Precautions in place for bird flu

Since the New Year things have been very quiet at the David Rollo Centre.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 3:56 pm
Resident hedgehogs are hibernating now in Berwick Swan Trusts Hotchi Mews, where new name plates have been added, courtesy of volunteer Elfie.

It always worries us when things get quiet, and when we had the freezing gales last weekend we thought we would be in for a very busy time.

However, perhaps it was too cold for people to go out and find things.

We did have a call on Saturday about a swan that was lying on the side of a pond at Foulden.

There were other swans on the pond so Kay picked me up and we went to see what the problem was.

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As avian influenza has reared its ugly head again we are being careful about which birds we bring in as we have to protect the six assorted birds in the centre at the moment.

We have taken what precautions we can by following the DEFRA recommendations, but we don’t want to bring in sick birds that may be infected with bird flu.

When we arrived in Foulden we found the side roads like sheets of ice so Kay parked and tottered up to the householder who had reported the bird.

There was no one at home, but a very kind lady showed us where we could drive down to the pond.

She also told us that the pair of swans resident on the pond had been fighting with a new arrival and that it may have been injured.

We drove down to the pond and walked round. Part of the water was frozen and the ducks skated across to meet us, hoping for a free lunch.

We found the two resident swans on the edge of the pond. They both entered the water and were both fine.

It was interesting to watch them use their chests as ice breakers. They were moving from side to side to make headway. The ice was quite thick in places.

There were horses on the far side of the pond, behind an electric fence, so we did not walk all the way round.

There was no sign of a third swan so we think it must have been chased off.

It was a nice walk as there was little wind and the sun was shining, and there were no injuries to deal with.

This is the time of year when last year’s cygnets will get chased off. It’s pretty rough sometimes and is not pleasant to witness, but it is quite normal.

Back at the centre, we noticed that Jim and Elfie had been busy fixing the name plates to the ‘bungalows’ in Hotchi Mews.

All the residents are hibernating now.

Elfie took the photograph when the job was done.

Elfie made the name plates from glass in her workshop and they look really great. Many thanks, Elfie.

It was nice to see Jim back as he has been busy looking after his wife Shirley after she dislocated her shoulder and broke her arm in a fall at Christmas.

I think Jim has learnt what a difficult job us women have. I think he was glad to come in to have a rest.

Hope you soon will be fit again Shirley.