Thursday, August 19, 2010

18th August,2010.

Little of note here with virtually nothing on the move. Weather mixed but,equally, with some reasonable periods too.

The results from a scientific study released yesterday may throw a little light on why the Greenfinch population on Islay has virtually disappeared within the last two years. Since 2005 a newly emergent infectious disease has absolutely devastated Greenfinch populations in some parts of England and , to some extent, Chaffinches too. It's important to know that this is where the research took place which suggests it could be elsewhere.

It's called trichomonosis ( which I actually thought I'd heard of before! ) and apparently caused the Greenfinch population to reduce by 33% within a year. Most birds die in the summer and autumn months. Outbreaks of the disease continue to occur each year, which lends little hope for any resurgent recovery.

Given that our population has reduced so drastically this may have been the cause, particularly as I suspect some of our Islay population must move south in the winter. Last winter's severe weather probably caused birds to move widely and come into contact with other populations, different feeding stations and so on. Such concentrations of birds at feeders where disease can so easily be transferred begs diligence from all those associated with feeding birds in an attempt to limit effects.

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