Tuesday, 23 March 2010

They're Back!

Welcome to the first post of 2010 - so, as you may have gathered, it means our hedgehogs have emerged from hibernation - or at least one has.

We saw the first little chappie at quarter past midnight on 21st March, and when we checked the previous night's captures we found he had appeared at 3:30 am on 20th March, and he came back a little later.

Here's the first sighting, coming down the alley:

And here he is, munching away on the mealworms:

A hedgehog has visited us several times each night since. We think it's the same one, but we can't be sure. The first hedgie has a projection between his eyes - we think it's probably a tick, and he seems to have several more ticks, but they don't seem to be in evidence since the first night. It may be a different hedgehog, or he may just have got rid of the ticks.

We don't know where the hedgehogs have been hibernating, but we think they were probably under the garden sheds in some of the other gardens.

We are very relieved that at least one has made it through the worst winter we've had for quite a few years. The hedgehogs hibernated earlier than last winter, and have appeared earlier - it was 1st April last year before our first sighting.

We did see one article on the web saying that it has actually been quite a good winter for hedgehogs, because the steady cold weather had meant they hadn't been brought out of hibernation early by warm spells.

At least this chap looks quite healthy - he's eating away and seems to be quite lively. He's one of the regulars, as after his mealworms on the ATM he went along the back of the garden and out under the decking. We wonder if it is "Visitor", the last hedgehog to hibernate, as this was his pattern, never coming right into the garden.

So, let's see how many of the others appear. We hope Nightshift has made it, as we know she came through hibernation last winter, and we have grown rather attached to her.

In theory, Indy is still hibernating in 9f (the boiler room). He may have sneaked out when we weren't looking, but we'll find out soon. We haven't checked the nest box since he stopped appearing in Otcober as we didn't want to disturb him.

So, our friends have returned. They do seem a little later than some of the other blogs we follow - Snufflehog saw his first hedgehog nearly a fortnight before us, and Midmarsh John's hedgehog has returned, and they seemed to hibernate long before ours.


  1. Great to see more hedgehogs coming out to eat. After such a long hard winter they must have used up a lot of their fat so a handful of mealworms must be a real feast for them.

  2. Good to hear from you, John. Yes, we are certainly relieved and we hope more will be emerging in the next few days.

  3. Welcome back! I was wondering why your blog had been so quiet :-)

    We haven't seen Harry or Tictac since we met. Hope they are OK.

    We had a new hoggie move into the garden at the beginning of this month. My wife named him / her Uno. Uno has taken up residence in the hoggie house, which I'm afraid means that Harry and Tictac left before I had the camera trained on it. Another hoggie tried to take over the house last Sunday, resulting in a fight (which Uno lost), but later left and Uno returned the next night.

    Have just seen a different large hoggie eating at the food bowl outside the kitchen window.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Yes, it has been a very quiet few months for us but things do seem to be looking up on the hedgie front, after such a hard winter. With the fights for the accommodation that you've been seeing, you will now understand why we have ended up with 5 hedgie houses.

    The only time we have ever seen them share was when little Alfie and Flatmate moved in together.

    We hope you will get to publish some of the hedgie adventures in your garden soon.

  5. Hurrah! Great to see that you have hedgehog activity again. I think they are a much hardier species than people give them credit for.

    I too was told that the severe winter weather could actually work in their favour. As a species they've certainly had to endure harsh winters many times in the past.

    Looking forward to seeing more!

  6. Hi GL,

    Yes, we too are delighted. We think ours are like yours at the moment - they have not settled down to a routine yet. It's still not that warm here - only 5 degrees C at the moment, so they probably keep dashing back to their hibernaculum for warmth.

    And you are right - they are a much hardier species. They have been hibernating for nearly 5 months - quite remarkable really !