We had great news tonight - Indy, the indecisive hedgehog who couldn't decide whether to live in the left-hand or right-hand nest box in our boiler room, made his first appearance after hibernation.
We were fairly certain he had hibernated in one of the two semi-detached nest boxes, as we saw him go in on November 2nd 2009, and we hadn't seen him come out. We couldn't be sure, since we hadn't checked all the movement trigger captures, and the cameras had been blind during the heavy snow over the winter. But, we liked to think he was still in there, and tonight we got our first sighting. It was only a few seconds - if you blink you miss him - but, true to form he's changing from 9f (right) to 9f (left). We don't think he's been out yet, but there's a bowl of mealworms and some water just outside, waiting for him, where they have been all winter - but not the same ones, I hasten to add - the local blackbirds and robins have been helping to clear them.
Things have been getting busy in the back garden as well. The first couple of days there only seemed to be a single hedgehog, with only one visit per night, but the number of visits has been increasing over the week, and there are definitely several hedgehogs visiting.
Most of the visits are still quite short, and most of them are only coming into the garden and standing at the ATM eating mealworms. We've only seen one visitor come as far as the edge of the lawn, and none have come down on to the patio where the three large nest boxes are. In most of the visits the hedgie comes down the alley, has a feed at the ATM and goes back up the alley, so it seems they are just coming for the known food source.
All the visitors look in good condition, very active, with no sign of ticks after the visitor on the first night. Their spines all look in good shape with none of the marks we used to identify them, so we can't say for certain if any of them are our regulars from last year, although they must be. We've seen no sign of Nightshift, and we think we would recognise her, but the others do seem to be smaller hedgehogs, so perhaps they are running short of reserves sooner than the somewhat "chunky" Nightshift.
We haven't been posting many videos yet, as there has been no real action, but hopefully things will start to get interesting.