Volunteers help life run smoothly
Thank goodness we have such a great team of volunteers as with all the swans and hedgehogs we have this year life hasn't been easy at the Rollo Centre.
Some days it has been impossible to hose around the pond, especially in the morning.
The hose has frozen up and we have not been able to fill the feed buckets for the swans, which means buckets have to be carried from the big room.
Jim has renewed the lagging on the pipes, but our two muscovy ducks enjoy pulling it off again.
When we tell them off they just chunter away and bob their heads at us.
They are really very friendly ducks and we can’t help laughing at them.
The volunteers love them and will be sad in some ways to see them go.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to find some builders’ insulated gloves for the volunteers who are busy working outside.
These have been a great success and do keep your hands warm, even on very cold days.
However, when working in the big room you soon cannot feel your fingers.
I find I can only hold the knife for 20 minutes or so before having to warm my hands up when cutting up bread, which is quite a time consuming job with 15 birds on the ponds. Filling seven buckets and a tray takes a lot of bread.
We are very lucky that Brian comes and cuts up a load for us on a Friday, which lasts us over the weekend.
The staff at Fords the Bakers make sure we have plenty of supplies of lovely wholemeal bread for the swans.
I hope all our volunteers (and Jackie) will be reading this as we do very much appreciate the work they do, especially on icy cold days.
We have had a barn owl in since January 3, which was found on a road at Arlington.
An x-ray showed it had fractured a wing, but the bones were not displaced and as it had started to heal already all we could do was give it cage rest.
The bird eats very well and after spending three weeks or so in the Claw and Talon Room in a cage it was moved to the undercover aviary.
We weren’t sure if the bird could fly, but it is managing quite well so if the weather gets milder he will be moved into the large aviary next week.
We may have to put some new branches in as the box is quite high in this aviary and we’re not sure he can fly well enough at the moment to reach it.
But moving him in here will give him more room to build muscle.
We need to make sure he is able to hunt for himself before he can be released.
The photo this week shows work in progress on the indoor aviary for the big room.
It has been so cold in there that Jim has not been able to work on it, but we found him lots of other little repair jobs to do instead.
We hate to see a man with nothing to do!