Lucky to have such volunteers

Well, this is the last jotting of 2016. The year just seems to have flown by.

Sunday, 1st January 2017, 3:00 pm
The duckling at Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

During the past year we have looked after nearly 500 casualties, and the volunteers will have put in about 5,000 hours looking after them.

Without all their efforts we could not manage, and we are very lucky to have such loyal support.

The animals need cleaning and feeding every day, whatever the weather, so we all work in wind, rain, snow, and occasionally warm sunshine.

Last week we were able to release all our swans, except one. He is quite a bolshy bird.

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The swan has had to have part of one wing amputated and doesn’t want us to look at it. When we get hold of him he is very handy with his good wing and has caused a few bruises in the past.

He is healing well, but just needs a while longer.

Back in late October we took in what we thought was a tiny mallard duckling, just a couple of days old. He was all by himself so had a mirror for company.

We are not sure now what he is, but he certainly is not a mallard. He resembles a muscovy more than anything else.

He is quite big now and has been out in one of the small aviaries, but he is ready for the pond now.

We may have to try him in with the swan who may like some company as he is on his own. We plan to clean the pond this week so hopefully we can try them in together.

Apart from several pigeons and two crows, we have 30 hedgehogs, and two tawny owls, as well as Errol, of course, so we shall be kept busy through the festive season.

I must thank the person who kindly donated an almost new chicken coop and run. This will be very useful when the little ducklings come in next year, which is our 25th anniversary.

We feel very lucky that we have such wonderful support.

We are very appreciative of all the donations we receive, from newspapers, food, etc, to chicken coops and pressure washers.

Also many thanks to Elfie who has helped me by writing some of the jottings. It’s good to have another point of view.

Thank you so much, and may we wish you all a very Happy New Year.

• The Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust was formed in 1992 following a pollution incident in the River Tweed estuary to provide support for the local swan herd, as well as other wildlife in the area.

The historic Borders town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is home to Britain’s second largest mute swan moulting colony.

Since its formation, the trust has rescued, treated and released more than 1,000 swans, as well as countless other sick and injured animals that have been brought to it from as far afield as Newcastle, Edinburgh, the Lothians and the west of Scotland.

The trust is based at Windmill Way East in Ramparts Business Park. For more details visit www.swan-trust.org