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.. 24th September 2020 Winter is coming, and in the natural world that can mean an arduous migration of perhaps thousands of miles, or hunkering down and  preparing for the short days and cold nights ahead. Rebus the ‘old boy’ hedgehog that can’t be returned to the wild is ‘winter ready’ and back in  my garden after Kay gave him a clean bill of health and said the swelling under his chin had  cleared completely. Despite me fitting out two hog boxes at either end of the garden with  fresh straw and an insulated, waterproof roof, he has picked out his own secret hideaway  somewhere between the back of the pond and the wall. He’s an independent soul, but as  long as he eats the meaty pet loaf in his feeding station every night, I’ll know the infection  in his mouth hasn’t come back.  Meanwhile at the Rollo Centre the hedgehogs in the recovery room are also eating well in  order to put on enough weight to hibernate successfully. Each hog has a record card to chart his eating habits, weight and any health issues. Their accommodation in the multi-storey  apartments with their solid ‘bedroom’ door for darkness and their clear Perspex ‘living room’  window may seem like the last word in luxury to us, but for a wild animal that can range  over 2km a night in search of food, conditions are cramped. Every morning each ‘apartment’  looks like the scene of an illegal rave: food bowl up-ended, water everywhere, poo deposited in the unlikeliest of places and the newspaper lining ripped into confetti pieces. I guess no-  one likes being in hospital, no matter how clean or comfortable.  One of the Trust’s A&E patients is doing particularly well these days. I was stunned at the change in the barn owl owlet that had come in  at the beginning of August looking so sad with a little splint on his broken leg. He’s shed all his fluffy down and now has his very smart  adult plumage, his head constantly swivelling this way and that, trying to fathom what we’re all doing. Once he goes into an outside  aviary he’ll lose interest in the human activity around him and will start to focus on the sights and sounds of possible prey, listening for  other bird calls. It won’t be long before the wild claims him completely and he survives on instinct alone.   Elfrieda Waren 17th September 2020 Some weeks when I do this article I struggle to find a photograph to go with it. This week I have more pictures and have had a job to  select the one to use. In the end I chose a picture of the Peregrine. Brought in with a broken wing and very hungry.  At first he was not too difficult to handle being stressed on top of his injury. He has had his  wing pinned and has to have cage rest and oral medication every day. Sounds very simple  but after a week of nourishing pigeon (and he has stripped a carcase a day) he is a very  different bird. He looks at you as you approach the cage as if to say ‘Alright, so you want to  try me, I’m ready for you’. When I have been helping with Kay I let her catch him up in a  towel and hold him while I do the cage cleaning. I always like to do the difficult jobs! He  does make his cage in an awful mess and he must hate being confined but his wing needs to  heal. We will not know if this will be successful for a couple of weeks yet and he will be with  us for some time after that as he will need muscle building time. He is such a beautiful bird  we all have our fingers crossed for him.  Our little Barn Owlet has suddenly started to look like a proper grown up. He was transferred  to the Longridge Aviary on Sunday and I was able to take some short bits of video of him  looking round his new home. I was with Kay and we watched him for a little while and as we  could see he was happy exploring the aviary. It was certainly more interesting than his cage  in the claw and talon room with only the Peregrine to look at. We left him testing his wings in  little short hopping flights. When we returned half an hour later he was proudly standing at  the doorway of the owl box which is quite high up preening himself. We need a ladder to  clean the box so we get Jackie to do it. We were sorry we had not seen his first real flight. It  is amazing how they know the sort of place they need to find to hide away and make their own. One further bit of news from the Committee. Due to the latest restrictions on numbers we have had to cancel the plans we had just  made to have our A.G.M. in October. The committee has not met in person since March and we planned to get back to normal next  month and combine a committee meeting with an A.G.M. We have now decided to cancel these plans. If anyone would like a copy of the  accounts they are available and can be posted out on request. Just phone 01289302882 or e-mail swan-trust@hotmail.co.uk Many thanks for your kind donations which are keeping our 20 plus hedgehogs going. Pat Goff 10th September 2020 Last winter around 60 hedgehogs overwintered with the Swan Trust to be released back into the wild in the spring. We’re already starting to see this season’s hogs coming in, and once they’ve had treatment and been brought up to a healthy weight they’ll hibernate with us  then be freed next year. Very occasionally the trust has a hog that can’t for health reasons be returned to its natural habitat – but with a little human support  they can still enjoy a full hoggy lifestyle.  Regular readers may remember that in mid-April I brought a ‘more mature’ hedgehog home to live in my completely enclosed garden.  He’d come into the trust at the beginning of December, his face swollen from an  abscess under his chin. The vet treated him, but we knew his teeth were so bad there was a chance he may  develop another abscess; he wouldn’t survive without regular meals of meaty pet food.  I had to keep an eye on his chin for signs of swelling, or watch for him leaving his food  because eating was painful. He’d had more than four months snoozing in his hutch during the day, and exploring  the garden by night. If I ventured out in the dark I’d sometimes hear rustling and  snuffling in the undergrowth or see his eyes glinting in the torchlight. I left him  completely to his own devices, until recently I noticed he’d started leaving food in his  bowl, so I decided to disturb his daytime sleep and give him a check up.  A large swelling had developed under his jaw, and a swift visit to Kay at the Rollo  Centre confirmed it was another cyst. A course of antibiotics killed the infection and  brought down the swelling in just a few days; Kay said I’d spotted the infection early  before it got to the point where Rebus needed an operation. The condition of his teeth  shows he’s a ‘senior hog’ and having anaesthetic would be a risky business at his age. Rebus is currently still receiving treatment, but hopefully in a few days will be able to  return to the garden to make the most of the cooler autumn nights before hibernation.   Because the trust hasn’t been able to run any fundraising events this year, an anonymous wellwisher (okay, my other half) made a  donation to cover the cost Rebus’ medication.  Elfrieda Waren