Save Europe’s Vultures from Poisoning with Veterinary Diclofenac

From Mark Avery’s blog we encourage you to read the below and sign the petition. 09/01/guest-blog- international-vulture- awareness-day-ian-parsons/

Dear Swift Friends, You may be aware of the sad yet ridiculous tale of the European Commission and the veterinary use of a drug, the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac. This drug is in common use throughout the world to treat such conditions as joint inflammation, it can thus extend the useful lives of dairy cattle. However, once it came into widespread use in India the vulture population there was wiped out, by some accounts 99% of all India’s vultures died. Diclofenac residues in dead cattle affect Vultures’ kidneys, and kill them within a few days.

Incredibly, years after the entire environmental and veterinary professions knew the risk, the European Commission licensed the same drug for veterinary use in Europe, while apparently at the same time funding the feeding of Vultures with farm animal carcases in Spain to support Vulture populations there. Quite how such an insane state of affairs came about, when there are equally cheap and effective alternatives to Diclofenac available, is an interesting problem to ponder over as the nights draw in and the world becomes ever darker.

Now ‘s the time to try and reverse this madness; we need vultures as Nature’s non-polluting hygienic waste disposal system, we need them even more maybe to study their amazing immune systems to help us survive new and existing diseases, we need them as magnificent inspiring visions in the sky, and we need them to name castles after in Game of Thrones!

Please follow the link and sign the petition!

Best wishes, Edward – Keeping the Skies Alive

Seawatching – Summer 2017

Seawatching – Summer 2017

This summer in Cornwall has been notable for a number of interesting seabird occurrences. Dave Flumm takes a look at some of the factors at play and possible reasons behind these extraordinary occurrences, with an emphasis on two species in particular, the enigmatic and rarely encountered Great Shearwater and Wilson’s Petrel which we have witnessed in the the South West recently …

In his article in The New York Times, July 14th 2017, entitled ‘A mystery of seabirds blown off course and starving’, Joe Trezza describes the mass stranding of “hundreds” of Great Shearwaters washed ashore during June, all “emaciated” and in very poor condition. This mass mortality event which occurred along the stretch of coast from New Your City south to Cape May was described as “extraordinary for the region” and those collecting the dead and dying birds concluded they had starved. It was thought that a lack of food in the Caribbean was the main cause rather than the waters adjacent to the beaches around New York. There had been no strong winds associated with their arrival so it seemed logical to assume the problem of food shortage lay further south …

Read the Full Article >Here<

Monday 4th September 2017

Next Penzance pelagic departs 4pm Wednesday 6th September £25. To book call Mermaid office on 07901 731201.

Marazion: juv Baird’s Sandpiper by Red River mouth for most, if not, all day, with 1 juv Curlew Sandpiper, ‘many’ Dunlin, Sanderling. (R Butts, R Farnes, R Veal) Also 1 Knot. (R Veal) Plus 45 Sanderling, 32 Dunlin, 57 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, 1 Common Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern. (B Bosisto, P Roseveare) Also, 7 Whimbrel flew in to the island (J Chapman)

Baird’s Sandpiper, Jon Irvine.

Baird’s Sandpiper, Jon Irvine.

Juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper, Tony Mills

Dunlin, Tony Mills.

Adult Dunlin, Tony Mills.

Juvenile Sanderling, Tony Mills.

Juvenile Ringed Plover, Tony Mills.

Polgigga: 1 Cattle Egret along Bosistow Lane in stubble field past cottages. (M Wallace)

Porthgwarra: presumed same Cattle Egret later with cows at Trevean, Porthgwarra. (M Wallace) Seawatching, (07:00-12:00): juvenile Sabine’s Gull flew past east, also 65 Sooty Shearwater, 10 Balearic Shearwater, 5 European Storm Petrel and juvenile Black Tern west.

Pendeen: 2 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater and 2 Arctic Skua from Carn Ros just west of Pendeen lighthouse. (S.Jones)

Downderry: Little Tern, Sabine’s Gull, Arctic Skua and Great Skua noted offshore this morning before 8.30. (A Payne)

Walmsley Sanctuary: 9 Cattle Egret on 1st island in front of hide. Marsh Harrier put up gulls over Amble Marsh. Also 40+ Black-tailed Godwit. 13:00 hrs (M Lammas) Also 5 Greenshank, 1 Redshank, 2 Green Sandpiper,1 Ruff. (A Langdon)

9 Cattle Egrets (7 ad + 2 juv), Adrian Langdon.

Lizard village: 1 Melodious Warbler in private garden without public access (same as previous) at 14:30 (T Clark)

Gorrangorras, Penryn River: 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 6+ Curlew, 30+ Redshank, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Egret. (D Chaney)

Falmouth, Pendennis Point: 1 Whimbrel, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Grey Squirrel (on the rocks being monitored by the pipit). (D Chaney)

St Gothian Sands LNR: 3 Teal, 4 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Wheatear. (MJ Spicer)

Devoran: Osprey perching opposite Point Quay at 15:00, then flew off upriver. (R Smith) Also 1 Spotted Redshank in high tide wader roost (L Langley)

Kenidjack Valley: 8 Chough, 1 Sparrowhawk this afternoon. (R Butts) 1 Wryneck in donkey paddock at 14:30 (J Swann)

Porthkidney: 3 Arctic Tern, 30+ Common Tern, 4 Sandwich Tern. (R Veal)  25 Common Tern, 6 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Skua. (B Bosisto, P Roseveare)

Trevose Head: 70 Kittiwake, 7 juv Med Gull, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone, 4 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Great Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, 1 Blackcap, 1 Ocean Sunfish. (B Bosisto, P Roseveare)

Hayle Estuary RSPB Reserve: 6 Greenshank, 27 Redshank, 2 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 1 Greylag, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Sandwich Tern. (B Bosisto, P Roseveare)

Fowey to Mevagissey and back, kayak trip: 15 Common Tern, 1 Black Tern plus 4 Harbour Porpoise, 2 Common Dolphin. (R Kirkwood)

Black Tern, Rupert Kirkwood.

Common Tern, Rupert Kirkwood.

Juvenile Common Tern, Rupert Kirkwood.

Levant, 5.30-6.50pm: 1 Cory’s Shearwater, 41 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Arctic Skua. (M Scott-Ham)

djc + tdm