No, it's not a game - Spot the Hedgehog is our fourth visitor to emerge from hibernation. More of him later...
Quattro the hedgehog has been living in his semi-detached nest box 9f (left) for a couple of weeks, apart from the odd awayday to 9a in the back garden. The nest box next door, 9f (right), is unoccupied. He spends quite a lot of time in the nest, with his head in the hall, or even in the hall with his back to the camera. This time he was resting in the hall with his back down the tunnel, towards the exit. He seems to have put on a little weight and reverses down the tunnel, since he seems to be having trouble turning round. He then gives the entrance camera a sniff - and goes into 9f (right) to have a look. He was in for about three minutes, but went back to his own box, so maybe he doesn't like it. Although he passes the entrance to 9f (right) every time he goes in and out, this is the first time he has been in exploring. There is a camera in 9f (right) as well, but unfortunately it is covered in straw at the moment, so we couldn't see what he got up to.
We had a cold spell at the beginning of the week, but didn't realise how cold it was until we saw the videos, and saw that the water had frozen. Here is poor Twearly having a drink - the corner near him is not quite frozen, but he seems to be running his foot over the frozen part.
We have another cold night tonight. I've checked and the water is already partially frozen, so we've put a microwaveable heat pad under the water. Hopefully it will keep the water from freezing, but it is a little thick, so access to the water will be more difficult - but we think the hedgies will manage.
For the last few nights we've been having a fourth, unmarked, hedgehog visiting the garden. He's been beaten up by both Tog and Quattro, but he's still visiting, although it has been after we went to bed so we missed him. He came a little earlier last night, so we went out to give him a check up.
Surprisingly, he barely curled up when picked up, and he uncurled almost immediately. He was able to curl up - he didn't like it when we turned him on his back to see if he was a boy or girl (he is a boy) and curled up, but straightened out as soon as we had him the right was up. He didn't appear to have any problems curling up, he just didn't want to.
He was in good shape, with no ticks we could see. He weighed 720g, so he was the smallest yet - we wonder if he was one of last year's youngsters. Curled up, his breadth was 40cm, his length 44cm.
As we're running out of space on the rear end for five spots, we marked his with a horizontal stripe - and called him Spot...
We are lucky in that most of our hedgehogs do seem to be in good condition, but we did take poor little Twosie, after whom we named this blog, to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, who do a great job looking after hedgehogs and all other wildlife. They have had a poor hedgehog in for some time who has lost all of his spines and fur, and photos keep finding there way into the media. The latest one, wearing a knitted jumper, was on the Telegraph web page today.