Issue 93, June 2017
Welcome to the June 2017 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
If you are one of the many people whom we met at the Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park in Dublin earlier this month and are now receiving our free eWings email newsletter for the first time, welcome! We hope you enjoy reading about BirdWatch Ireland's work each month and that you will help us to spread our conservation message. eWings is available free to anyone who wishes to receive it, both members and non-members alike.

We are delighted that hundreds of new members have chosen to join BirdWatch Ireland this summer, both at Bloom and at our other summer events. If you are one of these new members, we would like to extend an especially warm welcome to you. As Ireland's largest and most active wildlife conservation charity, we are extremely grateful that you have chosen to give us your support.

If you are a new member, we especially hope that you will enjoy receiving Wings, our 36-page quarterly membership magazine: the next issue will be mailed to you in early August. We also hope that you take the opportunity to attend some of our local branch events across the country.

Please, if you are reading this and are not currently a BirdWatch Ireland member, why not join us today and help to support our vital conservation work? It will cost you roughly the price of a cup of coffee per month, and it makes an enormous difference for Ireland's birds and other wildlife.
To view the articles and news below in full, simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each summary.
Hummingbirds in Ireland?
At this time every year BirdWatch Ireland receives reports of hummingbirds from around the country. Despite appearances, these are not actually hummingbirds at all, but are in fact a scarce species of day-flying moth that does a remarkably good job of imitating them: the Hummingbird Hawk-moth. These large insects are most often seen in Ireland during prolonged spells of warm weather, which might explain the higher-than-usual number of reports we have received in recent weeks.

Photo: Hummingbird Hawkmoth by Ben Andrew (
Learn more about these remarkable insects and their sudden appearance in Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland's 2016 Annual Report now available
BirdWatch Ireland's AGM was held on Saturday, 17th June, at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Many thanks to all of the members who were in attendance. It was great to see so many of you there and especially to have such good representation from across our local branch network. BirdWatch Ireland's 2016 Annual Report was launched at the meeting, and is now available for download from our website in PDF format.
Download BirdWatch Ireland's 2016 Annual Report (PDF: 1.74MB)
Moving swiftly on . . .
It is a busy time of year for Ireland's Swifts, which are now feeding recently-hatched young in their nests. We too are busy, carrying out Swift surveys, workshops and projects across the country. With support from the Heritage Council, our National Swift Survey will continue this summer, with a renewed appeal for records of Swift sightings and nest sites.

Our collaboration with the OPW also continues, with Swift surveys being carried out at a selection of OPW Heritage Sites around the country. A Swift Survey of Offaly Towns and Villages supported by Offaly County Council also began this summer, while our work on Swifts in Tipperary continued, in partnership with the Tipperary Heritage Office. Keep an eye on our blog Life on the Wing for the latest news and project updates throughout the summer. (Photo: Swift by Graham Catley)
See here for more details of our Swift conservation work and of our upcoming events
Survey of river birds nesting in built structures during 2017
Ireland supports a rich and diverse network of rivers, canals and other waterways. Though often difficult to access, these sites are regularly visited by tourists, anglers, canoeists and other recreational users. If you use our waterways this summer, you can help our Heritage Council-funded survey by recording any river bird nests you find. We are specifically looking for records of nests in or on man-made structures: e.g., Dippers nesting under bridges, Sand Martins nesting in quay walls, Grey Wagtails nesting in holes in old mill walls or Kingfishers nesting in artificial banks. (Photo: Sand Martins by Mark Carmody)
Learn more about our 2017 river bird survey and how you can submit your records
Appeal for records of breeding Curlews in 2017
As part of BirdWatch Ireland's ongoing work for the conservation of Curlew in Ireland, we are appealing for your records of any breeding Curlews you have encountered during 2017. The Curlew, an enigmatic species steeped in Irish folklore, is on the edge of extinction as a breeding species in Ireland, having declined by almost 80% since the 1970s. They nest on the ground in damp, rushy pastures and open moorlands. We need your help to monitor the Irish breeding populations of this iconic and highly threatened species: you can submit your sightings directly here. (Photo: Curlew by John Fox)
Learn more about Ireland's breeding Curlews and how you can submit your records
Cape Clear Bird Observatory: places still available on our 2017 courses
BirdWatch Ireland's Cape Clear Bird Observatory, located on beautiful Cape Clear Island off the coast of west Co. Cork, has a long tradition of running courses for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. We are pleased to announce that our course schedule for Autumn 2017 has just been launched.

Our most popular offering each year is our From Seabirds to Songbirds course, led by Dick Coombes, which this year will take place on the island from 11th to 15th September. During the course, Dick will cover a wide range of topics, from the skills needed to identify, understand and appreciate birds to knowing when and where to find them. During the week of indoor and field-based activities, participants will explore the wonders of migration, with a special emphasis on seabirds, their breeding habits and the fascinating journeys they undertake. The fee for the course is €195, which covers tuition and materials. Accommodation is also available in the observatory building for €25 per night (or €22 for BirdWatch Ireland members).

This year, for the first time ever, BirdWatch Ireland will also be running a residential bird ringing course at the observatory. It will take place on the island from 6th to 10th September, and is for existing bird ringers of all permits. The emphasis of the course will be on developing ageing and gender-identification techniques, computerising data and enhancing general field craft. The price of the course is €300, including accommodation.
Click here for full details of our 2017 Cape Clear Bird Observatory courses and to make your booking
BirdWatch Ireland is appealing to birdwatchers across the country to help with the landmark European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 by reporting their sightings of nesting birds this summer. The atlas project started in 2013 with big ambitions: to collect data from more than 50 countries, to cover 500 breeding species and to cover more than 5,000 50-km squares. It is now in its final year. To help with survey efforts, there is a new tool to identify areas with low coverage, as well as the highest level of breeding evidence that has been entered for a species. All records are to be submitted through BirdTrack. For more information please email Brian Caffrey.

We are seeking to recruit a Part-time Retail Administrator to run the BirdWatch Ireland shop, which is based at our head office in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 3rd July 2017, and you can find full details and an application form here.

See you again next month!

Niall Hatch
Public Relations, Branches & 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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