Having spent the past two weeks in Scotland and having seen plenty of dead Gannets around the shores of Shetland, but no live birds showing signs of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, you can imagine the surprise in finding a Gannet with HPAI on my inland patch in Lincolnshire!
At one point the Gannet was approached by an angry Mute Swan (pictured), the seabird still was alert enough to give the Swan a nasty nip. Perhaps the start of a spread of this deadly disease on my patch? We hope not but seeing what it has done on the coast has been genuinely heart wrenching.
Nevertheless, despite the bitter sweetness of this bird; it is stunning a new species for the reserve and certainly livened up my Wednesday evening!