...that is to say, the first hedgehogs in my garden. I suspect they've been around for possibly a week already because the food I'd been putting out down the bottom of the garden for the blackbirds has recently been vanishing much more quickly than usual.
I was quite excited last night at approx 11:15 when I looked out the window and saw a hedgehog drinking from the waterbowl. However it soon moved on, and I didn't see any more until about half an hour later when I spied a hedgehog at the far end of the garden eating from the bowl of chopped nuts that I had put down for the birds. After five minutes I became aware that there was a second hog much nearer eating from the bowl of mealworms on the patio, and partly obscured from my vision by a plant pot.
The hedgehog at the far end of the garden then went underneath the shed (a possible hibernation site) but within a few minutes zoomed across the lawn, onto the patio, and bulldozed into the second hedgehog. Yes, I'm afraid the bad behaviour has started already.
Here are some photos that I was able to snap through the cat flap - which unfortunately was not the best angle:
In this first picture we see the poor hedgehog that has been so rudely bulldozed just beginning to uncurl. Note the mealworms in its fur - it had been happily eating just before the attack.
Uncurling a little bit more... Is it safe to come out yet?
This photo, taken at a funny angle, shows the smaller but more aggressive of the two hogs. Notice the lighter-coloured patch of spines at the back of its body (I want to call it "Blondie"). From these markings you'll notice that this hedgehog appears in the video included at the top of this blog entry. It also seems to have a few ticks.
Blondie, it seems, will not leave the other poor hedgehog alone.
OK, so they might not be the best photos and video clips ever, but it's great to get this proof of the return of the hogs in 2010.