BirdWatch Ireland – eWings #76


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Check out BirdWatch Ireland’s eWings newsletter for January, 2016.  Issue #76 includes important information on proposed changes to the timing of hedge cutting and burning, as well as announcements for upcoming citizen science events.  For example . . .

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.

 

FINALLY…
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 rcoombes@birdwatchireland.ie 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

 

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