Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hedgehogs on a cold October night

So about a week ago I was thinking that hedgehog visits had really dropped off and perhaps some had started hibernating already, but these last few nights have been really busy again hog-wise. Last night I put the infra-red camera out, partly because I wanted to record whether the juveniles were still coming.

Notice the time on the last photo here: 06:09 AM. That is very late for hedgehogs to still be out, at least going by past appearances. I do have another capture timed at 06:44 AM, although this was not a very photogenic shot - just a little hog can be seen in the grass in the background of the photo. I guess they are just trying to take all opportunties to fatten themselves up for hiberation.

I made sure to put down some chopped nuts along with the mealworms last night. It's funny that in two of the bowls these were all eaten, but in the bowl you see in these photos, the hogs had thrown all the nuts out and made a right old mess. Does that indicate that certain hogs visit particular feeding bowls? I'm not sure.

On another note I have some news that does sadden me. For reasons I'd rather not go into here, I will be moving out of this house at the end of next week. In many ways I will be happy to leave and to make a new start. However, it breaks my heart to think I will be leaving my beloved hedgehogs behind. Obviously, they are wild animals and I can't take them with me. I just hope that over these last few years I have done my bit for the population here and have given them a boost.

However, there was always a population here - I remember encountering a hedgehog in the rubbish bag (I thought it was a rat for one horrible moment) shorty after moving in 18 years ago. Another time I watched in amusement as a hedgehog was pushing an upright milk bottle (full) around on the road outside - I think it was trying to knock it over.

I didn't actually begin to put food out specifically for the hedgehogs until about 3 or 4 years ago. There was an established population before then, and I expect they will continue to thrive.

I'm hoping that this Winter 2010 will not be the end of the Hog Blog. There will be other animals - and hopefully other hedgehogs - to encounter where I am going. But I am going to have to say goodbye to my prickly friends here and that is more upsetting than many people would appreciate.


  1. Oh dear... I'm so glad I popped by tonight. Unfortunate timing in one way though.

    I am very sorry to hear that you will be leaving these/your hogs behind. Based on your postings I can fully understand that they have become a big part of your life. Thanks for sharing these very special prickly visitors :-)

    Best wishes to you all :-)

  2. Hi GL, initially we were stunned to see so much hedgie activity through out the night, particularly given that it was so cold last night. It looks like your garden seems to be one of the very few (if only) places where they are finding food in your area at the moment and although it was so lovely to see them there, it was also scary in that they really need to be eating up lots and fast so that they can start to hibernating to get through the winter.
    But then we read on and hit upon your bombshell - we are so sorry (and I think we speak for all your hedgies too) to learn that you will be leaving your current home. We know that the hedgies will really, really miss all the support you have been giving them. You have made an enormous contribution to them and been such a valuable life-line for them, helping them as you did all throughout last year even up to giving the little orphans a fighting chance last Nov, and again this year from March right up until this young set of babies appeared.
    We hope you will continue your Hog Blog, as you have shared some wonderful hedgie moments with us over the past 2 years. It may not be quite as it has been for a while until you get settled and we know you will be missing them, but we do hope you will continue it.
    We wish you the very best of luck where you are heading and we hope everything works out well for you. Please do keep in touch.
    And thank you again so much, from all the voice-less hedgies that you've helped. Your kindess and your generous heart will be missed greatly. But then, it is not all gloom as some new home & garden residents will be all the luckier as you will be coming to live with them. All the very best from both of us.

  3. Hi GL, do you have any idea of the weights of the babies. You might be surprised - they may be heavier than you think. At the end of Oct last year, we had one that we thought would be 3-400g based on the camera shots and it waighed a whopping 845g, so we find it hard to judge their weights ;)