Sunday, 11 October 2009

All Quiet on the Hedgehog Front

Last night was the quietest we've had, hedgehog-wise, for quite some time. We only had three visitors into the garden, besides our regular residents, and even they deserted us.

Flatmate didn't show up at all, and he'd only spent an hour in 9a the previous night.

Alfie was in 9b for a lot of the evening, taking life very easy as usual - he doesn't even have to come all the way out of the nest box to feed, although if he wants a drink he does have to exert himself a little. We love the way he just flops down in the tunnel - just like Nightshift.

He went out of the garden later, and although we did see him in the garden again in the early hours, he didn't return to 9b.

Nightshift had spent the day in 9c, but went out quite early. We thought she had returned about 4:00 am, as we saw a heavily marked hedgehog going into 9c on the video, and we had someone in 9c during the day:

When the hedgie finally emerged from 9c this evening it wasn't Nightshift. It was quite a bit smaller. We wonder if it could be Alfie, but it doesn't quite look like Alfie, either!

9d had an awayday as well, so it was very quiet.

Even though it was very quiet, the visitors still managed to empty the mealworm bowl on the lawn. This bowl is completely empty most mornings, so yesterday we moved one of the cameras to cover it, and it was well worth it.

There were only three visitors into the garden, but there was plenty of action:

These are two clips from the same piece of activity. Now I've had time more playing with the video editing software, I've been able to include the whole sequence, speeded up four times. This video covers about 30 minutes.

By the time they'd finished the bowl was completely empty, so we are making sure we put plenty in tonight. At least we've confirmed it is the hedgehogs who are eating everything. If the bowl was emptied with only a few visitors, we realise it must have been empty very early on the evening when we had the normal complement of visitors. At least they had alternative locations in the garden to choose from.

Meanwhile, back at the front... Indy is still using both nest boxes - he alternates between them, and he seems quite happy there.

He also changes from one box to the other, without even coming out of the boiler room. Here, he stops for a rest half way.

So, we don't know where any of the regulars are, and even the visitors stayed away - looks like the hedgehogs were having a big party somewhere else last night...


  1. They may have been at my place :-) I have only ever seen up to 3 together before last night, when we had 5 !

    However, a disarster tonight. The Garden Centre has stopped selling the Hedgehog Bites, and now provide something else. Had to use that for the first time today. Guess what - the bowl hasn't been emptied...

  2. Thanks Kevin, you could well be right! For you to have seen five together must really have been quite a sight.
    We're sorry to hear about your food sourcing problems. We hope that the hedgies will get over their initial hesitation/reluctance.

  3. The food has only been prodded at again tonight. I think we will have to search the local area for the stuff they do like. Or are they just staying in bed because it is colder?

  4. Hi Kevin, we are sorry to hear your hedgies are still being very fussy but then, you do have a point in that they could well be affected by the cold, particulary as it is fluctuating between mild and cold weather. We do not know what is up with the hedgies in our area at the moment. They lived here quite happily for a good number of weeks and now, they have just upped and left. Very sad, really. We just hope they are safe and warm and healthy and we wish the same for yours.

  5. I'm very confused with ours - mind you, I'm new to this. Having seen one hoggie just sniff at the new food and walk off, we seached the area and found some more of the "good stuff" (ie that our hoggies like). They eat the lot last night, then didn't reappear as normal tonight. A couple of hours later, we had 4 - they cleared the food bowl. Refilled it, but they haven't come back yet...

    Hope yours return soon. Do they normally overwinter in your houses?

  6. Hi Kevin, we are delighted you got your "good stuff". Sounds like your hedgies are too ! We only discovered that hedgehogs were visiting the garden in August 2008 so we are quite new too. we built 9a and 9b that September and October respectively. We used have Spot, who used love to munch and then sleep it all off in 9a but he has not been around here since Oct 2008. With Spot using 9a, 9b was originally designed as a feeding station where the hedgies could eat and be dry and if needs be, have a quick snooze afterwards. NightShift was very partial to 9b so as the time went on, we put more and more bedding into it and it changed use and she lived with us right up to Dec 10 2008. That night was terribly cold and there was snow on the ground and around 01:00 she woke up and left the garden and did not come back at all. We saw her once under the decking in Jan 2009 collecting a bit of bedding material but she did not visit the garden again until start of April. So to answer your question, no, they have never overwintered fully here. We did find a little baby in mid Nov 2008 out and about during the day and we brought him in and kept him here in the house (he even had his own room!) right up to Jan 09. We called him Twosie but alas he didn't make it either and we have called this site after him.