Hi Nic, thank you for your swift reply,
My garden had been neglected for three or four years so it was completely overgrown with brambles and weeds. I had cleared about one third of it when I discovered the nest and I stopped work to protect the hogs, the other two thirds of my garden is still overgrown.
Mum moved her nest about six feet away from her original nest, I couldn’t see it but I could hear her when it got dark so I had some idea of where she was, I was leaving food for her and I watched her come out and eat it. A few days later she moved her nest again to the other end of the garden, I still didn’t know where the nest was but I could still hear her in the evenings. I didn’t see her any more because she was going out the other way and through my neighbours garden, my neighbour caught her on his security cameras, and she stopped eating the food that I was leaving for her.
Shortly after that I got my trail-cam and I started filming my garden every night and a few days later two hoglets appeared, they were coming out of the brambles and venturing just a few feet into the cleared area and then going back into the brambles and back under cover. They were amusing to watch because they kept falling over and getting stuck behind twigs and leaves, they were tiny, smaller than a tennis ball, it was their first adventures outside of their family nest. Every day they would venture a little further and after a few days they were doing laps of the garden and mapping out their environment, after a week or two they were going through the hole in the fence and exploring outside, sometimes they’d come back through the hole in the fence and sometimes they’d go right round the houses and come back through my neighbours garden.
I have filmed and photographed those hoglets every day since the first day that they left the nest, nobody has been into my garden and painted them and they didn’t leave my garden for a couple of weeks, three or four week old hoglets that can barely walk don’t travel up to 2 miles a night; the mother and both of the hoglets have markings on their bodies that glow white on the night vision images and they are natural markings not paint or any other kind of unnatural markings put there by human beings, one of the hoglets has three distinctive marks across its left flank that resemble stripes. These makings appear to be on the skin below the spines and shining through because of the infrared light, like a birthmark or a skin defect, they are not different coloured spines like different coloured feathers on a bird.
I have videos and photos that clearly show these marks that have always been there for the several weeks that I have been filming them. There are also several posts on here from other people stating that they have filmed hedgehogs with white markings on them that glow in the night vision images, that is the reason I wrote my reply, each time someone mentions the fact you inform them that sombody must have painted them, perhaps you are mistaken about markings on hedgehogs and people marking them with paint rather than everybody else being mistaken about what they know they are looking at.
I’ve seen pictures and videos on these posts but I don’t know how to do all that stuff, if I did I’d post some videos and pictures so that you could see for yourself that I have a hoglet running round my garden that has three glowing white stripes on its side, so unfortunately you’ll just have to take my word for it. And the word of all the other posters who have filmed hogs with markings on them. I attempted to put a picture of a marked hoglet in my profile picture but I can’t do that either because I can’t find an upload button, I input the name of the image but when I press ‘update profile’ it just goes back to the begining without loading the picture.
It has been a week or so since the hoglet weighed in at 440g, it had gained 240g in two weeks and they are both eating plenty so they should both be fat enough when it is time for them to hibernate. They both disappear for long periods now but they come back a couple of times a night for a feed and a drink of water, then Gizmo goes into his house for a sleep and Snoop Hogg disappears into the brambles, I guess that he has built his own nest somewhere in the brambles or perhaps he is still returning to the family nest hoping for a feed from mum.
I’ve put three hog-houses in the clearing, eventually they will be spaced round the garden but I can’t do that until next year when I can clear the rest of the garden without disturbing hedgehog nests, so for now they’re all together. I put a hand full of leaves and a hand full of straw in each house and lots of straw outside all of the houses. Gizmo collects all of the straw from all of the houses and crams it into his nest, it must be full to the rafters by now but he keeps cramming more in, must be nice and toasty in there. All of the hogs have been into at least one of the houses, Gizmo goes in and out of all of them, but only Gizmo has built a nest and moved in. My garden has a big pile of junk in it that is completely overgrown with brambles and hedgehog friendly stuff, I think they must be spoilt for choice for places to build a nest so I’m not too worried that only one hog-house is being used.
There’s always food and water for them for as long as they continue to eat it, when they hibernate I’ll stop leaving the food but I’ll make sure there is always water there. Not sure if I will be monitoring my camera through the winter, its a lot of work to find out that there’s nothing to see, but if I notice anything up and about I’ll leave some food with the water for a couple of days to see what happens.