Latest News "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.. 13th August 2020 For one reason or another, it’s been some time since my Wednesday volunteering stint has involved cleaning out the hedgehogs in the  recovery room; in recent months I’ve tended to help prepare the food for the outdoor hogs in Hotchi Mews and the meals for the gulls,  cygnets and ducklings.  But this week Kay asked me to make a start indoors as she and Wilma were already  well on with work outside. High summer is normally fairly quiet for hedgehog  admissions, but this year we have 19 already, even before the autumn influx of hogs  that perhaps haven’t achieved a weight where they can hibernate safely. Our hedgehog ‘summer school’ is made up of all different ages and sizes, some  coming in as tiny newborns which Kay has taken home to feed by hand, some as  adults with either an injury or infection.   The little hog in the picture came in from Branxton in July weighing just 121 grams.  When they’re separated from their mother at such a young age – perhaps just a day  old and their eyes not yet open – they’re extremely vulnerable and the chances are  they may not survive with hand feeding. But some do make it, and this little girl has  been eating well and has almost doubled her weight in just two weeks. The smaller hogs can feel the cold really easily and need the warmth of a heatpad  until they have a bit more of their own ‘insulation’. It’s always very encouraging  when Kay says a hog can move from a plastic cage with a heatpad to one of the  ‘deluxe’ multi-storey apartments as that is definitely a sign that they’ve made good  progress. The very youngest hogs have often been brought to the Rollo Centre because their nest was disturbed in some way and the mother has  either been killed or forced to abandon the family. One of the most common causes of accidental nest disturbance is unwitting gardeners  mowing or strimming areas of long grass or deep vegetation. Hedgehogs choose unkempt, neglected areas as a quiet spot to build nests  and have their young. Before starting any late summer tidy-ups, please take time to check for wildlife; give the shrubs and grass a rustle  and make some noise so that any animals living in the undergrowth will have a chance to either relocate or be discovered.   Elfrieda Waren 6th August 2020 With the baby bird season drawing hopefully to a close It was pleasing to see that despite all the difficulties we have had this year we  have still coped. Lots of orphaned, lost or cat attacked baby birds have been fed, cared for and some released. When we were taking the calls at the weekend Dick took in a lovely very young Barn Owl. The nest was right at the top of a building, and could not be reached to  return the little fluff ball that had obviously tumbled, or been pushed by it’s siblings down on to the ground. It was a good job it had  been brought in as on examination it was found to have a broken leg. The wee thing has gone to the Vet today to see if anything can be  done to save it. Elfie will let you know what the outcome is when she writes next week. I had to use the Owlet as picture this week as it  is not often one is seen as tiny as this. We still have lots of Ducklings in four separate pens as they are all in varying stages of growth. If they are put together the biggest ones  will bully the tiny ones. We have a group of seven in the big pond which we hope will be able to be released later this week. Then we move them all along so the next biggest have the  pond and the smaller ones a tray on the Lomax aviary the even smaller ones go into a run  on the grass. Its like having class rooms at school as you grow up you move round.  The Cygnets are all looking good and happily don’t seem to mind sharing their pond with a  variety of ducks. I think they are amazed at times the way the duckling dive under the  water and appear the other end of the pond. Cygnets are not that fast. The quiet season for hedgehogs has not appeared this year. We currently have eighteen  hedgehogs. Fifteen are small babies most still needing heat-pads. Three or four have moved on to the tower cages but most are still in the guinea pig cages to give them room to come  off the heat-pad if they get too warm. These cages are at the moment on every flat surface  available. It will be good if they all get a bit bigger and move up to the tower cages. I dare  say then there will be more of the late babies arriving. We get more and more hogs in each  year. We are starting up our sponsorship scheme again this year. The dreaded messy and noisy Gull babies are now down to eight. Last week we had over  thirty. Dick has been busy releasing them well away from the town but where there is  plenty of food available.   Thank you to everyone supporting us with donations. Pat Goff 30th July 2020 We’re full of busy at the Swan Trust these days, not so much because of the numbers of animals in our care, but more because there are  several groups of species at varying stages of development. Admissions on my weekly shift included a buzzard and two newborn hoglets weighing just over 110g each. Kay takes them home to feed  every hour with special formula milk; it really is intensive care, but is the only chance for such tiny hoglets.   The two owlets in the Longridge indoor aviary are always interested in what’s going on in the big room. The ‘tawnier’ one of the two –  the other is more gray – usually flies onto a trapeze swing at the front of the mesh to see what’s happening. It’s because he came in as a very young nestling unable to feed himself and Kay had to coax him with small strips of  meat. He’s ‘imprinted’ onto humans, but this will change as he gets older and he is  transferred outdoors to a larger flight to practice his flying skills. He may grow to be as  feisty as another, slightly older tawny which is currently in an outdoor flight. This owlet is  definitely not used to being in the company of people and I gather is going to be released  as soon as he’s fit to go. The ducklings, too, are in three age groups from two very tiny ones in an indoor cage to  almost young adult mallards in the big pool enclosure whose iridescent blue strip is  appearing in their wing feathers. The seven ‘medium stage’ ducklings in the Lomax aviary are the real inbetweenies; they  still need their bread cut up into tiny cubes and are still eating small mixed grains. But no  matter what stage they’re at, they all love their lettuce and mealworms.   The four cygnets are growing fast, very pushy and confident at feeding time. There’s  another cygnet being kept in the Lomax with the seven ducklings who’s difficult to  approach, hissing because he’s frightened. It’s very interesting seeing the difference in behaviours of youngsters brought in at a very  early stage and those coming in slightly older; before they’re released, Kay makes sure they all have the instincts and skills needed to  survive in the wild.  Elfrieda Waren