Thursday 17 November 2011: Clean The Feeders Day - #steppingup
The sun has finally come back out again, after days of gloom!
I decided to take advantage this morning, and give the feeding station a good clean up.
I have been seeing the odd case of Trichomonosis in the greenfinches lately. Never a welcome sight. It's a particularly nasty parasite that lives in the crop of the bird stopping them feeding. All this damp warm weather can't be helping, as that the parasite can survive longer outside of the host in these conditions.
Keep an eye out for lethargic puffed up birds, struggling to feed. They may be wet around the bill area. The birds most likely to be effected are: Woodpigeons and Greenfiches, although I have seen one Chaffinch and one Goldfinch showing signs of the disease today!
The RSPB advice is to stop feeding, and clean your feeding stations with a disinfectant. This is what I have done today. There are disinfectants available from pet stores, such as Ark-Klenz, to be honest, I suspect good old fashioned Dettol does just as good a job!
The BTO's advice is similar, but it does make the point, that by stopping their food supply, you may be forcing them to go to the contaminated source elsewhere. The BTO have this help sheet on their website.
I hate seeing the poor mites struggle this time of year. We had an outbreak here last year. I suspect they are picking it up from the farm at the top of the hill behind the house. There are plenty of water troughs etc that they use. Both my neighbours seem to keep pretty clean feeding stations.
I sat out in the "hide" for an hour for the first time in ages. I got some lovely shots of various birds visiting the feeders, only to discover I had left the camera on ISO 1600 from the other night, so they were all grainy. Never mind, gives me an excuse to get a bit arty and try and get my Blip Mojo back!
I quite like how this Dunnock picture came out in the end. Low saturation and a bit of vignetting!
Now if it is a nice weekend, get out there, take those feeders down and give them a scrub. Empty you water baths, and fill them with some clean water.
Do your bit and step up for your garden birds!