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... 28th October 2021 The picture this week shows our little Cygnet that was injured during a fight between two recently picked up cygnets and our two largest  ones. We released the troublemakers together with a swan that had suffered a bad moult. She left in perfect condition but when released had four cygnets swimming behind her. This little one was somehow injured in the  scrum. She was unable to stand or use her left leg at all. She was having painkillers  and Kay was massaging her foot with Vaseline to keep the skin from cracking. A week  later finds her standing and walking, although with a bit of a limp. She is so much  better now. The swan we have in that came down by power lines is fine. There is no  sign of any burn injuries, so we think all is well. We need to integrate her into the big  pond sometime soon to be with the three fit cygnets. On Sunday someone brought in a very underweight hedgehog and asked if we were  doing hedgehog sponsoring this year. To be honest we had not given it a thought yet. So this week I am Trust photographer. Each hog is asked to pose, and doesn’t do it. I  try to get the hog to open up and show his face. I get lots of blurry images of hog  bottoms. It takes an awful long time to get passable pictures. Each photo then gets  put on a card with details of why the animal is with us. It is a bit fiddly. One of our  volunteers was surprised that we actually used a new photo of each hog. They  suspected no-one would know the difference if we used any old picture. Probably not  but we would. Anyone wanting to sponsor a hog through the winter will be able to name the hog chosen. They will get an update in the spring when the hog is ready for release. It cost £30.00 and this helps cover the cost of food, laundering towels, straw, and treatment given. During the  year we have only been able to do one Open Day and it helps so much with funds to get hogs sponsored.  As I was doing the cards it  reminded me of the stories that some of our hogs could tell. We don’t give them names but some have not very nice nicknames. We have  Little Maggot, she came in covered in maggots that were literally eating her alive. She has lost a lot of skin on her tummy and front legs  . It took us over an hour to wash out all the maggots. They were even in her eyes. Sadly, she has lost one eye but she is a little fighter  and has responded to treatment and her skin is looking so much better now. Then there is Wounds. She had strimmer wounds across her genitals and lower abdomen that were full of pus. We had to clean the  wounds daily and we were not sure if she would make it but she has. None of these wounds put her off her food. She weighs 1025 grams now and will hibernate with us as one leg is not quite right. Ticks is another candidate for a proper name. We took off nearly 300 ticks from his 700 gram body. It is a wonder he did not die from  blood loss. Again it took hours to remove all the ticks most were really big ones covering his back. Tricky to remove through the spines.  All these hogs need proper names. Please contact us if you would like to sponsor.. Pat Goff 21st October 2021 Recently it has been holiday time, Kay has had her break away and as soon as she returned Jackie took hers, and I’m off in a couple of  weeks time. Other volunteers have taken recent holidays too. During this time things always get complicated. This is when things go  wrong or we have problems amongst the casualties we have at the David Rollo Centre. One such problem occurred on Saturday. When  Dick went down to do the evening check and feed he found that the Cygnets were fighting. We had taken in two cygnets from Hutton  Stone earlier in the week, and since Thursday they had been in the pond area with the others, all getting along fine. Our two biggest  cygnets and the two new ones had a bust up and sadly one of the small cygnets ended up with an injured leg. Dick parted the  combatants, putting the two newest arrivals in the small pond on their own. It is horrible when something like this happens. We don’t  have enough space to separate too many groups of large water birds. He checked out all the other cygnets and found all were well.   On Monday we decided that since the Hutton birds had recovered from their  experimental flight that left them stranded in a field, they should go back to the  river. A swan that had a bad time during the moult has also recovered and was  ready for release, and as our two biggest cygnets were well able to take care of  themselves especially if they had a swan known to them to go with, they should  go too.  They were being assertive to the smaller cygnets in the group like bossy  teenagers so they were ready for release.. Dick took the birds off to the river and  we were happy to see that they all stayed together. His last sighting was as they went round a bend in the river, the swan with a line of our cygnets behind her.  There is plenty of food still in the river and since two of the cygnets and the  swan are ‘river wise’ the others will soon learn their place. The injured cygnet has been to the Vet and has no fracture but is still unable to  weight bear on the damaged leg. The bird came in several months ago with a  limp. It is the same leg giving problems now which is worrying. We are giving  daily painkillers and Vaseline is applied to her foot to stop the skin cracking, so  we just have to see how it goes. Now we only have four smaller cygnets on the  big pond. They seem much more relaxed without the bigger ones. They will be  with us through the winter as they are nowhere near big enough to be released. On Sunday yet another cygnet turned up. It appeared to have come down in a field at Foulden. It was one of a party of three but  unfortunately one hit power lines and was killed. One was taken to the river and released. The other one brought in to us. It was checked over. There were no scorch marks or smell of singing feathers but we put it in the small pond to see how it fared. By Thursday the bird  was still fit and well but constantly pacing the fence and it had refused to eat since it came in.  It was an average weight for a cygnet so  Dick took it back to the river. It was very happy to go and flew off along the river keeping low.  The other development this week is that the shed arrived for overwintering hedgehogs. More of that next time. Pat Goff 14th October 2021 This week the photograph shows two Cygnets that Jackie and Dick rescued from a huge field at Hutton Stone. There were cattle in the  field and it was reported that cygnets were in the field. They had apparently flown in but were unable to get out.  The first call I got was  on Friday but there was no one available to go out. We are all getting older and some of us cannot walk far enough or are fit enough to  carry six kilo bags over a rough field. I asked the caller to keep an eye on the birds thinking that if they had flown in they should be able  to fly out. I took the next call on Sunday when again no-one was available to try to get the birds. I said I would do my best for Monday  morning. No-one was able to come from R.S.P.C.A.  On Monday morning Jackie and Dick went off to find the Cygnets. The field was huge and although Dick found a high spot and searched  with binoculars no birds could be seen. One Cygnet was found dead but two had been seen earlier. After a trudge around as much of the field as they  could they had to give up. A person working in the area said he would keep  his eye open for them.  Dick decided to leave and go and pick up a  hedgehog that was the next job on his list. Halfway to Ayton he got a call  from me to say I had heard from the lookout at Hutton Stone that the  Cygnets had been sighted. They quickly picked up the hedgehog and returned to the field.  From the  high spot still no sign but when pointed in the right direction on of the  Cygnets raised its head. They were so well camouflaged in the long brown  grass around the edge of the field they were very difficult to spot.  Fortunately the birds did not run, using a pincer movement they managed  to grab the two birds. They were lightweight and were extremely thirsty.  We did think at first it would simply be a case of putting them back on the  river but they did not look very fit. We had to keep them away from the  other Cygnets we have here as they are getting a bit territorial and we did  not want the two new birds to be bullied. We put them in an under-cover  pen, and since they were picked up on Monday,  they were at least dry during the downpours on Tuesday. By Thursday they looked so  much better. They were put in the pond with the others after the pond had been cleaned and at first all seemed well. On Saturday there  was a bit of a domination issue between the bigger Cygnets.  One of the smaller Cygnets was injured during the fighting. The birds were  separated and checked over. We decided that ‘our’ two bigger Cygnets and the two new ones together with the swan, that has now fully recovered should be released. There is still plenty of food and they have time to settle down before winter. This brings me to our biggest problem at the moment. Volunteers. We are in need of volunteers to help us. Can you spare two hours a  week to help clean and feed the animals and birds?  We also need help in general, keeping the premises clean and supplies stored.  Please contact us if you can help. Coffee and chocolate biscuits after the work is done we do our best to encourage.  Ring or e-mail or  message our Facebook page and we will get back to you. Pat Goff