Issue 78, March 2016
Welcome to the March 2016 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
BirdWatch Ireland would be nothing without the generous support of its members. As Ireland's largest conservation NGO, we have a special responsibility to ensure that the protection of Ireland's flora and fauna is kept on the agenda, and to work as hard as possible to safeguard the future of Irish biodiversity.

If you are already one of our members, thank you: your support means a great deal to us. Perhaps you could encourage your friends and family to join as members too.

If you are not a BirdWatch Ireland member (and most of the people who receive and read eWings each month are not members), we need to persuade you to join us. You get a great deal out of it, including Wings, our membership magazine in the post each quarter, a great welcome pack and free gift, and the opportunity to attend over 450 free local BirdWatch Ireland Branch events each year, to list but a few.

The real beneficiaries, however, are the birds themselves, as well as other Irish wildlife. We use the money you entrust us with to conserve and protect them, to monitor and safeguard them, and to fight for and defend them. Please, become a BirdWatch Ireland member today and lend them your support.
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 2: out now
The new issue of Irish Birds, BirdWatch Ireland's annual scientific journal, is out now. It contains papers on, amongst a host of other topics, Black-headed Gulls feeding on mayflies, the colonisation and breeding status of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, egg-fostering in Little Terns, and the results of the national Red Grouse survey. Also included are the 2014 Irish Rare Bird Report, the 2014-15 Rare Breeding Bird Report, the 2014 Irish Ringing report, and the Irish results of the 2015 International Swan Census, plus notes and reviews. Note that if you upgrade to Key Membership of BirdWatch Ireland, you will receive Irish Birds automatically each year at no extra cost.
Buy your copy of Irish Birds from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop for €20, plus P&P
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 Garden Bird Survey. The information they gather allows us to build up a very accurate picture of the health and distribution of our garden birds. If you took part and have yet to return your survey forms to us, please do so as soon as possible so that your data can be included.

The Garden Bird Survey allows us to keep track of our garden birds in an unprecedented way. Much of the data have yet to be received, but we can already see that this past winter was quite an odd one for Goldfinches: some people have been reporting more than ever, while others have had none at all. Numbers of migratory winter thrushes (i.e., Redwings and Fieldfares) also seem to be down this year. (Photo: Goldfinch by David Dillon)
Oran O'Sullivan discusses how our garden birds have fared in his Garden Bird Year blog
The BirdTrack App goes global!
The first version of the BirdTrack App, covering Britain and Ireland, proved to be very popular. However, with birding being a global activity, we've expanded the coverage of the app so that you can now record your sightings from anywhere in the world. As well as allowing you to keep all your observations in one place, they are available for research locally, nationally and globally. This means they can contribute to projects like the ongoing European Breeding Bird Atlas. The new version also offers a choice of global baselists from which to record your sightings, such as the International Ornithological Congress and BirdLife International taxonomies, as well as various country-specific options.
Download the free BirdTrack App now, available for both iPhone/iPad and Android
Spring Special: €100 off Opticron Natura BGA 8x42 binoculars
Featuring a tried and tested optical system packaged in a new double hinge body, these outstanding Opticron Natura BGA 8x42 binoculars deliver an unbeatable combination of user comfort, performance and value. Aimed at the enthusiast wanting a lightweight yet robust and supremely reliable field glass, they are fully waterproof (to 3 metres) and come with the assurance of a 30 year guarantee. Normally retailing at €350, we are offering them for a limited time at the unbeatable price of just €250, plus p&p.
Buy your Opticron Natura BGA 8x42 binoculars from BirdWatch Ireland while stocks last
Pay less for your Bloom ticket: online discount for eWings readers
The biggest event in BirdWatch Ireland's events calendar each year is, without doubt, Bloom, Ireland's premier garden and food festival. This year's show will run in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday 2nd to (Bank Holiday) Monday 6th June, and once again we will be hosting both our garden bird information stand in the Grand Pavilion and our outdoor family fun marquee. All of our eWings readers can avail of a special €2 discount on tickets when booking online, quoting the promotional code BIRD16.
Book your Bloom tickets in advance online and avail of our special BirdWatch Ireland discount
This month has been an historic one for European seabirds. After years of dialogue, the European Commission has proposed that all relevant fishing vessels in the EU implement concrete measures to stop the accidental catching of seabirds in their fishing gear.

BirdWatch Ireland and BirdLife Europe welcome the new legislation, proposed on 11th March by the European Commission, which will make it mandatory for all fishing vessels in the EU that accidentally catch seabirds to put in place measures to prevent this from happening.

It is estimated that at least 200,000 seabirds are accidentally caught in EU waters each year. This includes species on the verge of extinction, such as the Balearic Shearwater. However, until now the EU had not enacted any legally-binding legislation to solve this problem. The proposed new legislation is a game-changer: you can read more about this very welcome development here.

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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