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That did make me laugh – a restaurant for slugs! Mind you, there have been times when my patio looked a bit like one.
It seems, here, that it is usually the younger or lower ranking boys who pay attention to the younger girls, although the older girls aren’t much interested in boys recently. One of the other ones who disappeared is back and is up to her old trick again of catching me out by turning up before the food is out.
Those gardens are the sorts of ones I always find worrying – the sort that someone is likely to take a strimmer to and not bother about any hogs who may be hiding there. And it’s not only hedehogs – they were talking about the damage they do to slow worms and other reptiles on Springwatch.
You’re right about the water. I love watching them drink as well. You get a really good view of their little overshot noses. I have water saucers all over the place. There is one by the gate near the hogs’ entrance/exit and they often stop there on their way in or out. I am forever warning people not to tread in them if they are not used to my garden, and then I go and tread in one myself – nice soggy socks and trouser bottoms. Amazing how high up it can splash!
I wouldn’t worry too much about not seeing the hog drinking, as long as it looks healthy otherwise, nicely rounded, etc. There may be another garden nearby where he is getting a drink. The main thing is that he has had the opportunity. They certainly can move at quite a pace when they want to, but, would he move that fast if he was feeling poorly? He may be going flat because he has heard another hog or something? Might it be because he is a bit timid?
What worries me about the mealworm thing is that I was told someone near here was feeding mealworms. It is a sad fact that not all people who feed hedgehogs want to share information, etc. I presume the person who has been inappropriately marking hogs is feeding them something. Dear old Digger is now sporting a rather unattractive mark on her hind quarters going right up one side and down the other. Not a dark mark this time, but a pale one. Completely senseless, as she is one of the most easily identifiable hogs, even in b/w on camera. Apart from anything else, these excessive marks could be having a detrimental impact on hedgehog reproduction. We don’t know. But the hogs would, no doubt, smell different and could potentially be less attractive to males. Very disloyal of Digger to go visiting another hostelry and getting caught! Like you say, all we can do is offer them decent food and hope they come to eat it.
I haven’t seen any mice recently – maybe something to do with the nightly visits from one cat or another. I sometimes wonder if the cats have got a rota worked out. I mostly only see one a night on the cams. The mice do seem to take a lot of food away. I have sometimes come across a little cache of food. I wonder whether they remember where they have put it all, or sometimes forget, like squirrels with acorns. Which reminds me – I have got a nice healthy looking sunflower plant growing underneath where I feed the birds. I haven’t watered it at all, and it still seems to be doing ok. Strange, as it is sunflower hearts the birds get, and I am surprised that one has actually grown.
Yes, the hog programme was interesting. It is always good to see hogs getting a bit of PR. I thought it was slightly unfortunate that one of the few things mentioned about food was nuts and sultanas or something like that, when nuts have a not very good CaP ratio and sultanas, etc. are quite sugary and get stuck on their teeth. I think they did mention dog/cat food but not hedgehog food. Or, I might be thinking of some of the hedgehog related bits which were on Springwatch. It was good, though, that they mentioned the linking gardens, wildlife gardening and dangers of strimmers. I suppose there is a limit to what they can fit in to a one hour programme.
Your new hog dishes sound very similar to the one I got earlier this year. I managed to break 2 of my hog dishes this year. They were glazed pottery ones which I had had for ages. They had slightly incurved sides, so were ideal for hogs like Digger who is a bit of a messy eater. I tried to find plant saucers to start with, but could only find unglazed ones, so went to the pet shop. Mine was probably meant for cats as well, I imagine, but the hogs seem quite happy with it.
A hog called Mottle visited this evening, he’s one of the ones who doesn’t come every night. He is quite small, but not a youngster, and the poor chap seems to be quite low down the pecking order, so frequently gets rolled up. Tonight he was early, so actually had a chance to make advances to one of the girls. It was not long before another boy arrived and biffed him. Mottle rolled up, but the girl seemed very cross about that and biffed the attacker. I think she ended up a bit disappointed in the pair of them. The attacker made a couple of ‘token’ circuits of her before disappearing. Then she waited around for Mottle to unroll, but he obviously didn’t want to risk getting rolled up again and went off too! What a way to treat a lady!