Issue 74, November 2015
Welcome to the November 2015 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
It's been an unseasonably warm autumn thus far across Ireland, but colder weather is inevitably on the way. When it arrives, you should notice a significant increase in the number of birds visiting your garden. Providing food and water for your garden birds can make a real difference to their survival, and it's also a great way to watch them at close quarters and to learn more about them. If this is something that you'd like to do, please have a look at our special BirdWatch Ireland bird-feeding factsheet for some handy tips and advice. Don't forget that BirdWatch Ireland also stocks a wide range of high quality bird food and feeders that we can deliver anywhere in Ireland.

This is also the time of year when thoughts turn to Christmas - not long to go now! We still have a limited supply of BirdWatch Ireland's Christmas cards (two different styles: "Robin in Snow" and "Frost and Snow") and our fantastic 2016 BirdWatch Ireland Calendar, but they will be sold out soon - get yours before it's too late.

If you ask me, the best Christmas gift of all is BirdWatch Ireland membership. Members receive a welcome pack, 4 issues of our print magazine Wings throughout the 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 take out a gift membership via our online shop, or if you prefer you can give us a call on 01-2819878.

If you are not already a BirdWatch Ireland member yourself, perhaps you could drop some hints to your nearest and dearest that you'd like them to give you the gift of membership for Christmas. You'll be glad you did!
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Garden Bird Survey starts on Monday 30th November
BirdWatch Ireland's most popular survey is, without question, our annual Garden Bird Survey, and this winter it begins on Monday 30th November. The idea is that, over a 13 week period, we ask people all over Ireland to keep track of the different bird species that visit their gardens. The data that we receive back tells us a great deal about the health of our bird populations and the wider environment: you can read a summary of last year's survey results here. It's really fun to do and you don't need to be an experienced birdwatcher to take part by any means: why not give it a go this winter?

(Photo: Robin, Ireland's most frequently-reported garden bird, by Jerry Cassidy)
Download your Garden Bird Survey form and instructions (PDF: 453KB)
Our Beginning Birdwatching Pack: the perfect Christmas gift
BirdWatch Ireland is offering a special Beginning Birdwatching Kit that would make an ideal present for anyone you know with an interest in wildlife. The kit contains everything needed to get started, including one year's Family Membership of BirdWatch Ireland (including 4 issues of Wings and 2 issues of our kids' magazine Bird Detectives), a pair of 8x42 Opticron Adventurer binoculars, our 2016 Calendar, a superb Birds of Ireland Field Guide, a guidebook to Ireland's Garden Birds, a nestbox and a gift card.
BirdWatch Ireland's Beginning Birdwatching Gift Pack is available for €199, plus P&P
Putting roof-nesting gulls on the map
Following our online Roof-nesting Gull Survey 2015, a total of 65 nesting sites for three gull species have been identified. The majority of records came from the Dublin area, with smaller numbers from Galway, Kells and Drogheda. The majority of records (82%) were of Herring Gulls (pale silver-grey upper wings, pink legs), while 15% were of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (sooty grey-black upper wings, yellow legs). Over half of the nests (51%) recorded were on private buildings, with smaller numbers of gulls making their home on office blocks (18%) and public buildings (17%). At present we are working on a map showing the approximate nesting areas which, over the coming weeks, we plan to update with additional records from previous years. (Photo: Herring Gull by Michael Finn)
Records of roof-nesting gulls seen between April to August can still be submitted here
Walking the coast to survey waterbirds: 'NEWS'
Do you know your Purple Sandpiper from your Turnstone, and your Red-throated Diver from your Great Northern Diver? Do you have a telescope and binoculars? And do you live near the coast? If you answered "yes" to these questions then you might like to take part in 'NEWS', the coastal Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey. This survey only comes around once in a while and it aims to get an update on the numbers of waterbirds occurring away from regularly-monitored Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) sites. The survey period begins on 1st December 2015 and ends on 31st January 2016. Taking part involves walking a pre-defined section of coast just once during the survey period and recording the birds you see along the way. (Photo: Red-throated Diver by Colum Clarke)
Please click here for more details and to check which coastal sectors might suit you
Shocking report on illegal bird hunting in the Mediterranean released
We've spoken many times before about the illegal hunting of birds in the Mediterreanean region. For the first time, the true extent of this carnage and its impacts on Europe's migratory bird populations have been laid bare in a stark and shocking new report from BirdLife International, entitled simply The Killing.

The results are gruesome. Despite legal protection, illegal bird killing is taking place at quite extraordinary and unsustainable levels. While many turn a blind eye, an estimated 25 million birds are being illegally shot, trapped or glued annually. This simply has to stop.
Read The Killing report and see the full extent of this terrible massacre for yourself
Stop Climate Choas: People's Climate March, Dublin, 29th November at 2:00pm
At the end of this month, world leaders will gather in Paris at the UN Climate Summit. The decisions they make, on our behalf, on issues such as global carbon emissions and renewable energy will impact each and every one of us for years to come.

On the eve of the UN Summit - Sunday 29th November - please join us in Dublin for the People's Climate March. Stand with those who are taking part in marches in cities around the world, demanding the political action that is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Please, help make this the largest ever gathering of people calling on Ireland to play its part in tackling runaway climate change.
Learn more about the landmark People's Climate March in Dublin and how you can participate
Don't forget that the BirdWatch Ireland online shop is a great source of Christmas gifts too, with lots to choose from for the nature-lover in your life. Alternatively, or to get our own personalised recommendations, you can give us a call on 01-2819878. Remember that by buying from BirdWatch Ireland you are helping to support our vital conservation work, which is a nice Christmas bonus both for you and for Ireland's wildlife.

Yours sincerely,
Niall Hatch, Development Officer
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
A63 RW83
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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