Swans keeping the team busy

This week I will continue with the swans' and cygnets' condition.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 28 February, 2016, 13:52
A cygnet suffering from Angel Wing.

The swan with the nasty bite wound is almost completely healed now. It is gleaming white after spending nearly a week on the big pond.

One of the Eyemouth cygnets that had puncture wounds on its neck has finished the antibiotics and has been able to join the swan in the pond.

Last weekend we had a call about another of the Eyemouth cygnets stuck on rocks near the lifeboat. There was blood on its body. I went along with Kay to see if we could get the bird and, sure enough, it was almost at the top of a heap of rocks.

Kay managed, quite gracefully, to climb through the railing and clamber over the rocks to reach the cygnet. There looked to be a lot of blood around its body. Kay handed the bird through the railings to me and then clambered back. We bagged the cygnet and took it back to the Rollo Centre where it was examined.

We found that the blood was from a nasty wound on the bird’s foot. One toe was completely skinned and the tip of the toe was broken.

David the vet did a fantastic job, removing the tip of its toe and stitching the skin together. The bird was on antibiotics for a few days, but the vet checked it again on Friday and said it could join the others on the pond.

Dick collected another two of the Eyemouth youngsters on Monday. They are just bruised and sore, either from the rough sea or being chased by the adults. Two others seem to be ok where they are at the moment.

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Thankfully, all the birds are getting on well in the big pond.

Another swan was collected from Riverside in Berwick this week. It is very weak, but we suspect it is an elderly bird suffering from the cold and wet. It was put in a pen by itself and at the weekend we let it out into the pond. It enjoyed a bath, but is not very strong so will probably be best brought undercover during the night.

We have had reports of a swan/cygnet on the river in the Berwick area with a broken wing. We have checked this out and found it was a bird with Angel Wing. This condition causes the feathers at the tip of the wing to grow in the wrong direction. The bird can manage, although it is unable to fly. The photograph shows the condition.

Also new in last week was a barn owl. It had been either in a collision with a vehicle or had been caught in the turbulence from a heavy goods vehicle.

The bird is a male of good weight. The vet took the bird to tube-feed and returned it after a couple of days as it was eating for itself. It still looked a bit shabby, but has gradually improved daily.

On Sunday it was put into the newly painted and cleaned undercover aviary. Hopefully another week or so should see the bird released again. The aviary is usually used by Errol so he will have to stay indoors until the barn owl is released.