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.. 12th October 2017 We’re well into that season of mists and mellow fruitfulness now, and certainly the hedgerows have been heavy with blackberries,  elderberries, hips and haws which will help sustain wild birds and animals through the cold of winter. It’s very tempting to think that things have ‘settled down’ after the frantic few  weeks of the summer breeding season, but as the days shorten and the  mornings begin with that chill autumn damp, animals can be faced with life or  death decisions to make; that final brood of last minute chicks or that late litter  of hoglets may not put on enough growth in time to survive winter.    For a few lucky youngsters, wildlife rescue centres such as the Swan Trust offer a  refuge for the late summer babies such as the young hedgehogs who don’t  manage to reach the critical 650g weight they need to be to hibernate safely.  While you could argue that that’s nature and there’s not much to be done about  it, wild animals are under such pressure these days (largely as a result of human  activity), we owe it to them to do what small amounts we can to support them.   As Pat mentioned last week, our ‘latecomer’ duckling from Wooler, who only had  his reflection in a mirror and his teddy for company, was joined by another  duckling brought in by the same kind person.   Una and I think that there must be at least some domestic genes in these two,  because unlike the larger group of nine or ten ducklings we had earlier in the  year, they are constantly trying to attract our attention in their unending quest for  their favourite live mealworms. Our theory is perhaps they will grow up like last year’s Emily duck, who we all thought was a male until  she laid an egg for Dick as a parting gift when he dropped her off at her ‘forever home’ of Hunting Hall Farm near Holy Island. Emily was  extremely friendly, always having to be right in the thick of any goings-on. When we last saw her (yes, three of us went to visit a duck!)  she was still lapping up the attention, popular with humans but not so much the hens she tried to hang out with in the farmyard. One other latecomer to the trust – and an extremely unusual ‘guest’ for us – was a young corncrake which had become trapped in a  walled garden. Once a common sound in hayfields and grasslands all over Britain, the ‘crake-crake’ call of the corncrake was silenced in  most places by the mechanisation of agriculture in the 1800s and has declined even more dramatically in the last 30 years with changes  in farming practices. They are now largely confined to the Western Isles of Scotland and Ireland, so whether it’s a good sign or bad that  one has turned up in Berwick, this particular corncrake is now hopefully back on course for its winter migration to Africa.  Elfrieda Waren 5th October 2017 Last weekend we were invited to take some of our animals up to Galedin Vets for their open day. The practice is very good to us doing x-  rays when we are unsure if a fracture is repairable or to check if a bird has been shot or has swallowed a fishing hook. They also offer  invaluable advice about medication dosages, so we felt we should go and offer our support. We sometimes feel a little sorry (but not too  sorry) for the nurses who never have any idea what may lurk inside an animal carrier with B.S.W.T. written on the top.  We took with us our two little ducklings which although much different in size are getting on  really well together. I think the bigger one was happy to have a companion to be honest. They  chatter away to one another and cuddle up together which is nice to see after they were both  lonely orphans. We also took one of our smaller hedgehog. This one was just around 200 grams  so it will be with us throughout the winter. She has a very sweet face and is ready for a sponsor if anyone would like to give her a name. We also took Errol Owl who was quite grumpy for a while  after he was put in the cage. He is a very smart bird as can be seen from the photo. Once he got  into our designated room at the Vets he was happier. He loves to have something to interest him  and all the visitors were making a fuss of him. He loves to show off his neck turning abilities  which fascinates children.  One thing that did surprise us was that so many people who looked in to see us either thought  we were part of BARK or part of the Veterinary practice. We are completely independent of any  other organisation and are funded purely by donations. At the Rollo Centre life on the big pond is so much more peaceful now there are only five Cygnets  left. We had another one in this week via. R.S.P.C.A. which has a bruised wing. This one will join  the others when the water is changed on Tuesday. It looks a little larger than our largest one but  they get on together well enough. Hedgehogs are still arriving very small and needing heat pads and extra care. The larger ones  that are a good size to hibernate are being released. So far we have about ten that will certainly  need care throughout the winter. So if you would like to sponsor one of our little hedgehogs  please contact us. It can make a wonderful present for a wildlife lover. A card with a photo of the  chosen hedgehog and the name you have chosen, giving all the details of how it came into our care. Then later another card showing  how the hog has progressed how its weight has improved (hopefully) and any other relevant details, will be sent out. The cost is £30.00  which will cover some of the cost of food and treatment, so please consider helping us in this way. Elfie will be writing next week.  Pat Goff 28th September 2017 Last Saturday, Dick, Kay, Jackie and me met at the Rollo Centre early in the morning so that we could prepare for a release. A few months ago the R.S.P.C.A. bought us a family of seven Cygnets. Both parents had been killed. They were a couple of months old when they arrived and although we have five other Cygnets they are still very much in a group together. We also have two swans that have recovered from injury and are ready to go and they have bonded quite well with the Cygnets. The seven siblings all have their flight feathers and weigh between 7kg and 9kg. So a very healthy size (heavier than the adult swans) Just right to set off into the wild. The remaining five are still far too small and will have to stay with us longer but they will have more space in the big pond. It took us a while to catch up and check the 2 swans and 7 cygnets but they were soon snug in their bags waiting while we caught up the two Eider ducks (one of which thinks it is a swan as it has been with the Cygnets since it came in at just a few days old) and a Heron which was a young bird that was not coping when it came in but has improved greatly in the few weeks it has been with us. He had is own tall box. Surprisingly all the birds fitted into my car five swans in the front row, four in he second row. Ducks and Heron at the rear. The weather was perfect, very calm and the river running slowly. We took all the birds out of the car, releasing the Heron first. The river is quite shallow with a gravel  base where we released and he soon started pacing the river edge looking for food which was a very good sign. Then it was the turn of the nine big birds and the two ducks. All three of us opened up the bags so they could all make a dash for the river together, which they did. They all gathered together in a group the Cygnets keeping very close to the swans. We stood on the bank and watched them slowly move down the river. The swans were eager to meet up with another group of swans by an island in the river. They swam behind the island out of site so we decided we should leave them to it. As we drove back along the track we spotted them again with the group of swans all head bobbing and greeting one another which was good. I did wonder what would be going on if one of the group had been a partner to one we had released and how he would explain the seven children trailing behind and saying’ I really don’t know who they are it was nothing to do with me!’ We were happy to get back to the Rollo Centre to clean the car and all the bags and carriers before having a welcome cup of coffee.  A very satisfying day. Pat Goff