Saturday, 28 August 2010

Bad News.

Sounds a bit depressing and is, but birding, birdwatching, twitching, life listing, ringing - I'm just a birder with a passion and the only 'list' I have is the one I return home with every birding day - call your interest what you like, isn't all good and enjoyable, now and again we have to address the negatives some of which are devastating, a couple have come to my notice recently being the Zino's Petrel, and closer to home the Greenfinch.

Roosters. Brian Rafferty.

Definitely no pics of the Zino's Petrel nor Greenfinch for that matter, but do have these of Knot, Sanderling, and Dunlin roosting on the beaches at Southport....Thanks Brian.


Well if you already took a look at yesterdays brief post and clicked the link then I'm about to briefly become a bore, if you didn't then here is a quick run down on the subject of the forest fire on the island of Madeira which has killed several adults and a massive 65% of the already endangered Zino's Petrel chicks which - if successful - would have added to the numbers of Europe's rarest seabird and one of the rarest birds in the world. Once on the edge of extinction but through intensive conservation action of the past 20 years the population of this species has risen to almost 80 pairs....and how close does that still sound to extinction.

Efforts are now focused on helping the remaining 13 fledglings from this devastating fire to survive and keep to a minimum further risk of soil erosion on the breeding ledges. There is confirmation that these thirteen young are still being fed by parent birds and that they appear to be in a healthy condition.

Please take a look at a more detailed account of this tragedy in my post 'Forest Fire' yesterday. If we so wish we can all help with a donation towards carrying out urgent conservation work before the winter sets in HERE 


I've noticed the mention of the problems facing the Greenfinch a couple of times recently and my own records show for some considerable time now that sightings of this finch are few and far between and - void of a search through my records - counts reaching a double figure have been non existent for a long time.

Since its emergence in 2005 outbreaks of the disease have continued to occur every year. The cause of the disease trichomonas gallinae is a protozoan parasite - not a virus - and has been the cause of falling numbers in the Greenfinch - and other British finches - populations with most birds affected dying in the summer and autumn months, it is well known as a cause of disease in Pigeons and Doves, and as a consequence the birds of prey which feed on them. The spread is caused by the saliva of an infected individual coming into contact with a non-infected bird especially in the situation were birds are feeding one another with regurgitated food during the breeding season.

The Greenfinch is a bird often associated with garden feeders and I'm asking myself....are my bird feeding habits clean and healthy! 


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