Read more about bird flu (avian influenza)
Since I last updated this blog on 31st December we have received information about two more confirmed cases of H5N8 on RSPB reserves: a wigeon on the Exe Estuary in Devon, and a teal at Conwy in north Wales. Both birds were found dead on the reserves and were immediately reported to the Defra helpline by RSPB staff.
As mentioned in my last update this is not unexpected as the virus is probably circulating in wild birds throughout the UK. The risk to humans remains low and we have not closed the affected sites, but reserves staff at these sites and across our whole reserves network are increasing biosecurity as needed in order to minimise virus spread, and remaining vigilant for dead or sick birds.
If you see a dead bird please avoid physical contact. The Defra hotline (03459 33 55 77) are currently requesting reports of any dead ducks, geese, swans, gulls, or birds of prey. For all other species, please only report if five or more are found in the same place. If in Northern Ireland please report sightings to DAERA on 0300 200 7840.
Here is the latest government document on the H5N8 situation:-
It seems there have now been confirmed cases in wild birds at 10 sites in the UK involving mute swan, wigeon, greylag geese, white fronted geese, Canada geese, pochard, mallard,cormorant, black headed gull and teal.