Issue 76, January 2016
Welcome to the January 2016 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
As this is the first issue of eWings in 2016, we would like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy New Year to all of BirdWatch Ireland's members and supporters. We are very grateful to have you on board, and we wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

This may not be a very happy new year for Ireland's birds, however. The contents of the Heritage Bill 2016, currently being fast-tracked by the Government through the Oireachtas, give great cause for concern, and the impacts on our wildlife could be devastating. Of particular concern are the proposals to extend the permitted dates for hedge-cutting and scrub-burning, which fly in the face of scientific advice and could sound the death knell for our Yellowhammer and Curlew populations, amongst others.

Please, make your feelings about this known to your TDs and other local representatives, both now and when they come calling to you door looking for your vote in the weeks to come. You can find more information about our concerns over this alarming legislation below.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Please speak up for the birds of Ireland's hedgerows and uplands
A coalition of Irish conservation and environmental NGOs (BirdWatch Ireland, An Taisce, the Irish Wildlife Trust and the Hedgelaying Association of Ireland) have together launched a campaign called No to More Slash and Burn to stop the passage of the Heritage Bill 2016, which includes changes to Section 40 of the Wildlife Act. The proposed changes would allow hedgecutting in August, at a time when birds such as the Yellowhammer (left: photo by Shay Connolly) are still nesting, and would also permit the burning of habitats in the uplands into the month of March, again at a time when sensitive upland species such as the Curlew are beginning their nesting activities and starting egg-laying. You can read BirdWatch Ireland's position statement on the threats posed by these changes here.

The bill is currently being fast-tracked through the Oireachtas before its dissolution in advance of the upcoming General Election. Despite significant advocacy work by the NGOs concerned and impassioned speeches by Senators John Whelan, David Norris and Gerard Craughwell, the Bill has passed the Seanad and is on its way to Committee before it goes to the Dáil. We still have time to influence this decision.
Join the 11,000 (and counting) people who have already signed our petition against the bill
A great New Year's resolution: become a member of BirdWatch Ireland
Would you like to make a real difference for Ireland's wildlife in 2016? A great way to do this is to become a member of BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland's largest and most active conservation charity. We will work on your behalf to conserve threatened bird species and habitats and to address the threats faced by our wildlife. If you already happen to be a member, perhaps you could encourage friends and family to sign up too. All members receive a copy of our magazine Wings (left) in the post each quarter, a special welcome pack and the chance to attend local branch events all over the country. Junior and family members also receive Bird Detectives, our dedicated children's magazine.
Become a member of BirdWatch Ireland today and support our vital conservation work
Hawke binoculars: amazing quality and value
Are you looking for an excellent new pair of binoculars? The BirdWatch Ireland shop now stocks a wider range than ever before, thanks to the addition of an impressive new selection of binoculars from Hawke, including their popular Nature-trek 8x42 model (left), which is outstanding value at just €190, plus P&P.
Check out the full range of Hawke binoculars available now from BirdWatch Ireland
New LIFE Roseate Tern Project commences 2016
This year, BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the RSPB and North Wales Wildlife Trust, will start a 5-year EU LIFE-funded programme to boost the conservation status of Roseate Terns in northwest Europe. Here in Ireland we have two thriving and well-managed colonies, at Rockabill (Co. Dublin) and Lady's Island Lake (Co. Wexford), thanks to long-term support from NPWS, and in Britain, there is one healthy Roseate Tern colony at Coquet Island in Northumberland. (Photo: Roseate Tern by Laura Glenister)
Learn more about this exciting new programme to boost our Roseate Tern population
What's the best way to feed your garden birds?
This is the time of year when lots of people contact BirdWatch Ireland for advice on how to look after the birds that visit their gardens during the cold winter weather, and especially how best to provide food for them. With this in mind, we have prepared a special garden bird feeding factsheet that we hope you will find useful. You should also check out Garden Bird Year, our dedicated garden bird blog, for great up-to-the-minute suggestions. Don't forget that you can also visit the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page to ask for help and advice and to share bird-feeding tips with our followers. (Photo: Blue Tit, one of Ireland's most popular garden birds, by Michael Finn
Download BirdWatch Ireland's special garden bird feeding factsheet here (PDF: 193KB)
Internship position: Policy & Communications Support
BirdWatch Ireland carries out a range of research, conservation, policy, education and outreach work focussed on protecting birds, their habitats and wider biodiversity. BirdWatch Ireland is seeking a suitably qualified person to join its Policy, Communications & People Engagement Division as an intern, supporting a range of work areas.

The post is an internship position; no salary is available. The position will operate on a part time basis (3-4 days per week subject to negotiation) and flexible arrangements will be considered.

The successful applicant would stand to gain experience in communicating the importance of nature conservation in Ireland and work with a range of stakeholders, including BirdWatch Ireland supporters and Branches, as well as engaging with a range of sectors with a role to play in bird conservation. A detailed work programme would be developed to provide structure to the internship and ensure development of experience and delivery of work outputs. Please click here to download the application form (DOC: 104KB).
Please click here to download a full description of this internship position (PDF: 368KB)
The two core surveys run by BirdWatch Ireland, which monitor our breeding bird populations and our wintering waterbirds, depend on a large network of volunteers to carry out the fieldwork. In recent years, training days have proved to be very popular as a way of learning about how to get involved and also a chance to meet other people already participating in one or both of the surveys. These sessions also provide us with the opportunity to give feedback on some results of the surveys to date.

This year, we are planning to hold three such training days. They will jointly cover both the Countryside Bird Survey (CBS) and the Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS). The sessions will run from approximately 09.30 to 16.00 each day and they will include indoor presentations and a short field trip. The dates for your diary are:

Sunday 28th February
Saturday 5th March
Sunday 20th March

The details are yet to be finalised, but one workshop will be held in Cork, one in the northwest and the other probably in the east or northeast. The exact schedule will soon be available and posted in the next eWings and through other channels. If you would like to be informed about the full details when they are available please contact and we will add you to the list of those interested. The events are free, but we do need people to book.

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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