Latest News Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) There are increasing reports of sick sea birds being found washed up on local beaches. Do not touch them and do not bring them to the Trust premises. Leave well alone. 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. 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...   11th August 2022 During August we find that there is a drastic reduction in the number of abandoned or orphaned youngsters coming in to our care. This  year we have more than usual. Last week we had in four House Martin chicks from, possibly, three different nests as they were in various stages of growth, and four Pied Wagtail nestlings that were all well developed. After just a week they are perching and flying and looking  good in the picture this week. These came in from a camp site at Coldingham after children had knocked down the nests. I hope they got  a suitable telling off! Una has taken the House Martins to hand feed and I have the Wagtails. It is a full time job feeding them every half  and hour or so. They get extremely noisy when they are hungry. I also have two Wood Pigeons that came in as two day old chicks with  their eyes still closed. They are three weeks old now and the good thing is they only need feeding twice a day, although it’s taking longer  now to fill their crops. They have been trying to fly and it is quite funny watching them scramble up the branches. They can glide down  but can’t get lift to fly up yet. They will all come down to the Centre for Saturday as I’m there and they will need feeding. I think Una will  bring her House Martins as well.   I would like to thank everyone who phoned on Friday evening and Saturday about  sick Herring Gulls, for being so understanding about us not being able to pick up  sick birds.  Avian Influenza is rife now in all areas of the town and I had at least  fifteen calls about sick gulls on Saturday. We feel so helpless in the current  situation but we cannot risk bringing the infection into the Rollo Centre and  putting the lives of the casualties there, at risk. One caller remarked that it was a  real miss not to see the Gannets diving into the sea when walking along the coast, something he has enjoyed watching many times. On recent walks he had seen  none. On Bass Rock there must have been many young birds that died of  starvation when the adults died. It is just an awful situation. We did pick up a  young gull with a badly broken wing by the Swan Centre roundabout, but that has  had to be put to sleep. Many thanks to the member of staff from Farmfoods who  was very helpful. At the Centre we are preparing for our Open Day on Saturday 13th August  10.30a.m. to 2.30p.m. and our A.G.M. which will start at 3p.m. There will be  plenty to see as we have three young Barn Owls, a Tawny (as well as Errol of  course), Lots of Mallard Ducklings, two Eider ducklings, two Cygnets, Pigeons, the odd Herring Gull, and a crow. I have forgotten to  count how many tiny hedgehogs there are but we are using loads of heat pads. Do come and have a look at what we do and how we do  it. There are tasty cakes, rolls and drinks at the refreshment window. A super Raffle and a tombola. Pick up a copy of our new book  ‘Thirty Years and still Counting’, or perhaps a calendar. We also have lots of beautiful craft items for sale. Jim and Shirley will have their  usual plant stall and there will be a Bric-a-Brac stall too. We look forward to seeing regular supporters but everyone is welcome, it’s nice  to see new faces, so do come along. We rely on funds from Open Days to keep going. Pat Goff 4th August 2022 This has been the most difficult year I think we have ever had regarding the Herring Gull and general seabird casualties. We have never  felt so helpless and it goes against all our ideals to not respond to help sick wildlife. Avian Influenza is now travelling through the Herring  Gull population of Berwick. There is nothing we or anyone else can do to help afflicted birds. Any bird with the infection dies within a day.  Fortunately most of the adults had raised their chicks this year before the infection became widespread. We have only five youngsters  left so if everyone allows a young gull in their garden a few days to fly, which is all it will need, we shall have them all away. How the  seabird population will cope with this horrible disease we don’t know. At the moment we can only hope the survivors will gain an  immunity to the infection. We have gone through this summer dreading any infection in birds we have in case it results in a mass cull of  all the other casualties in our care.  On a happier note, we noticed that one of the youngsters we took in was from a  building nearby but off the roof, wandering in the busy road to the recycling  centre, still unable to fly, was being fed by one of it’s parents whilst the baby was  in the small pond pen. The adult came several times and tried to feed it’s  youngster through the wire. Herring Gulls are very protective, caring parents.  The last couple of weeks have resulted in an increase of hedgehogs coming into  the recovery room. The smallest weighed just 47 grams. If you do find a tiny  hedgehog wandering or just lying by itself do look for others. If a nest has been  disturbed there may be three more babies about somewhere. Miss Maggot that  came in a couple of weeks ago has lost a large scab on her back where the  maggots were under the skin and is now looking much better. She has teeth and  is just having a little goats milk in a dish alongside her pate type meat. The tiny  ones just a couple of days old when they came in are down at the Centre but two  are on ‘First Aid’. They were so young they would not have had the protection of  the colostrum from their mothers milk. The picture shows Kay doing the prickly  job of feeding. Can I put in a request for donations for small trays of pate dog food that is best  for very young hedgehogs. Any canned loaf dog food will also be gratefully received as prices are going up alarmingly. We are as happy  to have gifts in kind as money. It all helps us to keep the work going.  We are putting our Owlets into the big flight together to give them more room to fly. They are all young birds so should be fine until they  are old enough for release. We are now preparing for our next Open Day which is on Saturday 13th August 10.30a.m. to 2.30p.m. which will be followed by our  A.G.M. at 3p.m. All the present committee members are happy to continue but if anyone would like to join please apply at The David  Rollo Centre, Windmill Way East, Ramparts, Berwick Upon Tweed TD15 1TU for an application form. Alternatively go to our website and  take details from there. You can also apply to have a specific matter discussed. Do come along everyone welcome. There will be plenty to  see and do and lovely cakes and if you are hungry a pulled pork roll will be on offer.  Pat Goff 28th July 2022 Last Saturday about 8 p.m. we had a call about a very young hedgehog that had been picked up at Alnwick Gardens by one of the staff.  It had a wound on its back but the finders were concerned that there were maggots in the wound. We asked them if they could bring it in straight away. They were happy to do this and Dick and I met them at the Rollo Centre. When we saw the little hog we realised we had  to work fast. She was so tiny weighing only 108 grams. She had a wound on her back and we could see small maggots under the skin. A  Spray of F10 onto the wound makes the maggots exit the wound very smartly. All we had to do (sounds easy but not) was pick each little maggot off with tweezers. It took us over half an hour but a final flush of the wound and we could not find any more. Her skin around  the puncture wound had a lacy effect where the maggots has eaten through it. The next job then was to make sure there were no hidden wounds anywhere. She was quite weak and was too young we realised to roll up. When we examined her mouth we found she had no teeth so we would  have to get Kay in to take the baby home with another three baby hogs she was  rearing. Kay came down and managed to get some rehydration fluid into her.  She was very thirsty and was happy to drink from the syringe. Kay said she  would take her home and try to get some milk down her before bedtime. None of  us were sure she would survive but Kay has been feeding her for a week now  and she was most upset when she weighed her on Sunday morning that she had only put on eight grams but she is feeding and her first teeth are just coming  through. Her wound looks clean and is healing so we are keeping our fingers  crossed for her. Kay has now brought her three babies down to the Centre as they have finally  come off milk. They weigh between 280 and 310 grams and are as prickly as sea  urchins when they roll up. They are gaining weight as they should do so they are  well on their way. Our very young Cygnets are causing us a lot of worry. They came in as a group  of three from the R.S.P.C.A. They were very weak when they came and although  we have given them the best food and conditions we can one died last week and another was dying yesterday. We are aware that some youngsters just don’t DO. These two have not put on weight as they should, are quite lethargic and just want to sit with the others. The largest of the three is  doing very well as is another young one that came in later. We hope these two will survive. A Swan we have been caring for since it hit power lines eight weeks ago is still unable to stand. It has been with us all this time so is not  suffering from Avian Influenza and we have asked the Vet to x-ray the bird. We have a feeling it may have nerve damage that is  untreatable and may need to be put to sleep. We have all worked so hard to look after her it will be sad if that has to be the final  outcome. Please don’t forget our next Open Day on 13th August which will be followed by our A.G.M. All are welcome and there will be lots to see.  Pat Goff