Latest News "Swan Notes" News items written by Trust members and volunteers and usually appearing in the “Berwick Advertiser" newspaper each  week. Unfortunately, sister newspaper the “Berwickshire News” are no longer following suit. For those unable to read these items, and  those living outside the Berwick area, here are the last few editions.. 18th October 2018 Elfie spoke last week of the work Jim and Peter had been doing in the recovery room. I am going to enlarge on this.  Kay has been away on holiday for a couple of weeks, so we decided it would be a nice surprise for her if the refurbishing of the recovery  room could be done whilst she was away. We were very kindly donated a practically new set of lovely white kitchen cupboards with  worktops, also including sink and taps. We used some of the cupboards in the big room when that was done but the rest had been stored in our garage at home for nearly a year. Although we had quite a few hedgehogs in the room as it was not yet too cold they could be  moved to the big room whilst the work was done. The first week Kay was away the cupboards were installed as well as the sink. The second week everything was cleared out of the room so that the floor could be painted. It was a bit of a rush  the last Friday to make sure everything was tidy. Kay was due in on Sunday so we all went in on Saturday to check on the Wood Pigeons that needed hand feeding were all OK and everything  was ship-shape. I went along to the pet shop and bumped into Kay who said she was going to  pop in. So not only had we taken in three Cygnets in her absence one very small, one with a  swollen neck after having a hook removed, and one with a broken wing which now has  scaffolding holding the fractured bone together, we had also taken in a variety of birds and  hedgehogs, and managed to refurbish the recovery room. Here I must thank all the volunteers  who managed to keep the animals and birds all clean despite the fact that they never knew  where anything was going to be from one day to the next. We are very grateful to the person who donated the money to buy a few new hedgehog cages  for the finishing touch to the recovery room, as tiny hedgehogs that will have to stay during the  winter are already here. We have twenty at the moment. Our petrol pressure washer broke down several years ago and we decided that although the small electric pressure washers were good  for every day cleaning, we needed something more powerful than Jackie with a brush for the big pond. The new washer was used for the  first time this week and it cleaned the big pond beautifully although it is hard on the arms to use. It only needs a good clean like this  every couple of months so it is not too bad. The Swan and Cygnets all enjoyed the clean water. I would like to add one more word about the new Wildlife Charity Shop that has just opened in the town. People are asking if it is our  shop. I can answer that here. It is nothing whatever to do with us, they are based in Durham. We rely entirely on the generosity of local  people, their donations and support are essential to us. Pat Goff 11th October 2018 Isn’t it funny how once you slip into a habit, it can be quite difficult to adapt to changing conditions. Over a couple of years of being  ‘Team Wednesday’ wildlife cleaning/feeding volunteers, Una and I have developed a finely-tuned, smooth-running system to get us  seamlessly through to coffee and biscuits by about noon. We start the day by collecting the swans’ empty food buckets, wash them and  prepare that day’s meal of bread, mixed grain, mealworms and powder supplement with a side dish of lettuce. Once all the outdoor  animals are fed and watered, we move into the recovery room to attend to the hedgehogs that need extra warmth and comfort to get  over any illness or injury and build their strength.   All that has been turned on its head in the last couple of weeks because the recovery room is being refurbished. In order that Jim and  Peter could get a prompt start on the DIY, we needed to rethink our well-rehearsed routine. Jim has carried out much of the construction work of aviaries and hutches at the trust  (assisted by Peter), including last year’s Claw and Talon room which houses larger cages for  animals such as badgers and buzzards, and this year’s Longridge Towers indoor aviary, built  with funds raised by the local school. And when he’s all done with the big projects, there’s a  whole whiteboard full of little tasks like ‘Hinge on Prickle Grove hutch broken’ and ‘Hot tap  wobbly’. Jim is also good to his fellow volunteers; he brings in surplus courgettes, cucumbers  and tomatoes from his garden, and the odd delicious cake to have with our coffee at  lunchtime.   So to speed things up, instead of weighing, recording, cleaning and feeding each hog  individually, Una, Jackie, Pat and I got a bit of a ‘production line’ going. They gathered all the  food bowls and brought them through for me to wash and fill, then I took them back and  lined them up on the counter ready for putting in cages. It started feeling a bit like a fast food  restaurant, with Una shouting “Three normals and one special to eat in, hold the mealworms”  and me replying “Coming right up”.  Goodness knows what the hedgehogs thought of all the drilling, sawing, hammering and probably a few strong expletives thrown in. Most of them seemed to stay snug under their towel bedding, secure in the knowledge that their humans would spruce up the cage and  provide a tasty meal as they do every day.  The upheaval will have been worth it though, not least for the humans; we now have a really nice stainless steel sink unit for washing  up, a good stretch of worktop to prepare bowls of food and lots of cupboard space to store things away tidily. I have yet to see the  finished room but I’m told it looks great. And who knows, it may mean we get to that lunchtime mug of coffee and slice of cake even  more quickly.  Elfrieda Waren 4th October 2018 October is normally much quieter month for wildlife casualties being admitted to the David Rollo Centre. Some of our orphans are  independent  and ready to fend for themselves. Adult hedgehogs that came in during the hot weather in a dehydrated state have  recovered and put on sufficient weight to be released in the area they were found before the cold weather comes in and they need to  hibernate. We have at least 15 that will have to stay with us, so do think about sponsoring one of them. We have had two Cygnets come in during the week. One via the R.S.P.C.A. was a very small  2.5. kilo bird that had been lost and left by itself. The two cygnets we have in already did not  want to share their pond but they have settled down a bit now. The newcomer is only half  the size of the ones that have been with us for several months but he is used to fending for  himself and Harry the pink feather swan keeps looking out for him swimming between him  and the bigger two. Since the storm a couple of weeks ago blew down the fence between the big and small pond pens these birds have the run of them both so have room to keep apart  from one another. The other much larger cygnet came in after being attacked by geese which resulted in a  broken wing. The Vet has given the cygnet a stainless steel scaffolding to hold the break in  place and he has to be kept in an under cover pen so that he does not get wet, which must  frustrate him when he hears the others splashing about bathing. September was the month for Wood Pigeons. We have four young ones needing hand feeding so its a job for mornings and evenings filling their crops. Wood Pigeon parents are not expert  at building nests like other birds. I have seen a Sparrows nest in our hedge the size of a  football tightly woven and decorated on the outside with bits of foil, bailer twine and feathers  with a nice round hole just big enough for the entrance.  It was a beautiful thing and made  by such small birds. Wood Pigeons seem to think that two crossed twigs and some bits of  straw will do, so often the babies fall out. We also took in a Gannet from Eyemouth, a young bird who was exhausted. We usually get several in at this time of year. He has had a  good rest and some nice fat sardines and will be released in the middle of the week. Our three ducks that came in as tiny day olds are now able to fly and as they came in together have remained very wild. It took Dick and  Jackie ages to catch them, but the photo taken by Jackie shows them in their travelling box before they were released near Chain Bridge.  This is a good spot for ducks with plenty of cover and feeding opportunities.  We also released two more of our young Tawny Owls just leaving one who is a very slow learner. He is improving but he is taking his  time.  Pat Goff