Saturday, 24 July 2010

Baby hedgehog #2

Here's another baby hedgehog, spotted drinking water in the early hours of Saturday morning. Photos taken through the cat flap.

I fancied I saw this little hog the previous night on top of the secondary feeding station at the bottom of the garden. I'd heard that hedgehogs could climb, but had never before seen any evidence of this.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Elsa and the hogs

Last night Elsa was being fussy and turned her nose up at the cat food I put down for her, so rather than let it go to waste I put it outside for the hedgehogs. Of course, then she wanted it, and appeared in the photo captures throughout the night. It was almost as if she was guarding the food from the hedgehogs. Despite that, there were plenty of hedgehog visitors, including the baby.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

It's that baby hog again, and a couple of mysteries

I saw the baby hedgehog and brought him inside quickly so I could see if he was the same hedgehog and also to see what his condition was like.

He's a lively little fellow and definitely the same baby hog that I've been calling Itchy. I'm glad to report that the spines have been growing back on his bald patches, although his face still looks like it could do with some more fur.

Earlier in the evening when I was putting the hedgehogs' food out and cleaning out the feeding station, I discovered a whole load of these:

Hedgehog spines. I've never previously seen any loose spines like this. Does anyone know if hedgehogs naturally shed their spines? I wondered if perhaps there'd been a bit of an altercation between two hogs in the feeding station, although there was no blood. I also think the spines were too long to have been the baby's.

Later in the night, I observed - or rather heard - something else mysterious. I was letting Elsa in, and I heard this rather loud noise. I can only describe it as a "gurgling" - a bit like a prolonged tummy rumble. It was coming from a large-ish adult hedgehog who was eating from the bowl on the patio. I've never heard a hedgehog make a sound like that before. Does anyone know if this is normal? Are hedgehogs known to gurgle?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Catching up, Monday night's hedgehogs and baby confusion

It's been over a week since my last post so I think it's time for an update. Elsa only stayed overnight at the vets. I had a phone call in the morning to say that her temperature had dropped, that she was eating, that she was even being a bit feisty and that I could collect her. So, I brought her home and she has been back to her old self again.

However, it was a very expensive business with vets fees, taxis, etc. And I'd need more money to take the baby hog with suspected ringworm to a hedgehog carer. Alas, it rained for a few days after I got Elsa home and I hardly saw any hedgehogs at all. I did spy the baby hog on Friday night, but as I was to be away all weekend, there was no sense in catching him. I saw him briefly late Sunday night, and again last night when I also put the infrared camera out for photos (as seen here). Pictured above, we see him at - and partially in - the food bowl.

But... Is it the same baby hedgehog?

If it is, then his spines seem to have re-grown. I went out last night with a torch and took a look at him. I fancied I saw markings where the bald patches had been. If it is the same hog he definitely looks healthier than before.

If it is a different hedgehog, then I wonder where he (possibly she) has been up until now and, for that matter, where the other baby is now? I may have to catch him and bring him inside for a closer look, because I confess that I am confused!

Anyway, here are the pick of last night's photos:

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A hot Saturday night and baby hedgehog update

Last night must have been the hottest night of the year - at least here. There was one hedgehog that was flaked out asleep at the foot of the hedge for at least an hour. In the above photo, we see the baby hedgehog sitting in the food bowl. I'm afraid I haven't been able to get him to a wildlife rescue centre yet. Unfortunately, my cat Elsa is very sick at the moment and is currently at the vets being treated where she can be under observation. I've had to put Elsa's welfare first. I'm hoping to get her back home tomorrow. Once I know she is alright, then I can turn my attention to the little baby hog. I will try to get him to a wildlife rescue centre in the next few days - please do not think I have forgotten him.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Baby hog needs some attention

After your comments on my previous post about the baby hedgehog, I decided tonight that I needed to take a closer look at him. So, I waited quietly in the garden for a few minutes and he soon turned up. I picked him up and brought him into the house.

As you can see from these photos he does seem to be having a problem losing his spines. I'm reminded of Spud the hedgehog who lost all his spines and was treated at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.

Anyway, this poor little hog also had a nasty big tick behind his right ear, so I figured the least I could do for him was to remove it (using a Tick Twister). I then let him loose out in the garden again. If I need to capture him again, it should be easy enough as he is a regular visitor. Tomorrow I shall make enquiries.

Young rabbit and an unfortunate woodpecker

Today, as part of my personal fitness programme I cycled from Didcot to Oxford and then back again. Along the journey I saw a lot of wildlife, although most of it moves too fast to be able to photograph. I did manage to get a shot of this young rabbit (above).

Unfortunately, on the way home I found this woodpecker lying on the path. It was an isolated path through trees with no buildings and no traffic, so it seemed very weird to find it there on the ground like that. I wasn't sure if it was just stunned or dead, so I picked it up. It was still warm, so I guess the accident had only just happened. I put the poor thing on a log surrounded by ivy away from the path. Sadly, I think it was dead.

Do you think this baby's alright, and Wednesday night's hedgehogs

Before I show you the pick of last night's infra-red photos, I want to show you the above picture of the baby hedgehog that has been visiting. Now, last night Elsa got a little over-excited watching the hedgehogs; I went outside to find she had cornered the baby, who was looking a little worried. I don't think Elsa would have hurt him; I think she was just in a playful mood. Anyway, I took her inside the house and gave the baby a handful of mealworms after taking a couple of colour photos, and he was soon eating them up and looking much happier.

But have a closer look at the photo above (click on it to enlarge). You'll see that the baby has a couple of bald patches, one on his back and another behind his ear. His face also looks pretty hairless compared with, say, the hedgehog on the blog banner at the top of this page. Does anyone know, is this normal for a young hedgehog or does he need attention?

Anyway, onto last night's infra-red photos. There was certainly a lot of activity again. You'll notice Elsa in the second photo getting closer than she usually does.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sunday night 4th July and it's Hedgehog Central!

There was such a lot of hedgehog activity captured on the camera last night (as still photos) that the best way to show it to you is in the form of another slideshow video:

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Video footage of the baby hedgehog

These videos are from last Thursday night, 1 July 2010. It took me a few days to get around to editing them - I had so much good footage that night. We see several hogs, not just the baby (who we see is a boy). Poor thing seems to take after our old friend Scratchy. Perhaps I should call him Itchy.

Elsa makes one of her trademarked cameo appearances in Pt2. The hedgehogs really didn't seem that bothered.