Thursday, 23 January 2014

First Ffynnon Gro ringing session 2014

For once there was some calmer weather today which I took advantage of, for a couple of hours in the garden. A few days previous I noticed a marked increase in the number of Siskins after they disappeared a few months back. Also there has been an increased number of Goldfinchs feeding on Nijer seed and plenty of Chaffinchs, Tits, House Sparrows Dunnock and the odd Woodpecker as well. Strangely enough now the Blackbirds have consumed all the fallen apples from my trees they seem to have disappeared.

First round there were plenty of tits and a very nice male Siskin which was an adult bird.

 Subsequent rounds produced 4 female Siskins.

This Chaffinch was a little difficult to remove from the net because it was badly wrapped around the Viral papillomas on its right leg which is one of the worst I have seen for some time. This bird was not ringed, just photographed and then released.

The research I have done on FPV is written below for information relative to this horrible disease. Hygiene is extremely important and after handling I thoroughly washed my hands and then applied anti-bacterial hand hygiene gel. Whilst out in the field I would advise taking this gel with you as a precaution.

Warts: (Viral papillomas)

Agent: The Fringilla papillomavirus (FPV)

Epidemiology: The epidemiology of the disease has not been studied.

Species susceptible: Chaffinches and, to a lesser extent, bramblings. In a large survey of birds captured for ringing in the Netherlands, papillomas were found on 330 (1.3%) of some 25,000 chaffinches examined and both sexes were affected. However, cases usually occur in clusters and quite high proportions may be affected in outbreaks.

Clinical signes: The disease causes warty outgrowths on the foot or to tarsometatarsus (the bare part of the leg). Usually only one limb is affected. The growths vary from small nodules to large irregular shaped and deeply-fissured masses which almost engulf the entire lower leg and foot and which can distort the toes. Affected birds usually seem in otherwise good health but some may show signs of lameness and hop mainly on the unaffected food and digits may be lost. The warts grow slowly and may progress over many months.

Pathology: The growths have a similar structure to warts in mammals and are due to excessive growth of the keratinised layers of the skin.

Impact on populations: It seems unlikely that this disease has an impact on population densities.

Risks to human and domestic species: None known.

Back on 26/10/2011 was the last time I caught and ringed a Redpoll in the depths of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. These were the days when I was a Trainee.

This beautiful adult male is the first Redpoll I have seen in my garden in the village of Llanfynydd since I moved here nearly 2 years ago. This bird brings my total number of species ringed in my garden to 22.

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