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...   14th September 2023 This week the photo shows a young Tawny Owl that was brought in a couple of weeks ago, after being found at the side of a road. It was soaking wet when it was picked up just after a heavy downpour. Fortunately, the man that found the bird put it under a heat lamp to dry  out, before bringing it in the following morning. We thought it was a lovely little grey Tawny, easy to look after, not a bit of it. This bird  was devious indeed, looking asleep in his cage until we went to move him, when he shot out of the cage however careful we were. He  would get himself tucked up in a tight little corner or under a cupboard in the ‘Claw and Talon’ Room. We were glad when he was able to  go in an aviary, although we were very careful to check it for any little spaces he could get himself trapped. Three weeks was quite long  enough to keep this young bird, as soon as he was ringed he was back in the wild. He looks so innocent in his box ready to go. We also have a selection of Wood Pigeons and Feral pigeons that were just babies  when they were brought in. They have all been together in the J.D. Aviary and are  now ready for release. Our two Cygnets are growing well and have become friends. It is nice that we have  two as a single bird never does very well on their own. One of the Cygnets came  from Eyemouth and has ‘Angel Wing’. We hope we can get this bird the surgery it  will need to keep it more comfortable but the bird is too young yet. Both birds will  be with us through the winter for release in the early spring. We have a juvenile Herring Gull which came in a few weeks ago after a head  trauma. It was kept isolated for some time before it came in to us. The bird has  gradually improved although it has taken some time, but this is one thing we can  give these casualties, time, and a safe place. He will be going fairly soon now.  We have, sadly, the problem of Avian Influenza rearing its head. Over three  thousand birds have died on the Farne Islands recently and it is showing up all  along the coast. We have managed to rear and release 30 or so Herring Gull chicks,  now we have to be very careful. We are unable to fetch in, or take in any seabird at this time. Even if a bird appears injured it may also be suffering from this awful  disease. We have so many other birds in our care that we cannot risk their safety by bringing in a virus that will mean a death sentence  to all the birds we are caring for, and a closure of the centre for some time. We hate having to tell people to leave sick and injured  seabirds alone. We have always done what we can for them before but this disease is a killer and there is no treatment we can give, or  get, for any of these casualties. Most veterinary practices will not have anything to do with them either. The situation we have now will  probably become worse during the autumn as migrating flocks move the infection with them. We have all taken phone calls from the  public not understanding that we can do nothing for these birds and cannot risk handling them. Please don’t take it out on volunteers  and staff we are all doing our best to work around the D.E.F.R.A. guidelines.  Pat Goff 7th September 2023 Things should be beginning to slow down at the Rollo Centre now we are in to September. Usually at the end of the month the little  orphan September born hoglets begin to come in. This year they are arriving very early. We have four very tiny hoglets all under 100  grams with teeth just emerging, just at the difficult stage of weaning. They don’t want to be fed milk and are not eating enough to grow  on meat alone. Kay is doing her best with them all giving them a couple of milk feeds a day just to boost them up. The one in the picture  has teeth just emerging and weighs just 75 grams. These must be from early autumn births, which are three weeks earlier than normal.  We are using a pate type of dog food in little trays for the babies and would be very grateful if anyone is able to donate some. If these  youngsters survive they will be the first to be put up for sponsoring this year. There is no way these babies will be ready for release by  October. Hedgehogs in our care now number seventeen including a family of mum and three growing babies brought all the way from  Carlisle. They are being kept together in a large run and we are keeping away as much as we can until the babies are older. Last week a Buzzard was brought in after being found at the side of the road. The bird has recovered very well and is using a big aviary  to build his strength after a week in the ‘Claw and Talon’ room for cage rest. A farmer found a young Tawny Owl at the side of the road absolutely soaked  through after a very heavy shower. We think he may have received a glancing  blow from a vehicle and then got really wet as he sat on the verge. The farmer  picked him up and put him under a heat lamp to dry out and brought him in the  next day. All of us that have had dealings with this bird when cleaning his cage  will tell you he is VERY feisty, fast and cunning. He would lie in the corner of his  cage like a dry old bit of wood and before you could get near him to move him to  a clean cage he would be up and fly across the room. He always managed to dive  under a cupboard or up a corner where it was difficult to catch him up. He has  made a great recovery and is now in the Longridge Aviary stretching his wings  safely. He was ringed last week and will be going out this week. We also have a Barn Owl that is almost ready for release, in the Undercover  Aviary, and a Kestrel in the Lomax Aviary. We have a Sparrow Hawk in the ‘Claw  and Talon’ room almost fit to go to an aviary.  Jim and Ian have been working very hard this week repairing two old aviaries and  moving them up to the top of the lawn. They are now building three small aviaries on the vacant site. These will be ideal for next year  when we have young birds that are better outside but still need hand feeding. They had to use our old petrol mower to cut the grass  short before siting the aviaries on the lawn. Jim was telling me how bad the old petrol mower is. Brian does a wonderful job on the  garden and never asks for anything. Please can anyone help with a mower. Jackie also is asking for rolls of wallpaper to cover the boxes  in the aviaries.  Pat Goff 31st August 2023 Last week we had some releases. A young Kestrel that has been with for a while was sent back to where he was found as a young  fledgling. We also released a Sparrow Hawk the same day. The hedgehog with wounds that I wrote about last week is improving. We are cleaning his wounds daily. She is eating well and is very  co-operative considering we are probably making her wounds sore when we clean them. The picture this week which was sent in by Natalie shows a 300 gram hedgehog she had found infested with ticks. She brought the little  female hog in on Saturday and Barbara managed to remove 26 ticks. We looked at her  on Sunday and Kay managed to hold the little hog open whilst I operated the tick  removers. We managed to get off over 50 more ticks. The poor little beast is also  covered in berry bugs. They were all round it’s eyes and can be seen in the picture  very clearly. We also found them round her legs and tummy. They must be very  irritating to her. We started her on ‘first aid’ so that she has an antibiotic against any  infection caused by the ticks and a dose of steroid to boost her up and take away the  itching from the berry bugs. It took us a long time to get the ticks off and Kay must  have had a sore hand from holding her fingers under the animals chin to stop it rolling  up again. We have done what we can for her anyway. Ticks can be very debilitating for  tiny hedgehogs, without them she will hopefully start picking up.  We had a Buzzard in last week that we were monitoring as it had had a knock from a  car. We had to hand feed it for a few days but it soon starting eating for itself. It is a  healthy weight and is enjoying meals of rabbit and pigeon.  On Sunday we took it up  to the Undercover Aviary to see if it was able to fly. The refurbished and enlarged  aviary is just right for this sort of thing. There is room in there now for a large bird like  a Buzzard to be able to fly. This is giving him much more space but as we intend to release the Tawny Owl in the Big Flight this week it  can be transferred there to build up his flight muscles again. He should not be with us too long as he has made a good recovery. This week Jim and Ian are moving our two old small aviaries up to the top of the lawn. The aviaries are still in good condition but the  safety areas to stop birds escaping are rotten, so will need to be replaced. In the space at the bottom close at hand they are building  three small aviaries for smaller or juvenile birds that we need to keep a close eye on. We never seem to have enough aviaries at busy  times and these extra aviaries will be very useful next summer.  Our two Cygnets are now getting on very well and the lone duckling from a late hatch is beginning to make friends with them. He has  been all on his own since he came in as he was so much smaller than the others. He went to the big pond after the others were released  and was very wary of such a large area of water. He soon got the courage to go in and was soon bathing and diving down as if he had  done it all his life.  Pat Goff