Bird migration has fascinated people for generations, and we are learning more about it all the time. Lots of different migratory birds visit Ireland: some come just for the summer, others come just for the winter, and some only stop off here when passing through to other places.
If you want to know more, why not visit BirdWatch Ireland's special Migration website.
National Dawn Chorus Day - Sunday 17th May 2008
Nothing heralds the arrival of summer like the dawn chorus. National Dawn Chorus Day is traditionally the day when wildlife enthusiasts the length and breadth of Ireland set their alarm clocks a little earlier than usual and go out to enjoy a morning of beautiful birdsong. This year BirdWatch Ireland branches all over the country will be holding guided dawn chorus events on and around the 17th May. They are always very popular and are ideal for beginners, so why not come along this year and hear the birds for yourself? All the events are free: for details, see your local press, call 01-2819878 or visit www.birdwatchireland.ie.
Scientists tell us that if we look at Europe from outer space we will see a green wave moving up across it in Springtime. This is caused by the opening of the buds on the trees and hedges. It begins in the south of Europe in February and it moves up across Europe as temperatures rise. It moves at the same speed as we might walk - four miles per hour, or one hundred miles a week (we'd only be walking in daylight). According to this, Spring would take 3 weeks to walk across Ireland from Mizen Head to Malin Head.
However, it is much colder in the centre of Ireland than it is along the coast. The sea keeps the coast warmer than it is in counties in the centre of Ireland. So, maybe in Ireland, Spring moves inland from the coast. This mass experiment sets out to see what happens. Does spring move from south to north across Ireland or inland from the coast to the centre? At what speed does it move and when exactly does it happen.
To take part log onto www.greenwave.ie and register your sightings of the bud bursts of the horse chestnut, hawthorn and ash trees and the primrose and swallow, all of which are indicators of the arrival of Spring.