Welcome to the August 2013 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland’s email newsletter.
Already we are seeing signs that migrant waterbirds are on the move: Black-tailed Godwits, some still in their superb rusty-coloured breeding plumage, are arriving from Iceland and can be seen in several of our wetlands, and it won’t be long before the Brent Geese are back from their Canadian breeding grounds too.
As Ireland’s leading nature conservation charity, BirdWatch Ireland has a vital role to play in monitoring and protecting these vulnerable winter visitors, many of which occur here in internationally important numbers. We can’t do this without your assistance, and there are several ways in which you can provide this.
One way, if you have the time and the ability, is to participate directly in our monitoring surveys, such as I-WeBS. Another is to join BirdWatch Ireland as a member and to lend us your financial support, and to encourage your friends and family to do the same; if you used to be a member but your membership has lapsed, we would urge you to please renew your membership today. Another way is to buy products from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop, all profits from which go to fund our work. Another very enjoyable option is to book a place on one of the birdwatching or wildlife courses at our Cape Clear Bird Observatory.
Yet another thing you can do is to ensure that you are well-informed about the threats faced by our wildlife and to demand that politicians, decision-makers and law-enforcement agencies take proper action to address these. You can also help to spread the word about the amazing and inspiring work that our fellow BirdLife International partners are carrying out for both wildlife and for local communities around the globe, often in very difficult conditions.
Below you can find more information about how you can do some or all of these things: everybody reading this has a role to play.
Wintering waterbirds are on their way: can you help to monitor them?
The 20th season of the Irish Wetland Bird Survey, or I-WeBS, is about to start and we would very much welcome your help. I-WeBS is the nationwide scheme for monitoring non-breeding waterbirds – largely the swans, geese, ducks and wading birds – that migrate to Ireland each winter from their Arctic breeding grounds. Here, we monitor their numbers at key wetland sites once monthly between September and March.
Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher or interested in finding out how you can contribute to conservation, I-WeBS may be the survey for you. You can take on a site yourself or opt to learn the ropes from someone who already participates, but we’re always keen to bring new participants on board. If you are interested in becoming involved, please email us at the I-WeBS Office and let us know where you are located.
Wings magazine – exclusively for BirdWatch Ireland members
As you may or may not already know, Wings is BirdWatch Ireland’s print magazine. Published every three months, it’s packed with seasonal bird information, wildlife gardening tips, competitions, photo features, event listings and, most importantly of all, news about the conservation work that our members make possible. The Autumn 2013 issue is out now, and the only way to get it is to become a BirdWatch Ireland member: as a charity, we really need your support … and we’re sure you’ll love the magazine.
Read “Autumn Diary” by Dick Coombes, an extract from the current issue of Wings
The Birds of Ireland: a superb new photographic field guide
There’s always room on a birdwatcher’s bookshelf for one more book – and here it is! This new field guide by Jim Wilson and Mark Carmody is the first to be endorsed by BirdWatch Ireland. It covers only the birds you will find in Ireland and uses high quality digital photographs to ensure that all 260 species featured are illustrated in every plumage; in total, over 1,600 photographs are included, setting a new standard for Irish field guides. The accompanying text covers the key identification features of each bird, with concise descriptions and pointers to indicate important distinguishing marks. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will go towards BirdWatch Ireland’s conservation work.
Buy your copy of The Birds of Ireland from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop for only €15
New BirdLife International video captures local perspectives
BirdWatch Ireland is proud to be the Irish partner of BirdLife International, the world’s largest partnership of conservation organisations. We are one of 121 national partners around the world, representing 13 million members and supporters, 7,400 staff, 250,000 volunteers and 7,500 local conservation groups. We all share a vision of a world rich in biodiversity, where people and nature live in harmony. In a new BirdLife video entitled Local Perspectives: action for nature and people, local conservationists from our partners in Fiji, Kenya, Iraq, Uganda, Canada, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Philippines and Lebanon tell us what nature means to them, show us the work they are doing on the ground, and share their views on working as part of a global partnership. By supporting BirdWatch Ireland, you are a part of this unique partnership too.
Enjoy BirdLife International’s new video Local Perspectives: action for nature and people
Cape Clear Island birdwatching course: your last chance to book
Cape Clear Bird Observatory (left), off the West Cork coast, has been in operation for over 50 years. With stunning scenery and amazing birds, it is the perfect location for our latest birdwatching course with BirdWatch Ireland’s own Dick Coombes, which will run from 2nd to 6th September 2013. As Dick says himself, “Birdwatching is something we can all enjoy. Novice or experienced, there’s always something new and exciting to learn. Join me for an unforgettable birdwatching experience on Cape Clear this autumn and together we’ll explore the world of birds and their exciting journeys on migration.”
Course strictly limited to 12 persons: a couple of places are still available.
Course fee €200; course with accommodation in Cape Clear Bird Observatory €300.
Phone BirdWatch Ireland on 01-2819878 or click below.
Learn more about our “From Seabirds to Songbirds” course and book your place
All-Ireland Wildlife Crime Conference: Ashbourne, Co. Meath, 14 & 15 September 2013
BirdWatch Ireland is delighted to be taking part the forthcoming All-Ireland Wildlife Crime Conference, organised by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, which will be taking place at the Pillo Hotel, Ashbourne, Co. Meath on the 14th and 15th September 2013. This will be the first conference of its kind in Ireland.
The conference will be a two-day event that will bring together a diverse audience for a weekend of talks and practical sessions, with the intention of promoting greater understanding, cooperation and communication between the law enforcement bodies, charities, NGOs and the public in general. Topics will include: poisoning, poaching, bird of prey presecution, illegal traps & snares and other crimes against wildlife.
The conference is taking place over two days in order to fit in as wide a variety of wildlife crime talks and practical sessions as possible. It is an open-attendance two-day event, and it has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for 19 CVE credits (9.5 credits per day). Delegates who book by 31st August can avail of a special “early bird” discount.
Click for full Wildlife Crime Conference programme, registration and payment details and to book your place
If you’re going to be at the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co. Laois this weekend, be sure to come over to the BirdWatch Ireland marquee to say hi. We’ll be in the Global Green area of the festival, and we’ll be running all sorts of bird-themed activities, answering festival-goers’ questions about wildlife and doing what we can to promote the importance of biodiversity conservation. If you’re not going to be there in person, you can still share in all the fun via the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page and by following BirdWatch Ireland on Twitter.
Good Bird Watching,
Oran O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
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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