Cygnets enjoying a very muddy time at Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust

We are very busy at the Rollo Centre at the moment.

Sunday, 10th July 2016, 13:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 15:11 pm
Errol the owl in the recovery room of Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

All the aviaries and pens are occupied so when it rains it’s a very wet job doing the cleaning and feeding.

Anyone who has kept ducks or other water birds will know that they love mud.

When I hosed the paving by the door of the Lomax aviary all the cygnets, six of them, and the eider duckling rushed to where the water was running into the grass and dug in their beaks.

Their heads up to their eyes were covered in mud, as well as their undersides.

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After they had enjoyed a good dig around they waddled over to their new bath, which has just been put in, and had a good wash so now the bath needs cleaning too. That’s the sort of thing that keeps us busy.

We are managing to release some of our ‘patients’.

This morning two swans were released, leaving us with just the amputee swan. She is having to be dosed with antibiotic daily after her wound became infected, but is making progress.

Two crows and two jackdaws were also released. These were all young fledglings when they were brought in.

The pond was cleaned and refilled so that we can move the cygnets and eider from the Lomax aviary to the big pond. This is so they can get used to deeper water and they will be able to spend more time on the water.

The Lomax aviary can then be thoroughly cleaned before five mallard ducklings are moved in with another eider duckling. They have been housed in two small aviaries.

The Lomax is a really good size and gives them plenty of space to move around. It also has two bathing ponds, which will seem quite big to the ducklings as they are just used to their water being in a large plant pot saucer.

Ducklings grow at an amazing rate and these birds will certainly enjoy having more water.

We had donated a beautiful aviary a few weeks ago, which has been put up and is for fledgling garden birds.

It currently houses a young blackbird that had a serious argument with a cat. It has lost a good many feathers and has a bald patch on its back and only has the outer three feathers on each wing.

As the bird hated being indoors and was able to fly a bit we decided to put it in the aviary.

It is eating well and I have noticed that it is growing new feathers already.

I have another blackbird chick that is travelling everywhere with me as it needs hand-feeding. It has started pecking at bits of food, although it can’t get the hang of throwing it back to swallow. As soon as it is pecking up it can join little Baldy in the aviary.

Jim is doing a brilliant job of the new aviary he is building for Errol. He will love to be in the open a bit more instead of undercover. When we were working in the pond, he was looking out at us.