......and, as I have no pics of this species an excellent image of two Spotted Redshanks on the Eric Morecambe complex at Leighton Moss......Thanks Ian.
A friend who lives on the outskirt of Lancaster was on the phone to me recently and went on to tell me of the disappearance of the Greenfinch from around his house, he went on to say he once counted them coming in to roost as they did every evening, apparently taking full advantage of the many Leylandii both in his own garden and surrounding neighbours too. I briefly explained the decrease in numbers of some 'finch's' in particular the Greenfinch and House Sparrow which has been ascribed to a disease known as Trichomonad.
The disease was formerly known from Pigeons and Doves but since the summer of 2005 this parasite has been reported in 'finch' species in gardens and every year outbreaks are seen in late summer and autumn. The poor victims of this parasite eventually die of starvation due to the fact that the upper digestive tract of the bird is progressively blocked by this parasite which lives there and renders the bird unable to swallow thus its death is brought about through starvation.
This parasite cannot live for long periods outside the host and is vulnerable to 'drying out', the transmission of the disease takes place during the breeding season when birds are feeding one another with regurgitated food, other methods of transmission include drinking water which has been contaminated by saliva or bird droppings.
But I posed another question to to my friend in his conversation with me on the telephone......has the disappearance of what was 50+ Greenfinches coming in daily to roost in and around his and his neighbours gardens been down to the fact that most of the Leylandii have been taken out since last winter and has this been the factor to take into account in this particular area, or does the demise of the Greenfinch at this particular location remain firmly at the hands of the Trichomonad parasite.
Spotted Redshanks courtesy of Ian Tallon.