BirdWatch Ireland has put together a new range of bird-themed gift items that we are sure mothers everywhere would love to receive and which can be ordered directly from our online Wings shop. Remember that all profits from our sales go to support our conservation work ... so your mother will be proud of you too.
See our full range of Mother's Day gifts and order online
BirdWatch Ireland would be nothing without the support of its members: if you are not already a BirdWatch Ireland member, please do consider joining us today. You already know some of the valuable work that we do, and as a charity we rely on the funds we receive from our members to carry it out. There is a lot in it for you too: BirdWatch Ireland members receive our quarterly Wings magazine, as well as a special membership pack and gift and the opportunity to attend a huge range of local events and visit our nature reserves.

Finally, I am very much looking forward to meeting many of you in person at our All Ireland Conference on Bird Conservation in Sligo, from 26th to 28th March. We have lots of great field trips, talks and activities planned, and a few spaces are still available - book yours today.

If you received this email from a friend and would like it to be delivered automatically to your inbox each month or if you know of someone else who would like to receive eWings, please visit our eWings sign-up page.

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.
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