We're sure you are all aware that Avian Influenza, or 'Bird Flu', is currently a major problem, with high levels of sickness and mortality seen in many areas, including Essex.
If you find a dead or dying bird, avoid touching it directly if possible. If you have to move a dead bird please use protective gloves or a plastic bag and dispose of the bird by wrapping it and putting it in your general household waste, making sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Any dead waterfowl, seabirds, or birds of prey, as well as other wild birds if five or more are found, should be reported to Defra. You can contact them on 03459 33 55 77, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have visited any of the reserves or birding sites in Essex, it is recommended that you wash or anti-bac your hands before leaving.
Finally, for those of us who feed the birds in our gardens, it is always advisable to keep your feeders clean using a mild (1:20) disinfectant/water solution. Don't leave old food on the feeders, always change water daily, and wash your hands thoroughly when finished.
Hopefully by following these guidelines we can help in some way to prevent this terrible disease from spreading.