Tuesday, 17 November 2009

One year ago today... day 2

Continuing the story of Twosie the hedgehog in 2008...

When we rescued the little hedgehog we weren't really prepared for a lodger, and we had to put him in a small cardboard box. The next day we found a larger box and moved him in. Here he is tucking in to some mealworms:

And here he is a little later settled down for a nap - honest, there is a hedgehog in there somewhere. We'd also put in a small litter tray, which he seems to have used.


Monday, 16 November 2009

One year ago today...

...we saw a little hedgehog snuffling around outside the ATM in daylight looking for food. The little chap was too small to even climb the step into the garden, so we went out to check him over. He only weighed 290g, so we felt we had to rescue him and we took him in for the winter.

We dashed out and put a few mealworms down for him, which allowed us to pick him up with an oven glove and put him into a small cardboard box, so we could get him into the house and check him over.

Here he is in the temporary box with a little blanket, some mealworms and some water:

and here is the first good look we got of him:

At this stage we just referred to him as "Baby".

The Mouse Ran Up The Clock

... or a least the Lilac tree. We've seen no hedgehogs for a while now, but the garden is not completely empty. We still have the odd mouse dashing around, but this was a new departure with the mousie climbing up the Lilac to investigate the bird box where the robins had brought up their family this past Spring.

Mousie may have been here before and we didn't notice, since there's no trigger on this camera due to the swaying of the branches. It seems he had a snooze for five minutes before leaving. Perhaps he's worried about his current nest getting flooded with all the rain we've been having lately.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Not a sighting

It appears they have all finally settled down to hibernate - we haven't had a sighting of a hedgehog since Visitor put in two surprise appearances on the evening of the 5th November.

We've still got food and water out, just in case one should wander by, but no sign. It's good news, because the weather is really turning cold and damp - 5.7 degrees C last night.

We went up to my father's for the weekend (hence the missing blog) but checked the captures from there, with no sign of a visit. The only one we couldn't keep an eye on was the boiler room, as the PC running that camera crashed while we were away. We assume Indy is still in there since we haven't seen him come out, but I suspect we won't know if he really is in there for quite some time.

We still keep an eye on the cameras as 15th November is the anniversary of us finding little Twosie in the alley in daylight. We hope we don't find another baby, but you never can tell.

While we were away the folks at the back repaired their fence, so access to the decking is restored, and if anything is slightly better, although we need to patch things up a bit on our side. The problem is getting at the fence as our giant sunflowers are in the way, although I think it's time they were cut down.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Visitor Returns!

We nearly missed him, it was so quick, but Visitor returned to the garden last night. The first visit was very early (just before quarter past six) and very quick. He just came down the alley, through the ATM and disappeared. We assume he went out under the decking, but since we removed the camera from there after the fence collapse last weekend, we can't tell. We grabbed the night scope, but couldn't see him at all.

This first clip is a dual view of him coming down the alley and in the ATM. The camera labelled DECK is the old decking camera, temporarily repositioned looking down on the ATM:

And here's the normal ATM view:

We were even more surprised checking back through the triggers to find he made a second visit about half past eleven:

We wonder what is the matter with the little chap - he seems a reasonable size, and doesn't seem to be eating or drinking very much, and has been hanging around for over a week since the other hedgies went into hiding. We wonder if "he" is really a "she" and is bringing up a litter of youngsters for us to overwinter.

A bit late.. but nothing to report

The blog is rather late today - this is for the night before last (Wednesday 4th). Unfortunately, the only news is no news. Not a single hedgehog sighting. We hope they are all safe, and haven't chosen a bonfire to nest in. Fortunately, there aren't usually any bonfires in the gardens round us, so we're quite hopeful.

The cats are still appearing at the front, but we'll let them finish the hedgehog food and not put any more out once it's gone, but we'll keep putting the mealies and water out, just in case one of the hedgehogs wakes up feeling peckish.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Only cats...

We haven't seen a single hedgehog tonight, so it seems they are all tucked up for the winter, but the extra hedgehog bites we put out as an extra treat for little Indy have worked wonders in attracting the local cats.

We don't mind them scoffing the food but aren't too happy about them intruding into Indy's nestbox area, although he should be safe inside. We'll have to do something to reduce the access for the cats.

We did have a little surprise when going through the triggers from the cameras on the night of our last visit from Visitor. We saw him in the alley, but he never came into the garden. What we didn't notice was that he was on the ATM a little while later, heading OUT of the garden. After the collapse of the fence over the decking last weekend, we had assumed the decking entrance was blocked, but he seems to have found a way in. Because the decking camera was under the fence we had moved it, so we have no record of that - but we repositioned it looking down on the ATM. The bad news is that there were so many spurious triggers the recorder had actually crashed, so we don't have a video, but we do have the motion detect triggers of the little chap:

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The passing hedgehog

We were surprised to see this little chap in the alley at 6:30 pm - the earliest we've seen one in the alley, and we only just caught him as I'd just arrived home. We aren't sure if it's Visitor or another hedgie, but he seems to be totally unmarked.

He had quite a good munch in the alley, but never came into the garden. We think he might have been frightened off - he jumps several times during the clip, but we don't know what it was .

Unfortunately, we didn't have any more visitors to the garden.

At the front, we didn't see any sign of Indy. He went into 9f about 0:40 the previous night, and as far as we can tell he's still in there, so it looks like he's hibernating. There's no motion detect on that camera, so we have to scan the videos... We've had to put a sign on the door, as earlier in the week we were just in time to stop the postman putting a parcel in on top of him:

We put out a selection of hedgehog foods for Indy, as well as the mealworms, just in case he felt peckish, but all we managed to do was attract the local moggies. Unfortunately, they also seem very interested in the boiler room, so poor Indy is getting company. We'll have to restrict access.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Indy Stays Home

We're certain it was Indy who returned to the boiler room the night before last. Last night he came out just before 8pm, spent about 8 minutes munching, then went back to bed. He next appeared about twenty-five to one, heading for the water by the front door. He then returned to the bowl for a few seconds and headed off for the front lawn for a couple of minutes, then came back and went to bed. We haven't seen him since.

We checked the rest of last night's video carefully, and we're certain he didn't sneak out, so it seems he's asleep in the boiler room. It was very chilly overnight (down to 6 degrees C) so he decided to have an early night. Could he have finally hibernated? We will see - these hedgehogs are so unpredictable!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Indy returns?

Following the behaviour of the Visitor the previous night, we thought we had seen our last hedgehog of the year. This seemed to be the correct assumption last night, when we had had no visitor in the back garden by the time I went to bed around 2am.

We also thought Indy had moved out of the boiler room at the front, since we hadn't seen him for several nights.

We therefore had a surprise this afternoon when we did a quick scan of the captures from the front - we had a visit from a hedgehog, and he had moved back into 9f!

What we can't be certain of is who it is (what a surprise!) We are sure it is the hedgehog who visited the back garden three times the night before, and that it is the one we weighed the night before that. Seeing his behaviour on this clip, where he moves from 9f (right) to 9f (left) makes us think it is Indy, showing his indecision again. What we do know is that Indy wasn't our original visitor, because we did see the two of them at the same time, one at the front and one at the back.

It is therefore possible that the original Visitor was the one who did the runner the night we did the weigh-in.

The weather really broke overnight - yesterday was quite sunny and warm, but it cooled off and rained overnight, and it was very windy. You can see all the leaves which came down overnight. So, perhaps Indy has decided that his accommodation for the last few nights wasn't as good as the boiler room. We will see.

We had another surprise when we checked the cameras this morning. When we looked at the decking cam it looked very odd. We went out and checked the camera and found that the fence had partially collapsed, blocking the entrance to the decking. The fence belongs to the house at the back, not us, and has looked very unstable for quite some time. We are lucky it didn't happen a few days ago. The people at the back seemed to be away today, so we will see what happens to the fence this week. We just have to try and make sure the access under the decking remains.