Latest News Please consider adding your name to a petition against the sale and use in UK of the A24 trap used to kill hedgehogs in New Zealand. Intended as a rat or stoat trap in UK it may also kill hedgehogs. Visit petition site. ******************************* We now have a YouTube channel with a number of new videos taken by Elfrieda Waren, including a new one of swans released on to the pond iced up during the “Beast from the East”.   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.. 24th May 2018 It’s almost two years since I started volunteering at the Rollo Centre, and even in that time the trust has made enormous improvements  to its facilities, thanks to the donations and support of local wildlife lovers. We now have Hotchi Mews, a series of outdoor ‘deluxe  chalets’ for hedgehogs, and the Claw and Talon room, for larger birds and animals that need a quieter environment for recovery. And –  although it makes no odds to the animals – the volunteers have a spacious double stainless steel sink area instead of an old ceramic one  to wash out all the food buckets and bowls every day. This weekend sees the official unveiling of the Longridge Towers Aviary, built with  funds raised by pupils from Longridge Towers School. The far end of what we call ‘the  big room’ was used as a general storage area, where old cages, old wellies, and all  sorts of paraphernalia ended up. Now it has been cleared and transformed into a  spectacular indoor aviary, where wild birds can re-learn their flying skills in safety.  Visitors to our open day this Saturday (26th) from 10.30am-2.30pm will be able to  view this most recent addition to the trust’s wildlife accommodation. The Rollo Centre  is on the Ramparts Business Park opposite the recycling centre.   Also on show will be some of the trust’s current ‘guests’, which include a fluffy, feisty  shellduck duckling. He already has the distinctive shellduck markings, and the most  enormous feet, which I’m assured he’ll grow into eventually.   Another, permanent resident getting ready for the open day is Errol the tawny owl, the Rollo Centre’s adopted mascot. Jim had installed a new roosting box for him, but Errol  clearly decided it was situated too high up for his liking, as he would sit hunched  glumly on top of it to avoid hitting his head on the aviary roof. So Una donned the  leather gauntlets to distract Errol while Jim unscrewed the box and adjusted the  height. I sensed a great photo opportunity so joined them in the aviary with my  camera. I managed to get a couple of nice shots, but because he has that amazing 360 degree turn in his neck, he was able to just  swivel his head to face the wall and ignore everything that was going on; he was clearly not in the mood for a photoshoot. Our winter hedgehog crisis is now just a distant memory, with most of the hogs now released to get on with their lives in the woodlands  and hedgerows of the Northumbrian/Scottish border. Huge thanks to everyone who responded to our desperate appeals for newspapers, which we used to line the hogs’ cages in the daily cleaning routine. We were getting through a big pile of tabloids and broadsheets every  day with all those hogs to muck out, but those fantastic collectors can stand down for the summer as the demand has eased for a few  months; no doubt come the autumn we’ll be sending out requests again for your newsprint. Elfrieda Waren 17th May 2018 Now that the overwintering hedgehogs are being released in their droves (well, gradually and carefully either back where they were  found or into hog-friendly gardens), the focus is now on the nestlings and fledglings for whom the introduction to the world hasn’t gone  quite according to plan.   We already have the tiniest of ducklings in, all on his own except for the other duckling he can see in his mirror. Because they naturally  hatch among lots of siblings, they need a bit of company, so a little toy and a  mirror in their box is the best we can do unless another displaced duckling of  a similar age happens to come in. Nevertheless, this little duckling was  making the best of it by dabbling at his water bowl with the pebbles in,  sampling the chick feed and busily preening his down.   Another fluffy youngster just recently admitted was an owlet, looking very  sorry for himself (as you can see in the photo) but according to his record  card he was enjoying the meals of mice that were being offered to him.  He’d been brought in from Press Castle near Coldingham by our volunteer  Jim, whose neighbour had found him in his garden. He had left the owlet  alone as you’re supposed to do, just in case the parents were close by and  feeding him, but after a time it became apparent the poor little guy had  fallen out of the nest somehow and would die if no-one intervened. Pat and  Kay were trying to identify exactly what type of owl he is, and they think by  the shape of the markings on his face that he may be a long-eared owl,  something of a rarity in this area. His irises need to be orange and at the  moment they’re a juvenile black, but Pat and Kay were going to invite a local  bird expert in for a definitive identification.   Concerned residents of St Abb’s had brought in a beautiful young herring gull  with one strangely puffed up foot. He’d spent the winter around the harbour  area, becoming a firm favourite with the locals; it’s great to know that for most people living in seaside towns and villages, gulls are a  valued part of the natural environment, integral to the coastal scene. As the summer months progress, the Rollo Centre will probably become home to many juvenile herring gulls, who have fallen from  rooftop nests, whose parents have perhaps been killed, or who have sustained an injury where a chance to rest and recover is all they  need. Don’t forget that on Saturday May 26 there’s a chance for everyone to meet our rescued animals and find out more about the work we  do at the trust’s open day, from 10.30am until 2.30pm. The day will be made extra special with the official unveiling of the spacious new  indoor aviary, which will give recuperating birds more space to practise their flying skills in a sheltered environment.   Elfrieda Waren 10th May 2018 We still have not managed to release all the overwintering hedgehogs, although they are all now well on the way. Most are now living on Hotchi Mews and Little Hut Row hardening off before going out to fend for themselves. Most are spoken for and will be released by their finder. It was a hard slog this winter with 43 to look after. We hope to have all the hogs away so that we can have a bit of a spring clean before the new years babies arrive but they are already here. Bun the leveret has been at home with me as he needed bottle feeding and it is better if just one person does this. He had his last bottle on Sunday and is eating enough to gain weight without needing milk. He will now go in a pen inside one of our aviaries at the Rollo Centre so that he sees people only once a day when feeding. He weighs 560 grams now and can be released when he is 800grams so hopefully he is well on his way. We also have a little Mallard Duckling, very lonely as he is by himself. He had somehow lost the family and was wandering alone. He has a mirror to keep him company. A little Blackbird fledgling was brought in after a cat attack. It had an injury to its side and was unable to use one leg properly. In the hope that  once the bruising healed it’s leg would be better, it has been at home with me. It has taken food with a pair of tweezers and worms or dog food by anyone passing the cage but we noticed yesterday that its leg was tucked right up and completely useless so sadly we shall have to put it to sleep this morning. We did give it a try. Soon the Herring Gull babies will be arriving too. This year I am afraid that we will not be able to come and collect gull chicks that have fallen off roofs. We spend so much time doing this each year it is getting too much for us to manage. We are happy to take in any chick brought in to us, when we will care for it until it can fend for itself but the collection ‘service’ will stop. Last year we had unbelievable abuse when we were unable to go immediately to pick up the chicks. We are busy preparing for our Open Day which is fast approaching. If we can manage to get a bit of a spring clean in we should look quite presentable by then. The new aviary is complete and looks great thanks to the effort of Jim with a little help from Peter.  We are now looking forward to making improvements to the little pond which has been causing us problems over the last couple of years. This job will not be done until after the Open Day but it is a work in progress. We hope everyone will come along and see our new aviary being opened officially at the start of our Open Day which is on 26th May (Saturday) between 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Pat Goff