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. 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...   26th January 2023 The picture this week shows four of our five ducklings. They are all looking very well despite having to be kept indoors. They demolish a  lettuce in two minutes flat, so if you have any lettuce (wrong time of year I know) we would be very grateful if you could drop some off.  The ducklings are feathering up quite well but still need the heat as it is very cold in the big room. They are in the Longridge Aviary and  we have divided up the floor into two sections. This way there is not too large an  area to clean each day. All the papers have to be taken up and replaced every  morning. To do this we catch them up and pop them over the boards dividing the  aviary floor. We then lift all the bowls and bedding, then take up all the wet and  dirty newspapers. They have quite a thick layer of paper as they seem to spread  their water over the whole area. We then replace the paper. It takes about ten  papers to cover the area. I find my slightly damp shoes stick to the top sheet of  paper as I lay them down and I have to prise that off. It seems to take forever. Now the ducklings are so big they are impatient to get back for their lettuces and  mealworms they know will be waiting for them. This week two ducks managed to  scramble over the dividing boards, getting in my way as I put down the papers. I  had to shove them back over the boards so that I could finish. When I lifted the  first one back over the boards to the clean pen, the others made a rush for the  boards so they did not miss out on the lettuce and mealworms they love and all but  one managed to climb over. I think we need to raise the boards but we need to be  able to step over them so not too high. Maggie Smith our rather plump Badger is going to the Vet this week for a check up.  We are pleased with her behaviour. She is doing all the things she should do, even stashing some food. She takes out her bedding when  she thinks it is dirty. She is using quite a lot of straw in her den. The C.C.T.V. system we have is very useful as it is very good in low light  and we are able to watch her when she comes out at night. The system has proved really useful when we don’t want to disturb a bird or  animal. We can watch how they are behaving when we are not around. We recently were not sure if an owl could fly well. We watched it  on the cameras and found it was perfectly able to fly and do so very well, but when we were in the aviary it just hid itself away in the  corner of it’s box.  Last week we decided it would be good if we got our calendar for 2024 ready in good time. Last time we were this well organised we  received the printed calendars and the following week the first lockdown was introduced. This has put us off a bit, but, we are preparing  it now. We were looking for a theme for the calendar and Kay came up with the idea of Predator and Prey. We have all been busy looking  through our photos. We are very nearly ready to get everything together so they can be printed.  I do worry a bit when we get  organised. Something is bound to throw a spanner in the works. Pat Goff 19th January 2023 I write this piece on a Monday morning and today I woke up to a brilliant white world. The dogs have enjoyed a good run round the  garden and have come back in with great clumps of snow all over them. They look like they are wearing white wellies. I don’t go to the  centre on Monday as I usually do the jottings from home, but I checked in that the volunteers had turned in as usual and they had. It is  cold work in weather like this and Jackie took me a nice picture of the swans on a slightly iced pond (which does not bother them at all)  and a snowy path round about. We use minimum amounts of water when clearing up after them in weather like this so we don’t get a  skating rink the next morning. Kay and myself do Sunday outside cleaning and feeding so I can confirm it takes me all day to get my  hands and feet warm again. Dick has just come in and said he needs to thaw out the garage door as it is all frozen up before he can go  out. This cold snap may encourage our ready to hibernate hedgehogs in the big room to  go to sleep. They are showing no sign of going into hibernation just spending a  couple of days in bed, then emerging to have a good meal. Once they are asleep for  a few days they will be transferred to the hibernation shed (Hogwards) to sleep  through the rest of the winter. They sometimes wake up for a day or two but soon go back to bed. We have to check them every day to top up food and water if required.  We also have to check their bedding to make sure it is dry. Hedgehogs pee  sometimes when hibernating and their beds get wet so then they have to have fresh  straw. They are lifted very carefully clean straw put in and then they are covered up  again. They normally don’t wake up at all during this process. This is when the shed  is so useful for volunteers. There is no heating as we need the shed to be cold, but at least we are not in the open checking and cleaning, we are under cover, out of the  biting wind that comes from the sea.   We have several pigeons in. One has a badly bruised and grazed wing which is slowly healing and we hope will be able to fly once the injuries have fully healed. It is on  cage rest at the moment. Another one came in with an eye infection which was  treated with eye drops and then he was transferred to an aviary with other pigeons but Jackie noticed that it’s eye was looking sore  again. This was not a simple infection. Kay took the bird to the Vet and it is now inside on cage rest so that we can treat the eye four  times a day with two different eye drops. The bird hates being in the cage and escapes at least once a day when it is caught up to be  treated. It flies very well and gives us a run around the recovery room trying to catch it. It’s eye is looking much better but the  treatment has to continue for three weeks longer. Hopefully it can then go outside to an aviary. Whatever the type of wildlife is brought in to us we treat them all alike. If a pigeon needs costly eye drops it will get them, just the same  as a Peregrine or a Sparrow Hawk or an Owl. They are all wildlife that needs our care. Pat Goff 12th January 2023 Firstly this week I will catch you up on the hedgehogs. The photo this week shows our fattest hog. He has been in the big room which is  unheated so that he can start to hibernate. Then he can be moved to the Hogwards Shed for the winter. He has gone off to sleep but  only for a couple of days, then he wakes up and eats everything he can get. His bowl is licked clean. He is the heaviest hog we have at  1.423 kilos. He is in no hurry to hibernate properly at all. I cleaned and fed him on Sunday and as soon as I put the bowl of food in, he  came out of his snug warm bed and cleaned up the whole bowl in one sitting. I took the picture when he had been eating for five  minutes. When the bowl was empty he had a drink of water and ambled back to bed. It made me think of my son when he was a  teenager, his behaviour was not a lot different on a Sunday. A lot of the hogs that are up to weight for hibernating this year are only sleeping intermittently. We have nine in the shed now that are  asleep. Another eight are in the big room so that they can go into hibernation but I  don’t think the weather is sufficiently cold enough to make them want to sleep. We  then have another fourteen or so needing warmth as they are not heavy enough yet to attempt to hibernate. We are hearing of small hedgehogs still running around at  this time in the winter. We know of two or three at Seahouses where they are being fed in the garden but rush off when anyone tries to catch them. We are still getting  the odd one brought in. I must tell you about a really sad case, A lovely lady  brought in a hedgehog she had found wandering in a car park, several other people  had watched it but this kind person picked it up and brought it in. It had facial  injuries she said and needed to be checked out.  When she lifted it out of the box it  was a good size and as she turned it towards us we realised it had no skin  anywhere on its face and head. It’s eyes were still intact but the whole of it’s head  was raw and bloody. It must have been in awful pain and we phoned the Vet  straight away. This poor hog needed putting to sleep as there was no way it could  recover. We have no idea how it came to be de-gloved like that. It could have been  caught fast in something and ripped itself but more likely been attacked by a  terrier. It was a sight I shall certainly never forget nor will the volunteers that were  in that day. We don’t normally see such horrible injuries thank goodness, the nearest I have been to an injury anything like that is a  strimmer wound which hopefully we can treat.  On to happier things now. We have moved the ducklings which are growing rapidly and beginning to get tail feathers. They are now in  the Longridge Aviary in the big room. They have a heat lamp which they sit under in a nice ‘Mothers Union’ circle, where they preen and  gossip constantly. They are lovely ducklings but we can’t put them outside partly because it is too cold for them but even when they  feather up Avian Influenza rules mean they have to stay indoors. At least it means it is slightly warmer for volunteers to clean them  when they are indoors. Pat Goff