Killing them with kindness

Shortly after moving house, just over a year ago, we set up a range of feeders and waited with anticipation for the first birds to arrive. Months passed and as we neared the point of giving up a pair of Greenfinch turned up at the sunflower seed. Over the next few months numbers built and the finches were joined by over 20 Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Siskin and Goldfinch.

In July we noticed the first sign that things weren’t right when one or two Greenfinches stayed around the feeders when we went out to refill. The worst fears were confirmed when it became clear that the Greenfinches showed the signs of the dreaded avian pox. We took the feeders down and sought more advice. Here are some things you can do should you notice diseased birds.

Report the information to the RSPB http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/health/sickbirds/avianpox.aspx

  1. Regularly disinfect feeders
  2. Clean bird baths daily
  3. Move the location of your feeders and bird table

After a month without feeders we started putting food out again two months ago and we now have more – healthy – birds than ever.

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A strange addiction

For the past year or so I have been wondering why I keep photographing Red Grouse. I was looking into my key-wording and I must have nearly 2000 images of these smashing, but somewhat in my opinion comical, birds and so to the  other day when the light was bringing out the reds, pinks and oranges on the moor, I thought to myself I know I will go and check out some new habitat that looks good fro Grouse. It was then that I questioned myself and thought “why surely its time for something else”.

It wasn’t and off I went to get some more Red Grouse shots. What can I say? Maybe I just wanted my regular fix of quizzical grouse behaviour. Either way I took some shots and returned home happy. Sometimes its just that simple.