Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wendy News!

I received the following email this morning from Mary Lane at Spikes Sanctuary in Clunderwen:
Hi Gavin

Many thanks for the most beautiful card. Wendy is snoring her head off, as she weighs so much now and is fit and healthy, I have let her hibernate - although, typical Wendy she wakes up for the odd 'snack'!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best wishes


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Check those bonfires for nesting hedgehogs, please!

There's a picture of me with Wendy the little hog I rescued recently in this week's edition of the Western Telegraph! It's not the most flattering picture of me (I'd just come in from some really ghastly weather outside and am looking somewhat "windswept". Oh well, it's a nice pic of Wendy, anyway.)

The piece in the paper is asking people to check their bonfires for hedgehogs before lighting them, something I feel that needs national exposure. The idea of poor hedgehogs being burnt alive is just too horrible to think about.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The little hog goes to Spike's Sanctuary

The little hog was so lively throughout the night that I didn't have much sleep; I was overly worried and kept checking on her (yes, it turns out she is a girl) at regular intervals. She made a right mess of the pet carrier box I'd put her in, and managed to drag her bedding into the water bowl, to rip up the newspaper at the bottom of the box, splash water over it and make it into a mushy pulp, and also she seemed to be quite adept at sitting in her water bowl.

In the morning we braved the terrible weather and drove out to Clynderwen and left her in the capable hands of Mary Lane at Spike's Sanctuary. It was a pleasure to meet Mary, a lady who is so devoted to these beautiful creatures and who does so much to help this now endangered species.

Mary has asked me if I'd like to name the little hedgehog, who apparently has been eating well tonight. I'm afraid my mind is a blank at the moment. Any suggestions?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

It's Autumn Juvenile time again!

I've got an autumn juvenile that I just brought in. He weighs in at approx 470g when he should be at least 600g to survive hibernation.

He's currently safe in a pet carrier box with towels for warmth, a bowl of dogfood and another of water. The box has been placed in a warm, dark room. When I checked on him just now he was sleeping.

I'm planning on taking him in to a local rescue centre tomorrow.  Sorry, no photos as yet (I've left my camera out in the car).

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nearly hibernation time

Sorry, no pictures, but I saw a hedgehog tonight eating the mealworms I'd put down in the garden. I was beginning to wonder if they had started hibernation already and perhaps the birds were eating the mealworms. So, I think I'll continue putting food out for a while at least.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sorry for the long break in posting...

...unfortunately my trail camera has been giving me nothing but trouble and I haven't been able to use it at all. But I have been feeding the hogs each and every night, although I rarely see them these days. It's not like when I was in Oxfordshire and the hogs came right up onto the patio and I could view them through the window. The hogs here are very shy and rarely venture further than the very bottom of the garden.

I just went outside a few minutes ago and photographed this small-ish hog. It's not the best picture, I know, but I just thought it was about time I updated this blog.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Heron fishing in Newport, Pembrokeshire

Here's a heron I videoed whilst on a walk yesterday.

(More hedgehogs soon - the trail camera battery takes an AGE to re-charge!)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hedgehogs stills from Tuesday night

After what I was saying yesterday, I decided last night that conditions might be right for capturing some stills using the trail camera. I put food out at one end of the lowest slate step into the back garden and the camera at the other. I'm sure the wet weather helped combat white out too! And these are the photos that resulted - only a handful, mind you, before the battery ran out (again!).
(Times removed from photos because the time setting on the camera was wrong!)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Monday night's hedgehog

Apologies if this blog has been a little video-heavy recently. In previous years I liked to vary the posts some more, so sometimes we had photos, sometimes videos, and sometimes slideshows. Alas, I can't seem to get decent stills from my trail camera at the moment. I find that the infrared is just bouncing back and whiting out the whole picture. Some of you will remember I took various measure to combat this in the past in the previous location by laying down black non-reflective rubber mats on the ground, taping up the LEDs on the camera, etc. Well, I've used the tape on the camera again, but the mats would seem a little incongruous here, I feel. Still, here's a colour photo I snapped last night. I don't like to do too many of these because of having to use the flash. I don't think the hedgehogs get too spooked by the flash, but nevertheless I prefer not to use it.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Hedgehogs and other animals on the bottom step

Last night I put a bowl of food on the bottom slate step leading into the lower garden, partly to see if the hedgehogs were willing to roam around the garden a bit more and not just stay in the bottom left corner by the compost heap, and partly because I thought the video would be better with the slate beneath them rather than grass and without foliage causing infrared light bounce-back to the camera.

Come the morning a number of birds also make an appearance, as does Elsa.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hedgehogs courting

You have to feel sorry for the female hedgehog... the male's idea of "foreplay" is hardly the most romantic!

Hedgehogs videoed in our garden in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on Friday night, 1 July 2011.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Of Mice and Hedgehogs

Last night I set up the trail camera in a different position, in an attempt to get some variation between these videos, and also because I thought the hedgehogs would show up better against the dark background of the soil in this position.

I put food and water out in the usual position, but also scattered a few handfuls of mealworms down in this new place. I had been putting a small amount of mealworms here for several nights already, encouraging the hedgehogs to move around the garden a little.

I was quite surprised at how many mice turned up in the resulting footage. It's no wonder that Elsa likes being out in the garden so much.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hedgehogs on Wednesday night

The latest hog movie from here in Pembrokeshire. Also features to now usual mouse and robin!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Bee hotel

Here's my "bee hotel" which I finished putting together earlier today. Instructions on how to build one are freely available on the internet. Mine was cobbled together from scrap pieces of wood - mainly from an old piece of skirting board, a handful of nails, and sections of bamboo and dried Japanese knotweed (because I ran out of bamboo).

The idea is that you hang them in a warm place that catches the sun, and mason bees populate it and lay their eggs inside the tubes. It's all about encouraging bees to your garden and giving them a helping hand, especially considering that bees have been dangerously in decline in recent years.

I'm not 100% certain that hanging the bee hotel on a tree is a good idea. They may prefer it to be on a wall, but I put it on a tree because we didn't really have any suitable walls that catch the sun for a large period of the day. I'll leave it up on the tree for a while and see if any bees take up residence. If they don't, then I'll see about relocating it to somewhere they might find preferable.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Hedgehogs... and a mouse... and a robin

It's not only hedgehogs that are partial to mealworms, it seems!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Solitary hedgehog(s) on Tuesday night

All last night's video captures where a hedgehog was present showed just a solitary hedgehog. Whether they all show the same individual or if a number of different hedgehogs were visiting at different times, I do not know.

It's interesting to note that whereas on previous nights there are no video captures of hedgehogs past 11:30pm, last night there were hogs still showing up at gone 3:00am. I wonder if the rain had anything to do with it?

By the way, there were mealworms scattered all over the grass; they weren't just in the white bowl (which was just as well, because in some shots you can see it's full of rainwater). I scatter mealworms on the ground because it makes for more interesting viewing to see a hedgehog snuffling about than one sitting with its nose stuck in a bowl.

There must have been a few mealworms left over by daylight, because of the presence of the robin, who we see in the final couple of scenes of this video.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Bad bad behaviour!

Hedgehogs engaging in a bit of rough and tumble! Note that in the penultimate sequence, a third hedgehog turns up. And then there were three!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Picky eaters?

Last night I tried giving the hogs dog food to eat. I don't think they were keen. All you see them eating in the above video are the mealworms that I also put down. These were all gone by 11:30pm and then there were no more hog visits. I had a couple of captures of my cat Elsa trying the dog food, but that was the only interest, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Introducing the bowl hog!

Here's my second hedgehog video from Pembrokeshire. As you will see the picture quality is a marked improvement on yesterday's video. This was achieved by the extremely high-tech method of sticking a couple of pieces of black electrical tape over half of the infrared LEDs on the trail camera!

Note how when the second hedgehog comes along the first sits in the food bowl and hogs it! It was just as well I also scattered some mealworms on the ground for the other hog (which also encourages more activity for the purposes of the video).

Ahh... it's good to be back blogging about hedgehogs and showing my videos and photos.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The first hedgehog video from our Pembrokeshire garden

As you will notice from the first sequence in this video we have hedgehogs, plural! So, we have at least two. I wonder how much of a population there is here?

Apologies for the lack of quality - I'm getting that old infrared glare problem again which is usual when setting up the trail camera somewhere new for the first time.

Friday, 27 May 2011

The hog's back again

Look who's back. I'm sure this is the same individual that I saw on Tuesday night because of the colouration.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

My first Pembrokeshire hedgehog!

I can't tell you how pleased I am to see another of my spiky friends at long last. I was thinking I wouldn't get to see a hog down here, what with the number of badgers locally. One or two neighbours, however, had mentioned that they had seen hedgehogs and so I persevered in putting food and water out just on the off-chance that a hog might come this way. The food has been disappearing over the last couple of weeks, and I believed I saw some hog poo recently. But tonight I went out to put some mealworms down and I saw this little fellow. I took a couple of quick photos and then left it alone. I don't think these countryside hedgehogs are quite as used to people as those in the town where I used to live.

Friday, 11 March 2011

At last! A badger caught on video!

I suspected there was a badger visiting up at the top of the graveyard because of all the animal tracks. After weeks of leaving out the infrared motion detector trail cam and having caught footage of foxes, rabbits and squirrels, finally I get these few fleeting seconds of a badger.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

It's Samson the Seal

OK, so this wild animal isn't exactly in my back yard, but it is an example of local wildlife - you just need to get to certain places on the coast in order to see it. I was walking with a friend on a section of the coastal path in Abercastle, Pembrokeshire, when we saw this face watching us from the sea. The seal seemed just as curious about us as we were of it. It was particularly exciting because neither of us had seen a seal in the wild before. We saw three more a little later from the top of the cliffs, but obviously not as close up as this.

Oh, we called him "Samson" as we were walking to the nearby ancient burial chamber known as Carreg Samson.

As ever, click the photos to enlarge.

These photos were taken on Saturday, 26 February 2011.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pheasant gets to grips with a fat ball

We've been putting lots of food out for the birds in the garden, including a couple of fat balls which we've hung in the trees. This morning there were tidings of magpies (apparently that is the correct collective noun) and I think one of them must have plucked one fat ball from the tree. This hen pheasant, another visitor who has been frequenting the garden recently, seemed to be getting great pleasure from the fat ball, flipping it up in the air by the surrouding netting and pecking at it. It was quite comical to watch.