Latest News We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren. Look on our Photos/Video Page. ******************************* "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.. 25th May 2017 Thursday, June 8 is a significant day in the calendar: it’s one year exactly since I started volunteering at the trust. Oh, and it’s also  General Election day, how could I forget that.   I’ve learned a lot over the last 12 months of what a tough world it is for wild animals,  the daily dangers they face, and their incredible capacity for survival given the right  treatment and care. I remember from first talking to Pat and Kay that I was amazed  when they told me a swan who had had a severely injured wing amputated could  recover to a point where he could be released onto the Tweed; he’d never fly again of  course but would manage quite well otherwise gliding up and down the river with his  fellow swans. Another swan that had suffered lead poisoning and did not look as if it  would pull through, gradually improved over the weeks and months and was finally  released along with a couple of others. Most impressive of all is the patience and  dedication of the volunteers, and the incredibly generous support from wellwishers  who make all this great work possible. The strength of this support was very much in evidence at Berwick United Reformed  Church in Spittal last Friday evening when local ornithologist Graham Bell gave an  entertaining and highly informative talk on owls and birds of prey. Graham had an  interesting collection of slides he’d taken himself from his trips all over the world,  showing both familiar local raptors and some extremely rare examples which he’d  been lucky enough to photograph. Thanks to my year of volunteering at the trust, I  recognised some of the birds Graham mentioned, such as the buzzard and the tawny  owl. But he also covered other species, from smaller birds like the hobby right up to the Golden Eagle with its eight foot wingspan. The  strangest experience of his life, he said, was finding a stunned kestrel in the road which he thought must have flown in from Sweden.  When he picked it up, he found it was clutching a Swedish coin in its talon. “I just wish I knew how that bird had carried a coin all that  way!” he said. With a break for refreshments where everyone had the chance to chat informally, and a raffle, the evening raised a total of £308 for the  trust, so thanks must go to Graham and to Mike for all his help with the organising. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Another trust event coming up soon is an Open Day on Saturday June 17. This is to celebrate the 25th. Anniversary of the Trust. There  will be the opportunity to meet Errol, the trust’s ‘mascot’ tawny owl, and a variety of other animal patients, including the 10 ducklings  which were rescued from the A1 recently when their mother was killed trying to take them across the road. Visitors will also be able to  see the new ‘quiet room’, constructed for larger animals such as badgers and buzzards who need to be kept away from the day-to-day  activity.   Elfrieda Waren 18th May 2017 It seemed like ‘all change’ at the trust when I went to the Rollo Centre to do my usual volunteering stint through the week; gone were  most of the overwintering hedgehogs, with just two or three left in the outdoor runs awaiting release and a similar number inside not  quite ready for ‘hardening off’ in the open air. Just arrived were babies of all shapes and sizes – ducklings, rabbits and an owlet – all  needing lots of attention as young animals do. The ten ducklings have now gone outside into an aviary after spending more than a  week in a large incubator in the recovery room, much to the relief of all the volunteers.  They might be very cute, but in that number and in such a relatively confined area  they’re also extremely messy, so they were having to be ‘mucked out’ at least twice a  day. My volunteering colleague Una had to do the honours when we were on duty  together last week, and it was to be my turn next week, but of course now they’ve  gone outdoors I won’t have to clean them. Shame that. The owlet with the damaged wing that came in around the same time as the ducklings  has had the wing pinned and is eating well, so he could be on the road to a full  recovery. There’s also a female red tawny owl that was hit by a car which is currently  being assessed. She’s not able to see at present, and this is often the case with birds  of prey when they suffer a severe head trauma, but the vet says the retinas appear to  be still attached, so more time is needed to see what progress she makes. But where have all the hedgehogs gone? Some get returned to the people who brought them in, to release as closely as possible to where they were found. Others get  released in gardens with open countryside nearby, so that they can gradually explore  and familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. I now have an ex-trust hog in  my garden which we’ve called Milligan (in tribute to a famous ‘Spike’) who seems to  have happily settled into the RSPB hedgehog box we provided for him. He’s even added his own little touches to it; in addition to the  straw I’d put inside his box, I noticed he’d scraped moss off the stones around the rockery and formed a sort of curtain for the doorway.  Milligan, we’ve learned, is a creature of habit; every evening he emerges about 9pm to dine, and once he’s polished off his meat and  mealworms, he’s off into the night to enjoy whatever hedgehogs do. Go get those slugs Milligan! One final reminder that Graham Bell’s talk on Birds of Prey and Owls takes place tomorrow evening (Friday May 19) at 7.30pm in Berwick  United Reform Church, Spittal. Admission on the door is £5 includes light refreshments, and all proceeds from the evening will go to the  trust. Elfrieda Waren 11th May 2017 Things at the Rollo Centre are beginning to hot up this week even if the weather is not agreeing with us. Although we only have seven hedgehogs left with us (at least three of these will be off later this week) so there is not as much time  needed cleaning and feeding them, the phone hasn't stopped ringing. Babies are out and getting lost, picked up by cats and dogs, or orphaned.  Two young birds were brought in after being picked up by dogs. A young  blackbird had to be euthanased as one of its legs had been totally  shattered. A little sparrow sadly died shortly after it came in. There have  been some successes. The Vet contacted us and said they had ten little  Mallard ducklings for us if we would collect them. The Mallard mother duck  took her brood across the A1. She and several of her brood were killed but  an enterprising lady who saw what happened quickly gathered up the  remaining babies and took them to the Vets. One of the tots looked very  poorly but we put them all together with a heat pad, chick crumb and  shallow water. As I write its three days on and all ten are looking really  well.   The three tiny rabbits that were dug up on a building site are now only two  but they are tucking into their hay and vegetables so we are keeping our  fingers crossed they go on O.K.  We also have a very lonely two or three day old pheasant chick found after  mum was killed. He is under a mop head artificial mummy on a heat pad  and will have a mirror so he thinks he has a friend.  Also coming in we have a Tawny Owlet. Still fluffy on top but feathers  starting to show. He must have fallen out of his nest and sadly has broken his left wing. After David the Vet checked him over he is in a  smallish cage so that hopefully his wing will heal. David suggests that as the bird is very young it will heal quite quickly. We cut up his  food quite small at first but tried him with a  whole chick and he grabbed it with his foot and turned right into the corner of his box and  ate the chick by himself. He must have siblings, as he knew how to hide his food so he may have been the third hatchling and got  pushed out by bigger brothers and sisters. His wing is hanging down a bit but we will wait and see how he gets on. On Saturday Dick went down to Bamburgh to pick up a Gannet with a suspected broken wing. When he arrived at the beach he found the very smart looking adult Gannet, but it's wings were fine. We took it in to the centre and gave it some fish and a quiet pen to rest in as  we thought it could be exhaustion. This morning he looked so much better so I think maybe if he is O.K. tomorrow he will be released.  Don’t forget to book your ticket for the talk by Graham Bell on 19th. May at Berwick United Reform Church Spittal 7.30pm.  Pat Goff