I replied to Nial (and others cc’d to), adding:

Hi Nial: Thanks again for another strong email. Couple of points: In Hong Kong (sub-tropical), one or two Grey Herons found dead with H5N1. One was around mid-winter as I recall – not a time when herons migrating into HK. So, surely hadn’t flown far to HK with the virus (as surely wouldn’t harbour virus for weeks, then suddenly sicken and die). My guess – it scavenged a chicken tossed out by farmer, maybe in HK, quite possibly just across the border. (Remember, there’s secrecy re h5n1 in mainland.) A few other wild birds found with h5n1 in HK – inc little egret, black-headed gull. None fitting them migrating to HK bringing the virus (eg egrets mostly resident, the gull during mid-winter).

All had one thing in common: all dead. And, no sign of infection spreading – even though occurrences at same time as tens of thousands of waterbirds wintering in HK. [As in Thailand, where infection among storks didn’t spread, seems it’s not so easy for infected birds to spread h5n1 even locally, let alone over distance.] I’m not at all sure ducks from se China would migrate to Qinghai; think they’d instead head north, to ne China and east Russia. Henry Niman is suggesting the Qinghai infection came from birds wintering in India – even tho no h5n1 reported in India, and no indications of wild bird deaths there or elsewhere on migration routes to Qinghai. For Aleina Tweed and Eleni Galanis: I’ve done pages on bird flu that may interest you: Debunking wild birds as vectors for 2003/2004: http://www.drmartinwilliams.com/birdflu/birdfluintro.html Info and links: http://www.drmartinwilliams.com/birdflu/birdfluinfo.html Also started a forum re wild birds and bird flu (posts welcome):

I’m attaching a map I did for 2003/2004 outbreaks, when superficial look suggested they lay along migration routes; look at timings of outbreaks and bird movements, and species involved, and becomes clear wild birds weren’t involved. [here, too, outbreaks going "backwards" along migration routes. As Nial indicates, birds pretty much stay put [especially if flightless!!!] or move south after around end of June; unlike bird flu reports.] It would also be interesting to see maps of highways and poultry farms, and how these fit with outbreaks! Best regards, Martin