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The last time you saw a Greenfinch

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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 07:30   #1
Euan Buchan
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The last time you saw a Greenfinch

When was the last time you saw a Greenfinch? I saw one yesterday for the first time in ages it made my Garden Birding yesterday was great to see it.
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 08:01   #2
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i have a couple of quite frequent visitors. they are not coming down to feeder but did come to left over brambles and haws i think end of last year. since then they stay in 3 to 4m height of overgrown hedges nearby. well enough identified through binos. seen most days.
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 08:07   #3
Mike C
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This morning, about 5 minutes ago, on my feeders.
They are regular in my Stockport garden
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 08:13   #4
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They've declined by a huge amount following an increase in the late 90's/early 00's. Some info here https://www.bto.org/science/populati...-trichomonosis and here https://www.bto.org/birdtrends2010/wcrgrefi.shtml
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 08:42   #5
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Up to 8 every day from my house.
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 09:07   #6
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an isolated Greenfinch hung around the hearts for a day last week then not seen since . thats the first I've seen in a couple of years too. We used to have 2x pairs as regular daily visitors .
I also saw a solitary Siskin last week and again a rare visitor this past two years whereas we used to have half a dozen daily only 2-3 years ago.

Long Tailed Tits down to about 8 where there used to be up to 20 on our feeders 4 years ago! same with the Goldfinch too.

We once had up to 15 collared Doves on the lawn and now there is only one family of 3 this year ?

What is happening to our bird population ? its very worrying
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Old Sunday 4th March 2018, 09:14   #7
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Now outside the lounge widow, four of them
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 00:17   #8
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I have had 22 sightings this year per ebird and song heard in three different places on my patch today. I believe that they have bounced back a little this year. The attached bird was wheezing away!

Edit - just checked. 8 sightings in the same period last year.

All the best

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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 00:19   #9
Euan Buchan
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Saw another one today which was amazing
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 05:27   #10
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Haven't seen any in the garden for a few months but have seen a few most times when I've been out birding (both days at weekend, up to 6) but certainly much fewer numbers than a couple of years back.
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 11:33   #11
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Bouncing over the School grounds in display this morning.
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 12:08   #12
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I heard one singing in the town here during the summer of 2016. Nothing since, even in the wider countryside.

Very sad.
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 18:17   #13
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140 ringed over sessions at a heathland site surrounded by trees near Poole in November and December 2017.

I haven't got the winter 2018 records to hand but we have ringed about 100 in January and February.

A few local movements have been recorded.

Not as common as thy once were but still seen or heard most times I'm in suitable habitat, especially as they are now singing.

Ian
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 19:35   #14
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17 May 2017. Picture here. (Excuse the self-publicity!). As explained, they were around daily during the 1980s. Can't date when the decline started, but I went decades without seeing one at home (S London). People in other areas seem to get them quite a lot now, but if one turns up this year I'll be well pleased.
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 19:56   #15
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Any Trichomonosis in the |UK last year?

https://www.bto.org/volunteer-survey.../trichomonosis

We had a bad outbreak at our feeders in Russia last year with Greenfinches and Siskins, dropping like flies. In the end, we stopped feeding, to prevent the spread and disinfected all our feeders.


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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 20:10   #16
ClarkWGriswold
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Haven't had any in the garden for several months.

Rich
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Old Monday 5th March 2018, 20:34   #17
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I've had more in the garden this winter than for several years. Getting up to 8 most days with a high of 11 once. Haven't seen any looking sick yet.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 00:26   #18
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Same pattern in our garden in France - the best Greenfinch winter in a while - with around 20 birds daily and no sign of any sick ones. We've been in the UK since the New Year and only had a couple of birds calling in flight since we've been here.

I'd be interested to know where and when the first Trichomonosis in Greenfinch was detected historically - could the disease have jumped species through close proximity at bird feeders / bird baths?

Following the link in Andy's post it seems that it first appeared in late summer in 2005 and 2006 - not sure if this supports the idea that garden feeders could be the source or not?

Last edited by Torchepot : Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 00:57.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 00:56   #19
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A very detailed study here

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../367/1604/2852

From which "The index case of finch trichomonosis occurred in a chaffinch in Ayrshire, Scotland, April 2005"

Does this mean that the disease in finches originated in the UK - or are there European records which appear earlier?

Answering my own questions again - from the same study:-

"We have recently documented the apparent spread of finch trichomonosis from Great Britain to continental Europe [15], which also indicates that the initial emergence of the disease occurred on the British mainland."

Last edited by Torchepot : Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 01:16.
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Old Tuesday 6th March 2018, 21:39   #20
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The downturn in Greenfinches must have by-passed Tunisia.
Before it went belly-up and tourism took a nosedive there, I saw huge numbers of Greenfinch in Mahdia, and on our trips out to Monastir and other places. They were one of the most common birds around the parks, gardens and rural areas[ they were more brightly coloured too- probably bleached by the sun]

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 18:44   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchepot View Post
A very detailed study here

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../367/1604/2852

From which "The index case of finch trichomonosis occurred in a chaffinch in Ayrshire, Scotland, April 2005"

Does this mean that the disease in finches originated in the UK - or are there European records which appear earlier?

Answering my own questions again - from the same study:-

"We have recently documented the apparent spread of finch trichomonosis from Great Britain to continental Europe [15], which also indicates that the initial emergence of the disease occurred on the British mainland."
Interesting that they make this statement and yet I posted here and to the BTO, for info as to where I may report our Russian outbreak. No one seemed to know but someone must be collating records?



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Old Wednesday 7th March 2018, 21:48   #22
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If it's true that the disease jumped species in the UK it's perhaps reasonable to speculate that our national bird feeding culture (obsession?) may have brought Greenfinches and pigeon species together in close proximity and over large parts of the country to unprecedented levels, given that hygiene at bird feeding sites will vary it seems likely that this was the route of the cross-species infection.

It's impossible to know but I wondered whether the huge increase in numbers of Woodpigeon visiting gardens might have been a factor? When I was a kid we had plenty of Greenfinches and feral pigeons at our bird table but I never saw Woodpigeons in anybody's garden until much more recently. In my family's gardens in Bristol, London and Nottinghamshire they appear to have largely displaced feral pigeons - I actually struggled to find suburban feral pigeons in a couple of areas in Bristol where they used to occur (rather worryingly in both the gardens in Bristol where my family have been feeding birds for decades Greenfinches are no longer visitors).

Following this train of thought I came across this report

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...intering_roost

If Trichomoniasis was already widespread in Woodpigeons would such a high mortality be expected? Is it possible that the European population of Woodpigeon was subject to an epidemic which was then brought to the UK and transferred to Greenfinches?

There's a loose correlation in the timeline - 2001 for the Woodpigeon outbreak and 2005 for the first confirmed infected Greenfinches (there were suspected cases in the couple of years before).

Last edited by Torchepot : Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 22:33.
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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 12:42   #23
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On the BBC today

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43349781

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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 18:49   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Great that the subject is aired to the general public. The full report is interesting and well worth a read. http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../1745/20170091
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Old Tuesday 13th March 2018, 12:49   #25
andyadcock
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Great that the subject is aired to the general public. The full report is interesting and well worth a read. http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../1745/20170091
I've approached the BTO yet again, to ask where I should report our outbreak, still no answer?

You would like to think that as this problem has clearly spread wide and far, that there would be a reporting mechanism in place or at least, someone would be collating reports of outbreaks?


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