Dozens of Berwick gull chicks rescued

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.

Thursday, 5th July 2018, 2:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th July 2018, 2:39 pm
Jennah is pictured with her floral box containing a rescued gull chick. She keeps the box in the car for emergency animal rescues.

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.

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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 are 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 practise.

But 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 and need a container to transport it.

The trust’s AGM takes place at the Rollo Centre on Saturday, July 28, 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 at www.facebook.com/swantrust and on the website, as well as 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.