Some regular and unusual visitors

It certainly is not getting any less busy at the Rollo Centre, and 2016 has been the year of the wood pigeon.

Sunday, 13th November 2016, 11:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:09 pm
A rare water rail at Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

Over the last couple of months it seems every other casualty has been a woody. They are slow flying birds and seem to pick a lot of arguments with cats.

Most have been youngsters, who needed hand-feeding. At least, as with all the pigeon family, this is only twice a day, but it is still time-consuming. The good thing about wood pigeons is they have a massive mouth and you can just shovel the grain in. Once the crop is full and they have a chest like Dolly Parton they are happy to go back to the cage.

When they get stressed they throw off feathers, a defence mechanism I suppose, but when they are in the recovery room we are constantly trying to sweep up feathers.

We have only got three left in now out of at least 15 that arrived. These birds just have to wait until their flight feathers grow back in after being lost to cats.

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Alan, from Ayton, brought us a very unusual bird last week. It was a water rail. Neither Kay nor I had seen one in the flesh (or feather, I should say) before.

The bird had a nasty wound to its head and was taken to the vet for suturing. Sadly, the poor bird died under anaesthetic so it was not the outcome we hoped for.

We also had in a jackdaw that had concussion. The bird was very unsteady and had difficulty walking and feeding. It was also moving its head from side to side.

We decided to give it 24 hours to see if it could get itself together and were very pleased the next morning to find the food bowl empty and the bird much steadier. It had a clean cage and another bowl of food, and we enjoyed watching him trying to find the food he did not need. This is something all the crow family do.

When we arrived the next morning he had had a wonderful time tearing all the newspaper in his cage into thin strips. His head had stopped its side to side movement and it was completely steady. We moved him to an outside aviary and were pleased to see he was flying, and after half an hour was busy investigating his new surroundings.

The couple who brought him in are coming back to take him to where he was found.

Hedgehogs are still arriving very underweight.

We have 20 in at the moment so we will start our sponsorship scheme again. It will cost £30, for which you can name your hog and receive a card telling his story with a photograph. There will also be an update on your hog’s progress in February.

Last year quite a few hogs were sponsored as Christmas presents and we covered all the costs of keeping the hogs, which was very useful. Just contact us any morning, except Saturday, and we will give you all the details.

Don’t forget our Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 3, from 10.30am to 2pm, at Berwick Baptist Church Hall. We have lots of really different things this year.