Issue 99, December 2017
Welcome to the December 2017 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
If you are looking for something to do over the Christmas break and happen to be near to Cork city, we would highly recommend dropping in to visit the superb Harper's Island Wetland Centre. Located to the east of the city along the N25, just north of Fota Island, this reserve is owned by Cork County Council and is managed in partnership with BirdWatch Ireland and the Glounthaune Community Association/Tidy Towns. The reserve is a haven for large numbers of wintering waterfowl and waders in particular, and indeed holds up to 4% of the entire world population of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits during the non-breeding season.

The official launch took place on 15th December, when David Stanton TD, Minister of State in the Department of Justice and Equality, cut the ribbon to open the centre's state-of-the-art new birdwatching hide, marking the culmination of 9 year's hard word by the Cork Branch of BirdWatch Ireland and its partners. For up-to-the-minute information about opening times and activities over the winter season, please visit the Harper's Island Wetland Centre Facebook page.
To view the articles and news below in full, simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each summary.
BirdWatch Ireland's Nature Reserve Appeal - please donate today
Ireland's wildlife is under immense pressure, right across the country, with ever fewer places to call home. But hope is not lost. BirdWatch Ireland looks after nineteen precious nature reserves, spread throughout the country. These reserves contain a diverse array of habitats, from lakes, saltmarshes and grasslands to woods and rocky islands. They host some astonishing wildlife, including many seriously threatened breeding and wintering birds.

As pressure on natural habitats increases, our reserve network ensures that some land in Ireland is managed in the interests of threatened birds, habitats and wider wildlife. As well as providing safe havens for nature, our reserves offer the perfect environment for visitors to escape the pressures of modern life and enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of these inspiring landscapes. With your support, we can secure their future.
Your nature reserves need your help - please donate to our Nature Reserves Appeal today
Looking for a last-minute gift? Try BirdWatch Ireland membership
Have you forgotten to get a Christmas present for someone this year? If so, perhaps we can come to your rescue. 12 months' membership of BirdWatch Ireland is the gift that keeps on giving: a special welcome pack, a set of bird identification posters, a new issue of Wings magazine (left - top) every quarter and, for our family members, our junior magazine Bird Detectives (left - bottom) twice a year. Membership also gives access to 19 nature reserves and more than 450 events throughout the year.

You will be giving Ireland's birds a much-needed Christmas present too, as all of the proceeds of BirdWatch Ireland membership go to support our vital conservation work all over the country, protecting threatened species and habitats.

To sign someone up, simply click the link below, fill out the information and payment details, print off the confirmation page and give to the recipient. We will then send them their new member's pack and first magazine early in the New Year. Problem solved!
Click here for our membership sign-up page and leave all your gift worries behind you
Kittiwake added to list of globally threatened birds
Overfishing and climate change are pushing seabirds closer to extinction, according to the latest update on the conservation status of the world's birds by BirdLife International for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The updated global list makes for grim reading, but of particular concern here in Ireland is the plight of the Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, a small cliff-nesting species of gull named for its distinctive "kitt-i-wake" call. Ireland is home to significant numbers of this species, which breeds at colonies around the Irish coast and which is now considered to be globally threatened. (Photo: Kittiwake at its nest, by Laura Glenister)
Read more about the plight of the Kittiwake and the threats facing our seabirds
BirdWatch Ireland's garden bird of the week: the Robin
Are you taking part in BirdWatch Ireland's Garden Bird Survey this winter? If so (or even if not), you will want to keep an eye on our special Garden Bird Blog, which over the next few weeks will be packed with up-to-date information about looking after the birds around your home. We will also be showcasing a different garden bird each week and, given the time of year, this week there was really only one bird we could go with: everyone's Christmas favourite, the Robin. (Photo: Robin by Brian Burke)
See how there is more to Robins than meets the eye in our latest Garden Bird Blog post
Don't ruin Christmas: mining threatens wildlife haven Christmas Island
Lying around 1,500 kilometres northwest of the Australian mainland, charmingly-named Christmas Island is one of nature's greatest presents to Australia and the world. The island is home to a unique and rich diversity of life - including five bird species found nowhere else on Earth. But new phosphate mining proposals threaten devastation. BirdWatch Ireland is proud to support our colleagues in BirdLife Australia in calling on the Australian Government to choose to conserve this incredible biodiversity hotspot. Please, join us in signing BirdLife Australia's petition urging the Australian Prime Minister not to destroy Christmas Island's rainforest for the sake of a mine. (Photo: Christmas Boobook by Carole O'Neill)
Sign the petition here and tell the Prime Minister of Australia not to ruin Christmas
Job opportunity - Fundraising and Membership Officer
BirdWatch Ireland is looking to recruit someone suitable for the role of Fundraising and Membership Officer. This line management role involves developing and growing the membership in terms of revenues and numbers, fundraising activities and initiatives, and operation of the organisation's retail services - all in line with the strategic objectives set out within BirdWatch Ireland's 2020 Vision strategy.

The areas covered by this role include delivering, reviewing and enhancing membership services, upgrading and migration of the current membership database, managing and delivering retail services, raising funds through donor and bequest-based initiatives, managing the delivery of events, and any other areas that fall within this important remit. The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Friday 12th January 2018.
Click for more information on the Fundraising and Membership Officer position and to download an application form
All of us here at BirdWatch Ireland would like to thank you most sincerely for all of your support during 2017. We are extremely grateful to all of our members, supporters and eWings readers for helping us to protect Ireland's birds and other wildlife. We cannot do it without you, and we hope that we can continue to count on your support in 2018.

Please note that BirdWatch Ireland's offices will be closed for the Christmas period and will reopen at 9:00am on Tuesday 2nd January. In the meantime, please share your questions, comments and photos with us via the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas from all of us at BirdWatch Ireland,

Niall Hatch
Public Relations, Branches & Development Officer

P.S. Would you like to join as a member today and/or make a donation to support our vital conservation work?
  BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
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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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