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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared Reply To: Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

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Hi Annie

Lovely to hear your wildlife news.

I haven’t seen the early bird hog again for 25 days, which seems a bit long. I was hoping she was having hoglets and I suppose it’s still possible. She may not have wanted to bring them across the road. The other night I did see an adult sized hog on the front path but it was pretty dark and I couldn’t see who it was, but it could have been her. I made a hasty retreat, but whoever it was didn’t appear round the back a few minutes later which is what used to happen with her.

There is, though, another hog. I’m not sure whether it could have been a really early hoglet, or whether it was ‘hoglet’s sibling from last year (ie. Late hoglet). This new little hog seems to have some of Digger’s ‘mannerisms’. The early bird hog (who I think must be related) used to dig through her food like Digger but on a much smaller scale and didn’t do Digger’s circling. This little one has been doing both, although not sending the food flying in all directions as Digger does, but that may yet develop! It doesn’t look anything like Digger, but the one who was here with ‘hoglet’ last year was like this one. I saw it scratching and couldn’t see a ‘blob’ so am hoping it’s a female, but can’t be sure yet.

Anyway, the lovely little hog has now turned up excessively marked. So sad – poor little thing. It now seems to spend a lot of time here and I hope it has realised that wherever it got that mess on it, is NOT a nice place to go.

Horace is still visiting, but again quite late. He doesn’t show any interest in Digger if they meet, now, even though she sometimes starts huffing and reversing. I think Digger has been trying to keep me guessing and behaving in a very un-Digger-like way. She hasn’t always visited every night as usual, but is sometimes seen very late on the video. I have been leaving plenty of food out all night in this hot dry weather. So she has been taking advantage of that. Last night I didn’t see her either in person/hog or on video. So maybe she’s finally going to have some hoglets …. or she might just be back, as normal tomorrow.

I’m not seeing robin quite so often now and he/she is not so persistent, but a pair of cute little speckly robins appeared so that must be what all that feeding was about. ‘Robin’ keeps trying to chase them away now! A lot of the birds are looking thoroughly scruffy, including Robin, who seems to have lost his/her tail. The bumble bees have vacated the house martin nest and I have seen martins flying up there, but not sure whether they are actually using it. No more sightings of the bullfinches, which is sad – I was hoping they might become regular visitors. Like with you, there are plenty of sparrows around here, as well as starlings. The sparrows can be very entertaining! I caught a whole mob of starlings having a bath in the hog’s water bowl early one morning on the cam. Water flying everywhere! There seem to be a lot of birds here very early mornings finishing off anything the hogs have left, including some smart looking magpies. I know some people don’t like them, but they are pretty spectacular looking birds. The funny thing is, I seldom see them the rest of the day.

A few years ago, after debating for a long time, I finally had a cherry tree removed from my small front garden. It was neither attractive, nor did the birds eat the very few tiny cherries. I hated the thought of cutting down a tree, but it really was in the wrong place, was problematical and seemed to contribute little to wild life. In it’s place are now growing nicely in a sort of informal hedge, several shrubs (some now about 5 feet high) – hawthorn, elm, dogwood and privet of native plants as well as buddleia (even taller) and some other smaller ones and some ground cover too. A much more diverse habitat than was there before. Now nearly every time I look out there, there are birds and/or butterflies, so I’m really glad I made the change.

Frog numbers have increased to 3! One in one tub pond and two in another. Hopefully they’re doing their bit to keep slug numbers down too. Like you most of the butterflies are whites, so far, but there are a few others. Comma – I have some hop in the garden which is a food plant for the larvae, as well as stinging nettles, so I hope there might be some caterpillars – if the birds don’t eat them all, of course! I am hoping now the buddleia flowers are coming out that there may be more butterflies.

Your escallonia sounds good. One of my cotoneasters’ was a bit like that. It goes over the gate so as you walked through you could hear all this buzzing all around. Lovely. I had some of those poppies in my garden this year. The plant grew like a triffid but was rather lovely when the flowers came out. That was before this hot dry weather, though. I love the way they just pop up wherever they feel like it! It could easily have been bumbles in your roof. I think the high up ones are tree bumbles of some kind and my neighbour had some in her roof – although, I’m not sure they were all that welcome there.

So sorry to hear about all the development round there. It doesn’t sound very friendly for any ground creatures with that road. It makes me really cross too, that it always seems to be the soul-less posh houses they build. Thank goodness it can’t keep out the birds and butterflies, and only hope that enough people have wildlife friendly gardens to encourage them to stay around.

Thanks for the info. About the bats. Sounds really interesting watching them. I would love to know what the bats here are. No sign of them on video yet this year, but the camera is a different one with not such a good image so they may not show as well.

Have just had a quick look out the window and there were martins circling around up in the sky, sparrows being sparrows, a young starling pecking at the bird bowl and butterflies flitting around. Lovely. One of the sparrows was in the doorway to one of the hog feed boxes, as if it had just been in! All quite ordinary things, but all help to make the world a better place.