Latest News Sponsor a Hedgehog  Help the Trust by sponsoring a hedgehog. For further details click 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.. 21st January 2021 The photograph this week shows our hedgehog huts outside where the hogs big enough to hibernate are housed once they have cooled off in the big room. We have eighteen outside and each day we have to open up the lid to put in fresh water and check the food. They  are given dried food once they are asleep which is left out for them just in case they wake up. This is much cheaper for us as we only  change the food once a week if it is uneaten. One of our volunteers takes home the old food for the wild pheasants, so nothing goes to  waste. Also on a weekly basis their beds are checked to make sure they are not wet and there is plenty of straw for them to nest in. It is  an uncomfortable job for volunteers either in the pouring rain or when it is very cold to go round all the huts checking up. We always  come in and do something inside to warm up again between all the outside jobs. We only have twelve hogs in the warm room and so the job of cleaning them  takes less time now. We have five in the big room, four of which were fast  asleep on Sunday so they will be moving outside this week. The Cygnets are all looking very well now and the swan in the little pond could  be released, but we are worried that the river will be very high this week with all  the forecast rain and snow melt, so we are hanging on for a while. It could go in  the big pond with the others, but it attacks the youngsters so we have to keep it separate. We have also had a couple of Guillemots brought in during the past week but  both died after a few days. The birds just get washed ashore and are really past  help when they are found. Depressing but we just do what we can. Thank you to everyone bringing in hedgehog food and newspapers etc. We really do appreciate it. We are trying to do the best we can at the moment despite  Covid and Avian Influenza, trying to keep the birds we have in our care safe and also making sure we keep our volunteers safe too. We are still hoping we can arrange an Open Day or two this summer if all goes well, but we don’t want to set dates yet. We are looking  through photos taken by volunteers over the past year for our calendar for next year. It is very difficult to pick out just thirteen pictures  and it seems to take us ages. Last year we were really on the ball and had our calendar ready for our first Open Day in May. That of  course, had to be cancelled but we are going to try to have them ready early again this year. Pat Goff 14th January 2021 The photograph this week shows one of our hedgehogs being treated with a ‘spot on’ medication for mites. We regularly check the skin  condition of the hogs that are still awake at this time of year and the medication given will keep their skin in good condition. This one is  nearly up to weight to hibernate so having this treatment will make sure the hogs are healthy when they wake up in the spring. We currently have sixteen hogs sleeping in Hotchi Mews. The mews comprises of little wooden huts with plenty of straw to keep them  warm. Five hogs are in little hutches in the big room cooling off ready to hibernate. Once they  are asleep they are moved to Hotchi Mews for the rest of the winter. Thirteen hogs are still  well awake and not quite the right weight to hibernate yet. It’s the usual case of musical huts. One hog we are pleased with is one that came in with a bad case of ringworm. The poor little  thing had awful scabby skin which must have been extremely uncomfortable. He had lost all  his fur underneath and was not a well hog. He has had intensive treatment of ‘first aid’  treatment which includes a wormer and he was given baths in Imaverol solution. He has  improved so much and was eating very well so by the time he was fit enough to hibernate he  was over 900 grams. He is now sleeping and is in the big room.  One happy outcome this week is a young pigeon which as it is so friendly has come home  with us to an aviary so he can have a soft release. When he came in he had been looked after by a lady who had to go into hospital, so we said we would take it on. It came in with an  adult pigeon which had been injured by a sparrow hawk. Sadly this one had to be put to  sleep. The young bird has been treated for lungworm which had given it a nasty cough. It has  recovered very well but it is such a friendly bird it can’t be released straight away. When we  go into the aviary here with a food bowl he just come and lands on your arm and tells you to  get a move on. Once he has settled in at home he can be let out and will probably return to roost. Eventually not needing our support he  will be less friendly and hopefully, will gradually learn to be independent.  We still have a few calendars left if you would like one please phone 01289 302882 and leave a message. They are £5.00 and will be  posted to you. During the really cold months of January, February and March on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we are closing at 3p.m.  Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday we close at 12 noon. During the Covid restrictions no-one is allowed on the premises so please phone if  you need our help. Pat Goff 7th January 2021 First of all since we had no jottings last week I must thank everyone who has helped us during the last very difficult year. People have  been so kind,  bringing in food and bedding for our ‘patients’ and coffee, tea and biscuits for the volunteers, as well as financial  donations. Our thanks also go to Galedin Veterinary Practice for their medical help. We really do appreciate it very much. Our volunteers  have been great too, working through the horrible weather over the holidays, we cannot thank them enough. We all missed our  Christmas meal when we meet up with one another. We are hoping that this year will be better and in the summer we may even be able  to hold an Open Day again. We have been going down to Dock Road daily to check on the swan that prefers the grass verge to the river. This did not surprise us  when we were first told about this bird as the river was very high and full of debris. I can understand why people were worried about the bird, but it now has a bowl of water and lettuce spread about where it preens.  We went down on Sunday lunchtime to check it as someone phoned and told us it was frothing round the beak to find that it had been given white fish. It had  pecked at this and scattered bits about but the swan was happily preening its  chest and was not impressed when we made it walk and got up close to  examine it. There is nothing wrong with this bird. It is a bit dirty because it is  not going in the river. Why should it? Bowl of water, being fed on the grass,  why bother to get wet and have to dodge bits of floating debris that is still  coming down the river. Today (Monday) the R.S.P.C.A. informed us that they had also had calls about  the bird and had checked it out and found it healthy, it should be left alone and  not fed on the roadside. This brings me to another problem with all waterfowl (swans, geese, ducks  etc.) and avian influenza which is spreading rapidly in all areas of the U.K.  Because we have cygnets and swans in our care we are unable to admit any  others as they are liable to infect our own birds which then will have to be destroyed. Therefore we are taking no more of these species  in unless the bird has a physical injury like a broken wing. Anyone finding a sick or dead bird should not attempt to pick it up or try to  rescue it. The number to phone is 03459335577 and pick option 7. This number is for the D.E.F.R.A. helpline, and this will give you all  the details you require. This is a highly contagious disease and it has to be taken seriously. Next week I hope to have news of our Barn Owl that came in with an eye injury and is almost ready for release.  Pat Goff