Thursday, 3 March 2011

Meet Twearly the Hedgehog

Our single hedgehog is still visiting, so we think he's come out of hibernation early, instead of just waking up for a quick snack as we thought (and hoped) at first. We've decided to call him Twearly, as we think he's woken up "Too Early"...

Looking back at last year's blog, the first hedgehog appeared on 22nd March 2010, so Twearly is almost a full month early. The weather is still rather cold at the moment. It's 0 degrees Celsius here as I'm writing this, although it can't be quite freezing as I can see Twearly on the watercam, paddling. I wouldn't like to be dipping my toe in the water at this temperature and he's got all four feet and his belly in it!

He's coming earlier in the evening, too. Last night (1st March) it was 20:25 and tonight he arrived at 20:10. He is HUNGRY!

Here's a composite of him coming up the alley. He wasn't hanging around:

Surprisingly, once through the ATM he went missing for ten minutes before heading into the feeding station in 9e:

He's in feeding for up to half an hour at a time, apart from a couple of breaks to nip down to the water for a drink.

Unfortunately, we slipped up last night - we didn't realise how hungry he was. We were shocked to find the bowl empty this morning. Checking the cameras, we saw he had been back a couple of time to see if it had been refilled.

Here is a collection of the motion captures through the night:

We have decided that we will be a little more "hands on" this year, and do a bit more monitoring of the visitors, so last night we picked him up to give him a quick check up. He seemed to be in quite a good state. We didn't see any ticks on him. We saw one in the camera on the first night, but that has gone. We confirmed he is a boy, and he is actually quite large. He weighed 815g, but obviously is on the thin side. We weren't really prepared for him arriving so early, and we forgot to measure him, but we'll keep an eye on him and give him another check in a week or so. We also marked him with two spots of white emulsion on his rear - we're looking out for the single spot of Bailout, the last hedgie we saw last year.

I wonder how long before we see the next little chap.


  1. My visitor is too skittish to be caught. It disappears under the fence at the slightest noise. Like yours it visits several times, usually finishing around 5a.m.. I wonder if the cold Winter means they burned up more fat and have woken early because they are hungry?