Friday, December 18, 2009

Wintering birds.

A "round" of local areas showed a nice mixed flock of Lapwings and Golden Plover in a couple of fields they seem to favour each winter. Their arrival always seems quite late into the autumn with the Lapwings possibly being local breeders anyway. Over the past couple of days there has been a noticeable increase in Starling flocks. Given the advancing bad weather from the east , and conditions "tightening" in many places on the Continent, these may well be birds which have been displaced westwards and, indeed, birds which might well move on further into Ireland. Hunting Hen Harriers seem to be met with at all times of the day at present, which is a reflection on the short period of daylight available and the paucity in usual prey numbers in many areas.

My post the other day relating to the poisoning of vultures in SE Asia has taken a quite remarkable coincidental twist. Watching television last evening an advert flashed on the sreen for what I believe is a product called Valorum ( designed to relieve painfiul joints I believe). I didn't catch the full details due to concentrating on a line at the bottom which stated " Contains Diclofenac. Read the details on the label", or something similar. Interesting , as it must have passed all the due tests for use on humans! Presumably the dosages are so small, any build up of residues in body fat is likely to take several lifetimes of usage before becoming toxic. Conversely it would be logical to assume the products being used on cattle are of a higher concentration and probably a very different trade name anyway! Absorbing stuff you might say.

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