Nests succumb to high water

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IT only seems a couple of weeks since I wrote my last piece, time does seem to rush by. All this rain is certainly going to cause problems for our local swans.

They are notoriously stupid about nest sites. Close to the water may be handy and a site may be ok when chosen after heavy rain. When chosen just before the rain and rise of river level that follows it is disastrous.

The Eyemouth swans have lost one clutch of eggs and a nest. Some swans at Canties may be in difficulties.

There is still time for the birds that lose a nest to start again but it does mean that the youngsters hatch much later and do not have as much time in the good weather to build them up. It also weakens the pen who has to lay more eggs. Let’s hope the rain soon stops. They can have it down south where they need it.

Our hedgehog that was put outside in a pen has decided winter has returned and has decided to hibernate. He has been asleep for about a week now. This is not unusual for hedgehogs.

The false spring we had a few weeks ago will have got a lot of hedgehogs out hunting for food after the long winter sleep and I dare say quite a few have returned to their winter hideouts for another snooze while the cold wet weather lasts.

The weather also has prevented us from releasing the barn owls. They have been with us through the winter and it is not fair to throw them out in inclement weather when they will be unable to hunt.

Some birds are up to the mark with their breeding programme and the first of the year prize goes to our young blackbird being fed by Dean after its nest was attacked by crows. This means our ‘quiet season’ is at an end and casualties will be coming in thick and fast. We are getting a fair few enquiries from people wishing to volunteer so we should be able to cope again this year.

Jim has been busy doing lots of woodworking repairs to runs and aviaries and is doing a grand job. Keep up the good work Jim. Me and Kay are writing you a list!

Some book ahead dates for you now. On Sunday, May 27 we are having an open day when we should be fully stocked and there will be plenty to see. I will give more details nearer the time but there will be tombola, bric-a-brac competitions (with prizes), cake and candy, and the usual teas and scones.

On July 29 we shall have another ‘open day’ and afterwards we shall have our AGM and film show.

To end I thought I would tell you that John is still rushing about fetching in wildlife casualties, I had to call him last Sunday about a gull on the wrong side of the railway line at Berwick Station. He had just put a cake in the oven so timing was important.

The poor bird had a broken wing way beyond repair but John scaled a six foot wall and collected the bird. He had a bit of a job getting back over the other side. He said he never thought about getting back when he went over.

It was not a happy ending as the bird had to be put to sleep but at least it was not lingering for days on end. John is discovering the size of wall it is possible to climb carrying different species of bird, chucking the bird over first not being an option. This perhaps would be a good competition for our open day.