Friday, 30 October 2009

A surprise visit

Since Indy departed a few nights ago, we've been down to a single visitor, arriving between 7 and 8 pm, having quite a good snack of mealworms on the ATM, a long drink on the lawn, a spell doing who-knows-what under the decking, and then a swift return through the ATM.

Last night was the same procedure, except for his innovative use of the lawn feeding bowl as a seat:

I'm still working on a customer site, which means I need up be up at 5:30, so I try and get to bed earlier than I usually do. For some reason, last night I just didn't seem to be able to drag myself off to bed - must have been my hedgie detector working overtime, because about a quarter to midnight I was just thinking I really must go to bed, when I looked at the Alley cam - to see a hedgehog! Not only that, as very short time later a second one appeared. He got a bit of a pushing from the first chap, but he stayed around and they both ended up munching on the ATM. We don't know who they were, but we were certain neither were the visitor from earlier.

We decided we'd try and give them a quick check up, in case the sudden appearance of two hedgehogs was a sign of trouble. Unfortunately, the ATM is right at the back of the pitch dark garden, so wee set off with a small torch.

The reaction of the two hedgehogs is interesting. As you can see, when they hear me, they both stop eating and look up. But then one does a runner, straight for the decking and out, whilst the other just curls up.

I couldn't even find the one who ran - he was out very quickly, but it would seem he knows his way round and is one of the regulars.

I picked the other one up and brought it in for a quick check and a weigh. We find it very difficult to judge the size of the hedgehogs on the cameras, and we felt these two were not over large. When I actually saw him close up I realised he was quite large. The weigh-in confirmed it - 845g, so this chap should be in with a good chance this winter. He was very reluctant to uncurl, so after a quick check for ticks (none, I'm happy to say) we put him back on the ATM and left him to it. It seems he got quite a fright, since he stayed curled up for six minutes before opening up and departing. Sorry, little guy, but we just wanted to make sure you were all right.

We think this warm weather must be confusing the hedgies - the minimum temperature was 12 degrees C last night. Its forecast to get colder over the weekend, so I think these chaps should settle down as well.

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