Trust successfully hatches its first cygnets in 18 years

Solo, the first swan cygnet hatched in 18 years by Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust
Solo, the first swan cygnet hatched in 18 years by Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust

Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust is pleased to announce the safe arrival of four cygnets.

The first hatched during the night of 19/20th June and we did think for a while we would have to call it Solo,.

However, on June 21 another hatched and this morning (22nd) two more left their shells behind.

Last week we had to dispose of one of the eggs as it split and was bad. There are two eggs left and we shall give those another couple of days in the Vetario.

Three of the cygnets are very well, the last one is still weak as it took three days to break out of its shell and needed a little assistance in the end.

We would like to thank the staff at Haggerston Castle for their quick action in getting the eggs to us when the nest was abandoned.

It was too close to another nest where the chicks hatched first. The new parents drove the other pair from their nest after they had been sitting for about three weeks.

The eggs were only left for just over 12 hours before they were brought in to us.

The trust has a small incubator but it is difficult to set up and get the heat and humidity right so we decided to use the vetario.

This is an intensive care container which has warm air circulating, keeping an even temperature for small very sick animals.

We used damp towels to keep the humidity high enough, and to our surprise it worked!

We have been turning the eggs three times each day keeping the towels damp for the past couple of weeks. The photograph this week shows Solo just after hatching.

We are very excited about these hatches as it has been about 18 years since we hatched swan eggs.

This was when the river rose and washed a nest away but we managed to save some of the eggs.

We have two other cygnets with us from Newcastle area. These are several weeks old and have gone into the Lomax aviary with our Eider Duckling who was very lonely by himself. They are all getting along quite well together.

The swan with a broken wing that had metal pins put in to help it heal is ready for release now so we shall do that later in the week when we hope the 15 mallards will also have all their feathers in place and be able to fly if they need to escape any danger when they go onto the river.

Our two tawny owlets are outside now and enjoying the fresh air.

They are very well camouflaged in the trees and we have to look carefully to see where they are.

Sadly a tawny owl that was brought in concussed and then lost its sight has been put to sleep as there was no improvement after several weeks.

As always, we are always on the lookout for volunteers. If you can spare a few hours we’d be delighted to hear from you. Contact details below.

More news next week.