Latest News Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Sadly bird flu is now moving on from sea birds, to other species of birds, including geese, ducks and swans, and the Trust is receiving many calls from the public spotting sick birds. There is no treatment available and sick birds will often die within a day of showing symptoms. We cannot rescue or accept sick birds at the Centre as this would compromise those birds already in our care and could lead to the Centre being forced to shut down. Our advice, painful as it is to give, is to leave the bird and let nature take its course. Do not touch a dead bird or let a dog near it. The local Council is responsible for collecting them in a controlled manner. In some cases you may report findings to DEFRA on 03459 335577 or visit their web site for detailed advice here. *************************** "Swan Notes" News items written by Trust members and volunteers and usually appearing in the “Berwick Advertiser" newspaper each week. For those unable to read these items, and those living outside the Berwick area, here are the last few editions... 18th July 2024 Sometimes I have a job to find a photograph to put with the column but this week, with so much coming and going, I had several to choose from. The one that came up tops for me is a little albino hedgehog. I have never seen one before. We have two of her siblings in with us and they are normal colouring. We have taken in six tiny hogs in the space of just a couple of days. All are just on the cusp of feeding for themselves.  One or two are taking a little milk still. Others are refusing to uncurl and are like little sea urchins and there is no hope of feeding them by hand. They have a little dish of goats milk and soft mashed meat. On Sunday all of them had eaten a little with only one losing a bit of weight. We have nine hogs in at the Centre with one still at home with Kay for milk feeds. We are hoping that these young hogs if all goes well will be able to be released by the autumn. Gull chicks also continue to come in. I think we have near to thirty now, but numbers are going up so quickly. One day last week Jackie had to deal with sixteen assorted admissions in just a few hours. Some gull chicks were injured and needed to be seen by a vet. We have one that is on treatment for a sore leg. One very small gull chick came in and was too small to go in with the others outside, so he is indoors with a mirror for company. Some of the bigger ones are now flapping and lifting off the ground so it will soon be time for the older ones to go off on their own. Some nice release news, The Gosling although only half grown has gone to join our two goslings from last year to be with an older goose. Mum goose has welcomed the newcomer and he now joins on to the end of the line when walking about the field. Mum goose had to go and fetch him in because he sat out in the rain instead of retreating to their shed like the older ones. Our single duckling of the year was also ready for release. We only delayed his release so that the gosling had some company on the big pond. He went off to the river on Saturday to join several broods of wild ducks. We are busy preparing for our next Open Day which is on 10th August. We shall start a little later this year at 11 a.m. so that the morning cleaning and feeding can be completed before we start. We use the big room a lot and that is where the majority of cleaning is done and all the bowls prepared for outside. We are also using the office area for sales goods. When Jackie and Mandy did their ‘Pop up shop’ using the office space it worked really well. We can fit more tables in this way, so there will be more to tempt visitors to buy. There will be a huge tombola and pulled pork rolls and cakes to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. We also have a table at the Border Beastie Hunt this Saturday 20th July. Held at Castle Vale Park 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. we hope to be able to take along one of our little hogs and we shall have leaflets and a little quiz for children (no help from adults please) so they can show us their knowledge of the life of hedgehogs. A small prize for a completed quiz sheet. Pat Goff 11th July 2024 The picture this week shows just four of Mandy’s crafted hedgehogs. These were some of the items that were for sale at Jackie and Mandy’s pop-up Table Top sale on Saturday. All done by the ladies themselves, they turned the office into an Aladdin’s cave of gifts and craft goods. I went to see if I could help on Saturday before they opened but all was ready and at 10 a.m. when I left the room was full of people. They closed up at 2 p.m. and quickly turned the room back into the office. It was a shame it rained as they were planning to have a Bric-a-Bac stall outside. The two ladies made a total of £381.37. The office made a super little sales area which we may use again on our next Open Day, which is on 10th. August. We shall also have a table at the Big Beastie Hunt in Castle Vale Park Berwick Upon Tweed from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday 20th July 2024. We should be able to bring a couple of little hedgehogs along too. In our little pond area the number of young Herring Gulls is growing fast at the last count on Sunday there were twenty three, all sitting around in groups. Most were very sleepy when I looked in as they had all eaten a very hearty breakfast. The first job every morning now is to hose out the gull area and clean it up, then feed them before we get on with all the other aviaries. On Saturday, we took in a Tawny Owl, found at the side of the road. It was suffering from a head trauma and is, at the moment, blind. We are treating the bird so hopefully it will regain it’s sight later. It is eating well, two chicks on Saturday so, headache or not it was making sure it ate well. The ‘Claw and Talon’ Room is brilliant for birds like this as it is quiet and away from all the other casualties that come in. We also have two adult Herring Gulls with us. One has been with us for a few weeks after injuring its wing. We did not hold out a lot of hope for it, but decided to give it a chance. It was put in an undercover pen which gave the bird a safe place but not enough room to fly. This is to give the wing time to heal without the bird trying to stretch them out. When it was tried out a couple of weeks later it could fly a little, so, as the Big Flight was empty he was given a chance in there. This Sunday when I went in to scrub the bench down that he likes to rest on, he flew the whole length of the aviary rising well. He will be able to return to his partner, if she is still waiting for him, this week. The other gull has a nasty wound to his chest. He is having antibiotics and his wound has been treated. He cannot fly yet but he can have a little time to see if he can improve. We cannot get gulls x-rayed (Avian Flu precautions) so we are just giving them a bit of space with food and water to get themselves together. A young Blackbird that was unable to stand when it came in last week is now in a small aviary and is flying although not landing very well. He is eating, so a little bit more time may work wonders. We also took in on Sunday a tiny Goldfinch. It has a swollen eye and bloodied head so he too needs a little time. Pat Goff 4th July 2024 Last week Mandy and Jackie decided we had need of funds to repair the roof of the Lomax Aviary. The covered part of the roof giving birds shelter was collapsing and there were several holes in the wire roofing the rest of the aviary. The Lomax is one of our most frequently used aviaries as it has plenty of grass and is sheltered by trees, giving privacy to any wild bird kept here. At the moment, gosling and duckling are sharing the space. We have kept them apart although they sit near to one another with wire between. On Sunday we let them in together. The Gosling, although much younger, rushed to the lettuce put out for the duckling and would not let the duckling get his share but after that they seemed to ignore one another. Ian has repairs under way for the aviary so the birds are going into the big pond together. Gosling is not keen on water yet but duckling loves it and he will enjoy being in the big pond. Gosling will enjoy the nice fresh grass around the pond, so they should be fine together where there is plenty of space. Mandy and Jackie got their heads together and decided to do a sort of ‘Pop-Up Shop’.  We cannot open the wildlife area of our premises due to repair work going on. The ladies have decided to use the office space at the David Rollo Centre, Ramparts, Berwick Upon Tweed, also outside our gates, weather permitting, to hold a mini event, They will have a tombola with some super prizes, a craft table with lots of gifts, mostly made by Mandy herself, as well as some general sales goods. If the weather is fine they will have a Bric-a-brac table outside. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday 6th June 2024.  Please do come along and help raise funds for this major repair of one of our most useful aviaries. Our next Open Day will be on August 10th (Saturday) 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. We shall then be free of disruption by adult gulls swooping down when they hear the young orphan gulls in our care getting excited when the food bowls arrive. The wild adult gulls are attracted to the young calling and come looking for a free meal themselves when they see the food. By August the youngsters should nearly all be away and we shall have a more harmonious atmosphere at the Rollo Centre, which will be much nicer for the public to visit. Last week we also had in some very tiny hedgehogs. Sadly, they had been without food for some few days before they were found, one died the day after. Kay has been hand feeding the others and although all seemed to be well as they started to eat solid food, one was looking very poorly. The other two are doing well so there is hope for them. Hand feeding any young animal or bird is very time consuming and difficult, but it is all part of the work of the Trust. I have been helping hand feeding young pigeons. It cannot be rushed and when the bird does not want to be held and it is the only way you can get the food down it, we have to try. They soon get the hang of what we are doing and it gets a bit easier. It all comes down to practice. The more you do, even if you have failures along the way, the more confident and skilful you become. We are pleased that some birds peck up for themselves from hatching, it saves us a lot of time. Pat Goff