Latest News Friends of WildlifeClick here to find out more about the Swan Trust Friends of Wildlife scheme.  "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.. 16th January 2020 Last time I wrote I told you about a swan that Dick and Kay had gone off to rescue from Canty’s Brig . The bird had been attacked by  two dogs and had several deep bite wounds. We hoped this poor bird would recover although its wounds were deep. Although it was very quiet we thought it would improve but several days after it came in we found it dead. The bird was ringed and we found it had been  ringed eight years ago as a two year old bird at Chester le Street, so it was not an elderly bird. It was very sad as we had done all we  possibly could to keep the bird going.  This is the time of year when swans are vulnerable to dog attacks as they often come  off the water to graze when the water weed is not growing so well. Please keep your  dogs under control around swans as although this swan came off worst in this attack  dogs can easily suffer broken bones from an irate swan. Last week we took in another young swan (one of last year’s cygnets) from Alison on  Holy Island. There is a fenced off area of water that this swan was intent on reaching  and in so doing had several lacerations around the lower part of the neck, and slight  wounds under the wings. It was taken to the Vet who did what she could to stitch the  wounds. It was then returned to use to continue caring for the bird. We have been  giving pain killer and antibiotics to help with the recovery. We were a little worried as  for several days the bird was refusing to eat. The bird has to be kept undercover and  away from the other birds on the pond as the stitches have to be kept dry and these  will not be removed for another week or so. It is a big feisty bird that puts up a fight  when we want to treat it and as it has now started eating a little hopefully will make a  good recovery. The other cygnets we have are doing very well. All 59 hedgehogs are well and taking up much of the working day cleaning and  feeding. The Tawny Owl is still making progress but sadly a Barn Owl brought in this week died.  A little bit of news now from across the world. Elfie has arranged for us to become a collection centre for anyone wishing to knot or  crochet items needed for the animals suffering burns in the Australian bush fires. Patterns and details can be found at Facebook page for  UK Crafters for Australia Animal Rescue Effort. Items can be dropped off at the David Rollo Centre 9am to 4pm Monday, Wednesday,  Thursday, and Friday, before 23rd January when the first shipment is arranged. More details can be found on our Facebook page and I  am sure Elfie will tell you more next week when she writes.  Pat Goff 9th January 2020 At this time of year I’d normally be saying we were having to break the ice on the pond so the swans could get in for a swim, but so far  apart from one or two nippy mornings the mild weather continues. I’ve probably spoken too soon; there’s still plenty of winter left to  bring a sudden cold snap. The outside hog hutches are almost completely full of hedgehogs that have made hibernation  weight of around 600g and can sleep until spring – except that hog in Number 7, Hotchi Mews  who still insists on coming out to eat a full bowl of wet food nearly every night.  Indoors, the recovery room is also full of lively little hogs still too hungry to hibernate who are  busily gaining weight. So many of those second litter late autumn juveniles were being brought in  to us in November we had to buy a second block of multi-storey apartments like the other ones,  so that now the entire back wall seems to be lined with our deluxe ‘hog hotel’.  The finish of the new boxes has some refinements, mainly so that the volunteers can get the  cleaning and feeding job done more easily. But what I like best about them is each clear Perspex  ‘dining room’ door has a lovely bold etching of a hedgehog on the front, just in case you were  wondering what the box might contain. Any wildlife lover who has seen the news recently will have been heartbroken by devastating  bushfires that have been raging across Australia and are set to continue in the coming months.  The cost in human lives and property is bad enough, but it is difficult to comprehend the loss of  wildlife. An estimated half billion animals have been killed, including 8,000 koalas - a third of the  population. The pictures of scorched koalas begging passing cyclists for water, and the charred  bodies of young kangaroos are absolutely tragic. My heart goes out to the brave rescuers who work on in dangerous conditions, despite  the helplessness they must feel at the enormity of it all. The reward for their effort will be that animals that would certainly have died  now get their chance to rest, recover and one day be released to live again in the wild. With millions of hectares of habitat lost, we can  only hope that there’s enough left to sustain them. Elfrieda Waren 2nd January 2020 We thought we had everything organised for over the Christmas holidays   when Kay took a phone call about a swan which had been  attacked by dogs on the side of the river Tweed opposite West Loan End. Kay was concerned that she would not be able to get the swan and carry it but luckily Dick called into The Rollo Centre to drop off some dog food and was able to help. He had two dogs in the car but  they were caged in the back so they went off together to bring in the swan. Dick was useful as he could carry it. The bird had wounds so  the first thing they did was to get the Vet to check it out.   They were able to collect the bird later complete with medication of antibiotic and painkiller.  There was a very deep bite wound to one  leg and the strange thing was that the bird only had two toes on this leg with  just one web. The bird is ringed so we hope to be able to look back and see if it  had been in to us before and perhaps had surgery on its foot. The bird is looking pretty miserable but that is not surprising. The attack was  witnessed by the person that contacted us, and must have been very traumatic  for the bird. It has eaten only a little but hopefully will feel better after a few  days peace and quiet to recover. The wounds will need treating in the future and we will let you know how it goes on. The rest of the Christmas holiday has been devoted to hedgehogs except for one Tawny Owl that has been with us for a few days. He has a sore eye that has  been treated with drops and has now moved to the undercover aviary to give  him more space.  All over the holiday the relentless laundry cycle of hand towels that the  hedgehogs sleep in has been ongoing. And this is where we must thank  everyone that has helped us throughout the year. We cannot name you all but we have been so grateful for newspapers, dog food, mealworms, hand towels and all the other sundry things, like scourers and  brushes. We are very happy to have this sort of donation as it is as important as cash donations. Anything that helps us to do the work  we are doing. So a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.  Pat Goff