Latest News Our AGM and Open Day is on 28th July 2018. Click here for the covering letter, agenda and proposal form (doc format) or here (in pdf format). View or download the new poster with full details (Why not print out and display if possible) ******************************* "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.. 19th July 2018 If you let it, wildlife rescue can be an emotional rollercoaster, with some animals surviving against all the odds and others not, when it  seems as if they should. One little battler that has surprised us all is the female three-legged hedgehog from  Fenwick Steads which came into the trust infested with mites back in mid-December. Kay  could tell she’d been through a lot; she’d probably already had a family of hoglets, one of  her back legs was missing, and her prickles were possibly damaged by the ‘severe mite  burden’ she carried. The wound where her missing leg had been had healed so well Kay thought it may have  been removed surgically in a previous visit to the vet’s. But she came to the conclusion  that the hog had just been lucky, and whatever had befallen her had resulted in a very  clean amputation. Amazingly, she has come through all this and is now a healthy, albeit slightly wobbly  hedgehog. There is the possibility she has been found an enclosed garden home, as  releasing her back into the wild is not an option with her missing leg.   As with every animal that comes into the Rollo Centre, she had that extra chance that can  make all the difference. Sometimes, sadly, it’s not enough. We’ve had a cygnet in for a few  weeks who came in all on his own. In the wild they will hatch with siblings, and as they  become adults they find their place within a large social group. We did our best, adding a  white teddy and a mirror so he at least had what passed for a brother or sister to look at, but I was delighted to see one Wednesday that another, younger cygnet had joined him in the aviary. Sadly that one died as Pat reported last week, but another young one was added.  Unfortunately when I got to the trust last Friday this one was also weakening and despite our best efforts he, too, faded away. While  initially young animals may look perfectly healthy and be eating normally when kind people bring them in to the trust, Jackie said we  often don’t know what happened to them beforehand, and what’s going on internally. It was very sad to watch a beautiful young animal  die like that, but I know we’d done everything we could to give him the best possible chance. Although he’s on his own again, the  original cygnet continues to thrive.  My spirits were lifted later that day when I went for an evening stroll in Spittal with a friend who was visiting from London. It was a  glorious evening, the sun turning the old bridge and rampart walls a fiery golden-red, and the sky and river were a vivid mix of blues. At  least 100 adult swans were basking in the evening sun, their necks relaxed onto their backs and their beaks tucked under a wing; I  wonder how many of Berwick’s feathery flotilla have been raised or rescued by the trust down the years. Elfrieda Waren 12th July 2018 At last the Herring Gull chicks that are growing like mushrooms have a nice pond with gentle slope so they can paddle and bathe. Our  thanks to Jim and Peter for sorting the pond. The birds are really super clean. They wash their faces after every meal and love to have a  complete bath even when they are small. This year as most of them came in on one day and were all like ping-pong balls they were able  to go together once they had got over the shock of a 30 of 40 foot fall.  Several died from internal injuries but the majority soon pulled themselves together  and ate everything that was put in front of them. These "first in" birds are now  growing their wings and trying to lift off the ground when they flap. One or two  smaller ones have come in to join the merry band and although it is time consuming  cleaning them and very fishy when preparing their food they all look very healthy. We  just smell of fish!  We are checking the ducklings in the big pond as we think they are very nearly ready  to be released. We have two other younger ducklings ready to take their place in the  pond with Harry Swan who is at last moulting out his pink feathers. He is looking  beautifully white so another few weeks should sort him out as well. Our oldest Cygnet is growing well and very sadly he is missing the tiny companion  who came in a couple of weeks ago. He was much smaller but they were getting on  very well together but the little one was found dead this morning, so poor Cygnet is  on his own again. The one that died had been alone and abandoned by his family. Its  really sad when this happens but we can’t win them all. Our Tawny Owlets are all growing up and we are needing more aviaries for them as  they grow. We are constantly moving birds from one pen to another to make room. They are all doing very well.  This is the time of year when all the tiny garden birds get lost or caught by cats and they come into us to sort out.  We have with various  volunteers so they can be fed continuously, a Blackbird, several Sparrows, a House Martin, a Goldfinch and a Chaffinch. We are lucky to  have volunteers happy to take them home. Our next Open Day is on Saturday 28th July 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. Plenty of wildlife to see as well as Tombola and other stalls. Check out  our new 2019 calendars. One is a special one just showing hedgehog pictures as well as a general calendar showing the variety of wildlife we deal with. On the same day starting at 2.30 p.m. is our Annual General Meeting. Proposal forms can be downloaded from our website or picked up  from The David Rollo Centre. Everyone is welcome.  Pat Goff 5th July 2018 I had a wry laugh when I saw a photo on Instagram by another trust volunteer Victoria recently, captioned: ‘ “I love baby gull season!”  said no volunteer, ever.’ Her picture was of two fluffy mottled chicks, with huge webbed feet and knobbly knees way too big for them. I had a chortle at the picture, and then I went in to the Rollo Centre to do my usual volunteering stint. That’s when I found there weren’t  just two gull chicks but around 30. They were all casualties of the high winds, blown out of their rooftop nests and brought in by  concerned local people who had found them sprawled on the ground. When they first  come in, the gull chicks go into plastic cages, where they make so much mess they  need to be cleaned out twice a day, which is why they’re not the most popular patients  with trust volunteers. Fortunately, they grow rapidly and they’re soon big enough to be  transferred to an outside enclosure where the floor can be hosed down. It’s true that gulls can be noisy and messy, and one or two people are even prepared to break the law by using them for shooting practice. But many, many more people accept  that the gulls are part and parcel of living in a coastal town.   It’s especially heartening when children and young people take an interest in wildlife  rescue, and the trust has lots of young supporters who are growing up to value all kinds of animals, not just the ones that happen to appeal to us humans. On Friday afternoon  12-year-old Jennah of Ayton and her mum Karen brought a gull chick into the Rollo  Centre in a very pretty floral box. Jennah said she keeps the box in the car just in case  they come across an injured animal while out in the car and need a container to  transport it.   The trust’s AGM takes place at the Rollo Centre on Saturday 28 July from 2.30pm, and  everyone is welcome to come along. Trust members should note that in order to ensure  as much of our supporters’ donations as possible is spent on actual wildlife rescue, we  have decided not to post out personal invitations this year to save on costs. Instead, information on the AGM is being posted on our  Facebook page, on the website and here in our weekly Berwick Advertiser article. This year none of the trust committee has to retire under the three year rule, but people can be proposed to serve on the committee as  long as they are in agreement. Nominations can also be made for the post of chairman with the same proviso.   Proposal forms are available from the website at www.swan-trust.org and can be downloaded and emailed to the trust or printed and  posted to BSWT, Windmill Way East, Ramparts Business Park, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1TU. Forms are also available by calling in at the  Rollo Centre at this address. Elfrieda Waren