Covid has dominated the news so much lately that many people might not realise we are also in the midst of a bird flu alert – I’m sure it has not been reported anywhere near as widely as it probably would have been in “normal” times. The whole of England has been declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), and from last Monday (14th December) anyone who keeps birds (no matter how few) has had to take a range of measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including preventing their flock’s contact with wild birds. (More details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.)
It’s not only bird owners who are affected, though – if any member of the public comes across a dead, or “visibly sick”, wild bird anywhere, they should not touch it, but should report it to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577. Defra collect and test some of the reported birds to help them track how the disease is spreading. Briantspuddle’s super-observant wildlife watchers are probably more likely than most people to spot any casualties there might be – but let’s hope they don’t come across any!
Our usually free-ranging chickens are now experiencing their very own taste of lockdown – and very grumpy about it they are.
Red Kite over the water meadows – photo by Campbell de Burgh
The list below has been produced by several people with a keen interest in bird life within the parish for the benefit of anyone who would like to know what the range of species is in the surrounding area.
Please feel free to download a copy and if you see anything that is not on the list and should be from an actual sighting use the Contact form and we will pass the message on.