Our casualties are slowly recovering

The barn owl is enjoying our newly re-decorated and cleaned undercover aviary.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 14:43 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 04:06 am
The barn owl at Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust is settling into the newly refurbished aviary.

Jim has done a brilliant job of cleaning and painting the aviary, which was being prepared for Errol, our mascot tawny owl, but he will have to wait until the barn owl is released.

Dick and Peter helped at the end, putting in new wood chippings and a couple of nice big logs.

The barn owl has settled in very well and is flying better now.

He had either been hit by a vehicle or caught in the draught from an HGV.

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The vet had tube fed him, but then he started to eat for himself. Although he was eating, he sat in a bit of a heap all day, but during the night he ate his chicks.

The ringer, Alan, came to ring him on Saturday and said he looked in good condition and could soon be released.

Alan is very good, coming whenever we have a bird that needs ringing before we release it. When he came on Saturday he had come straight from doing a night shift on a gritter. That’s dedication for you.

Alan also checked over the kestrel that was glued up when it came in.

Although it is flying, the feathers are not in good enough condition to allow it to hover.

We cannot release it until it is able to hunt for its food.

The tawny owl we have is making an excellent recovery and should be able to be released shortly.

We prefer to wait for an improvement in the weather to give the birds the best possible chance of coping back in the wild.

The swan that had a huge bite wound on its side is almost completely recovered. We can barely see the wound now and feathers are rapidly covering the site.

I took photographs daily as we treated the wound, and it seemed like a slow process, but then quite suddenly the wound began to close up, gradually getting smaller.

She gets on very well with the cygnets we have brought in from Eyemouth. All these birds are improving and recovering from their cuts, bites and grazes, except one. This one is very weak on its legs.

We have been putting the bird undercover with a very weak swan we collected from Berwick. They sit together quite happily, but we shall have to have the cygnet x-rayed if it does not improve over the weekend.

We hope shortly to be able to release three cygnets and the swan together if the weather stays good. All the birds are river wise so should cope very well.

The weak swan, we think, is an old bird so we hope if we keep it in and give it plenty of food it will be able to go back on the river in the late spring.

I have been sitting at the computer nearly all day doing the updates for the sponsored hedgehogs, which I will have to print off and send out. It is a big help having the hogs sponsored as it helps to cover the cost of food and heating.