Latest News We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren. Look on our Photos/Video Page. ******************************* "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.. 29th June 2017 In just a few short weeks it seems we have gone from a quiet period where practically all we were doing was checking that the  hibernating hedgehogs had enough dried food if they should wake up, to the summer mayhem of baby chicks of all shapes and sizes with their ever-open mouths. It’s all volunteer hands on deck to help out with the extra cleaning and feeding all these animals entails, so in  addition to the regular weekly morning stint, some of us are also going along for an hour just before ‘close of play’ to ensure the young  ‘patients’ are clean and fed. When I arrived last Friday, there was a set of four tiny unidentifiable nestlings –  possibly blackbirds or thrushes but too young to tell - which were being fed on tiny  pieces of mince and cheese. When they’re this small they need constant attention,  with someone able to simulate the frequency of a parent bird to-ing and fro-ing the  nest, returning every half hour or so with a worm or other delicacy. If they’re  neglected in any way at this stage the tiny chicks can go into rapid decline, so it’s a  pretty labour intensive undertaking for a human carer. Another young bird, a great  tit, had also arrived in the afternoon, which I was asked to feed from a box of  rustling live mealworms using tweezers until Kay could come and assess his injuries.  He seemed to prefer the soft, white mealworms to the darker, crunchier ones and I  was really pleased when he took six from me. Sadly I later learned that the injuries  to his wing and leg meant he would never make a good recovery and he had to be  put to sleep. My Friday evening shift also involved feeding Errol the tawny owl plus the baby owlet  which has been with the Swan Trust for some weeks and is now in an outdoor aviary. I don’t normally get to feed the owls as they don’t get their dead mice and chicks  until late, so it was a pleasure to go into ‘Errol’s Abode’ as it’s known and serve the trust mascot with his evening meal, which he  accepted with an imperious gaze. Thankfully, Jackie did the evening cleaning of the three gull chicks in the recovery room on Friday. I’d done them on Wednesday, and  despite Dick’s ‘top tip’ to always remove them from the cage with their bottoms facing away from you, I’d forgotten and narrowly  avoided a generous squirting of projectile poo. Hopefully soon they will join the older gull chicks in the outside enclosure, which are  growing fast but still have their grey spotty down. My last job on Friday was to slice and cube industrial amounts of bread, so that the volunteers on duty the next day had a ready supply  to mix with fish or meat and grain for the ducklings, gull chicks, and crows. We certainly can’t complain it’s quiet now!  Elfrieda Waren 22nd June 2017 At the weekend we held our Open Day to open our new 'claw and talon' room, and to show everyone the changes that have been made  to the big room. We were pleased with the response to the changes. I must admit the room does look so much brighter and cleaner now  that we have sorted out all the equipment that had been saved but not used for years and years. The photograph shows Jim cutting the  ribbon. Jim did the majority of the work on the room so we felt it was right that he was allowed to 'do the honours'. We have also  received our 2018 calendars which are available from the David Rollo Centre priced at £7.50  and this year they come with a booklet  which tells the story of the Trust over the last 25 years. The booklet is also available separately for £2.00. Thank you to everyone who  came and supported us. We raised a total of £602.00. This week we are releasing four tiny Wren babies which Jackie has brought on very  well. Two Jackdaws will also be going to Una's to be released. Our two young Tawny  Owls seem to be going on well.  This is the season we all dread, Herring Gull chicks  falling from roofs and needing to be looked after. These birds create an awful mess.  Their pen needs hosing twice a day, and we have a constant smell of fish about the  place when we make up their food bowls. We do get very annoyed when members of the public ring us up and demand that we go at once to pick up a gull chick from their garden. We are happy to take these  birds but we do need them to be brought in. Yesterday (Sunday) we had twelve calls  to collect them. Many callers are quite rude when we explain we can't come out at  once. We do also get very nice people who come and bring the chick or chicks and  they are very happy to have somewhere to take them. Last year we had 30 gull  chicks to rear. This year we are up to 18 already. If you need to pick up a young gull  have a box handy, protect your head with an umbrella,    quickly put the chick in the  box and close the lid. The parents are only protecting their baby. Any nest or chicks  on a roof is the responsibility of the householder. We are happy to help if necessary  but we are not a gull chick collection agency.   Other babies we have are a Wood Pigeon and a little Blue Tit who was found by a holiday maker couple walking the walls. They had no  idea where it came from and waited for some time to see if the parents came but they carried it in their hands to keep it warm and I met  them and their lovely cocker spaniel at the end of their walk. The little bird is needing hand feeding so wasn't ready to leave the nest  yet.  Elfie will be writing next week.  Pat Goff 15th June 2017 This year is the Trust’s 25th Anniversary and to mark the occasion we are holding an Open Day on Saturday 17th June from 11 a.m. to 2  p.m. to allow everyone to come and see our new 'Claw & Talon' room. This room is specially designed for birds of prey, badgers and  foxes.  This type of wildlife needs to be disturbed as little as possible and kept away from all the general noise as we work during the day cleaning and feeding. Kay and myself were chatting one day about the problems we had with a  buzzard that was very upset in the cage in the recovery room. The bird  had to be kept in for treatment but it was very upset by volunteers  working on the other wildlife in the room. We had larger cages in the big  room but this can be as bad as the recovery room for people going in and  out looking after the wildlife outside. I did a rough sketch on a notebook  of a partitioned off part of the big room which could be used. The next  day when we were having coffee and armed with a tape measure we  marked out the space and checked for power and other fittings we would  need and I drew up a plan to scale. We showed the plan to Jim and the  committee and set to work to raise the money needed which was  surprisingly little as we already had all the cages. The most expensive  part of the work was changing the old drainage system in the big room  that was not working properly and it was decided this needed doing at the same time. We luckily received a sizeable donation that allowed us to buy  new stainless steel sinks and washing machine and drier. The large tank  at the end of the room will become an indoor aviary for smaller birds later  in the year. Jim has worked the miracle of building in the room with the help of Peter  and Bill. We cannot thank him enough for doing the work and it has been quite exciting to come in and see the improvements each day.  It actually took us longer to come up with a name for the room than it did to plan it.  The first occupant of the room will be a young Tawny Owl which has been hand reared by Kay and likes humans. We need to make sure  he has less contact and this room will do the job.  So, please do come and see what has been done, of course there will be stalls (wine or water, tombola, plants and sales) and  refreshments. The people of Berwick support us so well and we would love you all to come along and see what is happening. We are still taking in sick hedgehogs including this poor little chap the only one left alive of a nest that had been dug up. Sadly it did not  survive. All had bite wounds from possibly a weasel. and have quite a lot of garden bird fledglings as well as various ducklings, partridge  etc. so there will be plenty to see and do. Pat Goff