Sir, - I thought your readers might be interested to know that, in the bird world at least, spring has truly arrived. Already sand martins have been widely reported, with the first bird seen flying over Arklow, Co. Wicklow as early as March 9th. The same day saw the first wheatear of the spring, seen on Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford.

By the St Patrick's Day weekend, migrants continued to arrive to our shores, obviously helped by the mild, southerly winds. Sandwich terns were seen as far west as Galway, while chiffchaffs, small migrant warblers, were in full song all along the East Coast. While the first swallow has yet to be reported, unusual vagrants have already been seen, including an avocet in Wexford and a little ringed plover in Cork.

The Birds of Ireland News Service (BINS) tracks and reports the arrival of migrants and rare vagrants into Ireland throughout the year. BINS operates an information line (1550-111-700) through which the arrival of migrants is reported on a daily basis. - Yours, etc.,

Claremont Court,

Glasnevin, Dublin 11.