Monday, 21 September 2009

O, Nightshift, Nightshift, wherefore are thou, Nightshift?

Yes, as you may have guessed, Nightshift has gone missing. Just as she seemed to be settling into a steady routine, she confused us by changing it. A couple of nights ago, instead of going out exploring and spending the night around the front, sleeping in the boiler room, stayed in the garden, munching outside 9c and then nipping back into bed in 9c.

Last night she seemed to be back to normal, getting up and going out, spending a lot of time at the front. She came back just before five this morning, having a last mealie before bed. She looked as if she was just about to go into 9c when she changed her mind and dashed out of the garden:

and she didn't come back. We hope she's all right - we've been worrying about her! Hopefully, she'll be back tonight as normal.

Nightshift was not the only hedgie behaving strangely. Alfie and Flatmate had a visitor, and the straw in 9a was exhibiting major earthquakes. Unfortunately, they've moved the straw over the cameras, so all we can see is the straw moving. Anyway, things calmed down, and the visitor may have left - we didn't get the chance to check all of the captures.

Then at dinner time (lunch time for those south of Watford) I was just looking at the monitors (the poor hedgies have 24-hour monitoring) when I saw little Alfie vacating 9a. We think he must have had a fight with Flatmate. Very strange behaviour - when we checked back on the other cameras, he had come out of 9a tunnel and turned left, squeezing between the nest box and the fence, rather than turning right and crossing the lawn. So, he made it out under the decking without being seen. Unfortunately, we didn't catch him on the tunnelcam as it had been tipped over by a starling ten minutes earlier!

He seems to be all right, because he came back tonight at first dark. He's had something to eat, and had a couple of snoozes in 9b. It looks as if he's now made friends with Flatmate again, because he's just gone into 9a.

Let's hope Nightshift is back soon.

Here's a recording made from one of the recorders we use for the hedgiecams. Each recorder records four cameras, and you can playback each channel separately, or all four at once. This is showing all four cameras, which is quite neat as it allows the events from several cameras to be linked together. The time in yellow is the time of the recording. Alfie is asleep in 9b bedroom. On the patio (outside 9b) hedgie 9d and goes into 9b. This wakes up Alfie. After a short time 9d comes out again. He exits the Patio cam right and shortly after can be seen arriving home in 9d bedroom. 2009/09/21 19:18:47

When I've had a bit more practice editing videos it would be neat to splice the different clips together...


  1. Watching the last video, bottom right camera, I had to smile at the hedgehog gingerly feeling where to put its foot as it steps down from the hog box.

    That is a great video set up you have there. I bet it is very time consuming though. It takes me long enough to go through the captures from one camera, especially last night when large bright rain drops kept triggering the recorder, not to mention the same with moths flying about.

  2. Yes, a hedgehog stepping down from the box is my favourite sight. 9c and 9d are about 5 feet from the back door, and we regularly lay down with the door open and watch them emerge.

    When the weather was colder, on several occasions Nightshift stuck her nose out of the tunnel and had her foot half-way to the floor - then turned round and went back to bed for another hour.

    And yes, it does take a long time to go through the captures. We spend a lot more time than we should, but it's got to the stage now that we don't check the whole night. What is quite handy is that the recorders generate a snapshot of each trigger, so we load those into Paint Shop Pro and scan through them, like a stop-motion animation. You can get an idea if there is something interesting, but wind and rain cause so many false triggers.