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...   24th November 2022 All this damp mild weather is stopping our outside hedgehogs from hibernating. Once they reach weight they move to outside hutches to  make a nest and go off for a bit of winter sleep. This year they are all eating up their food every night and getting even fatter. We are  hoping a colder spell will get the off to sleep. Then they can be moved to the Hogwards Shed for the winter. We are waiting to be able to  use the shed it has been a long time in the planning and building stage, we really can’t wait to see it being used. This week saw two sad cases brought in. One was a Heron all the way from Selkirk. It was a lovely bird, one of a pair well known in the  town. It had a shattered leg and the Vet had to put the bird to sleep. The second bird met the same end after it too had hit a car. This  was a Barn Owl. It had wounds to it’s head and also had lacerations in it’s mouth and soft palate. It’s beak was also damaged. It is  always sad for us when lovely birds like these cannot be saved but at least they don’t suffer a slow painful death. All the other birds and animals at the Rollo Centre are all doing well, although the volunteers will be pleased when the rain stops! Saturday saw us at the Guildhall in Berwick for our Christmas Fair which was a  combined fund raising event with Cancer Cars. We had been preparing for it for  several weeks as Jackie and her group of volunteers had to make a grotto for Santa to hide away in. A small Gazebo was erected and decorated up and around made a  really impressive grotto. There were a couple of rehearsals at the centre before the  day, with the gazebo being put up in the big room. It was certainly worth the effort  and looked great on the day.  The children were fascinated. There were one or two  ‘first time to see Santa’ worried faces but they all came out beaming with their gifts  from Santa’s bag. Santa had a great Elf, Jo, to assist him. She even had a sit on  Santa’s lap as seen in the picture this week. It was a very successful fund raising effort. We made well over £1,000. Everyone  seemed to enjoy it. It certainly had a nice Christmas feel about the room. There  were some beautiful crafts on sale and I think all the stalls were happy with the  outcome. It was nice to meet old friends as well as make new ones with other  charities and crafters taking our spare stalls. Our ‘wine or water’ stall was sold out  before noon. The tombola half an our later. We were very pleased about this as it  meant their was less to pack up afterwards. That is the main problem when we are not at the Rollo Centre. It is easier when we have an  Open Day. Our sales tables were a great success especially the Christmas cards. Jim and Shirley’s jams and chutneys were also well  received. We got lots more of our hedgehogs sponsored and sold a good few raffle tickets. We were serving teas and coffees at a steady rate. It is a time like this when we really appreciate our staff and volunteers who devote so much time and effort. I feel that this year they must be  thanked even more. We have all the upset of not being able to do our work because of bird flu and they still think they should support  us. Thank you all.  Pat Goff 17th November 2022 The last couple of weeks can be called ‘Time of the lost Cygnets’. Nearly every day we have been having reports of Cygnets in very  dangerous places or just stuck in the middle of nowhere completely on their own. One we heard about was on Burnmouth road. The rest  of the family nowhere in sight. It had just become separated somehow from the rest of the family. Jackie and Jim searched the usual  sites round about for the group but no luck. Due to the problems with bird flu and this bird was certainly healthy and fit with no obvious  injuries it was taken to the Tweed and released there. The River Tweed will shortly be home to a lot of rejected youngsters from last year as their parents prepare to nest again. These young birds have been brought up by their parents and are quite able to manage on their  own. Another young Swan was holding up traffic on the Tweed bridge on the bypass.  Again it had no injuries so it was guided down to the river to safety. On Saturday  Barbara had several calls about a young swan (again one of last years brood) sitting on a junction just off the A1. Callers said the bird could not stand but when Barbara  and Dick approached it stood, hissed and walked. Dick grabbed hold of the bird and  it was checked out for injuries and found to be fit. Its wings were working well. The  bird was found directly under cables but there was no sign of singing or damage  from cables. Since we are aware of bird flu cases at Haggerston and this bird was  found only a mile and a half from there, it was decided that the bird would be  better released on the Tweed. Barbara took the bird and it was happy to be back on water. In normal times we would probably taken the bird in just to be on the safe  side but healthy looking birds can suddenly die within a few hours so we do not  want to take any risks with the birds we have at the Centre. We know there are  problems at Coldstream amongst the swans on the river there. We had phone calls  on Sunday that at least two were dead and another two sick. The person that  phoned did not understand that we cannot treat sick birds. Then he said ‘This is just like foot and mouth but in birds’. This is so true. We hate seeing birds die in pain and distress when we spend so much of our time trying  to help them. Please report any dead birds to DEFRA who should arrange to remove the bodies. We are just doing what we can without  bringing infection on to our premises.  On to a happier theme now, our Christmas Fair at the Guildhall on Saturday 19th November 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a joint project with  Cancer Cars. There will be lots of different stalls to spend your money on as well as the usual ‘Wine or Water’ and Tombola. Santa has  agreed to visit with presents for the children. Come and see one of our little hedgehogs ready for a sponsor or choose one from our file.  We shall have on sale our new Christmas cards for this year from paintings done by Judith Hettrick, who has done us proud. They feature  sheep as well as Errol Owl and some of our hedgehogs. The picture shows the hedgehog card. They are really different and our grateful  thanks go to Judith. There will be refreshments available including mulled wine for inner warmth, sausage rolls and mince pies for that  Christmas feeling.  Pat Goff 10th November 2022 Little underweight hedgehogs are still coming in. The cold snap of the last couple of days will be sending the well fed hogs looking for  nests for hibernation. If you see an underweight hog about do please bring it in. Any hog under 700 grams will be unlikely to survive  hibernation. These creatures need all the help we can give them. Our sponsorship scheme is well under way so if you would like to help  by sponsoring an over wintering hedgehog please give us a call or see us at our Christmas Fair which is a joint enterprise with Cancer  Cars on Saturday 19th November at the Guildhall in Berwick 10a.m. till 2p.m.  We took in a Cygnet from the Alnwick area on Sunday. It was brought in by Lynne,  she had kept it overnight in her shed as she thought it had an injured leg. The bird  was struggling to walk in her garden. She said it was very hungry. We had asked a  lot of questions about the bird before we allowed it into the premises as we do have to be so careful about Avian Influenza. The young swan was very light weighing  only 4.5 kilos but was bright eyed and quite happy to use his beak to give us a nip  as we examined him. He was extremely thin, we could see the shape of all his neck  vertebrae through his feathers. We could find no injury to his legs but he could not  stand for long. Still a little worried just what had happened to him and why he  should be in such a weak state we put him in an isolation pen with a bucket of food. We gave him a vet bed to soften the cattle mat as he was so thin. As soon as we  were out of the way he was into the food. We have no idea why he was in such a  state, only time will tell if he will recover.  We would like now to apologise to all the people who are calling about sick birds.  We are so sorry we are unable to help in cases of Avian Influenza. We know the  birds die in awful distress but there is nothing we can do. We are worried in case  we take in a sick bird that we have to report as having the disease as this would mean all the birds on our premises would have to be  destroyed and we would have to go through a process of deep cleaning and closure for a while. We cannot take risks with the birds  already in our care. There are several areas in Northumberland where the disease has been seen in wild birds. Please report any findings to DEFRA. Where birds are in large groups on lakes there are bound to be sick birds. Please do not touch any sick or dead water birds  and keep dogs away. This is an awful time for all wildlife rescue centres and we all feel equally helpless about the situation. On a more positive note our two owls one Tawny and one Barn are both doing very well. Both are flying and eating. The Tawny is losing  weight and looking much healthier. The Barn is almost ready for more wing action in a larger aviary.  Don’t forget to visit us at the Town Hall on 19th November. One of our hedgehogs will be joining us. We have had some lovely craft items  donation and Michael at Shiel and Morrison has got our Christmas Raffle tickets and our lovely new Christmas cards designed by Judith  Hettrick specially for us printed and ready for sale. They are really great.  Pat Goff