Environment / times of sightings ??
18th April 2017 at 11:54 pm #5939
I was curious as to the mix of sites we have between us. Where I live it’s close by a main road on the edge of a village with a good size back garden which links into several neighbours gardens and then onto farmland which is a mixture of arable and livestock.
Time wise I’ve only had a few sightings this year so far after 11.30pm, alas it’s my bed time then, so usually it’s just me a torch and the only company is one of the local cats hoping for a crafty dinner, Bert the frog who has decided as we have newts in our pond he’s using it as a batchelor pad and not breeding in it, he goes for a swim every evening after dark, very handsome he is.
Very envious of those of you who are lucky enough to have regular visitors and even more those luckily ones with lots of visitors – guessing you live in more hedgehog suitable habitats.19th April 2017 at 8:03 am #5943
You would never think I was in a hedgehog suitable area and I have lots! I’m in the middle of a large 1990’s housing estate and get loads of the wee beasties. It’s a constant stream at the moment from c.8pm through to c.4am. They came as a complete surprise to me when I moved in. You may well have more visitors than you think!19th April 2017 at 8:38 am #5945
I live not far from a main road and a railway line. I think some of the hedgehogs either live, or visit the edge of the railway. There is a little hole under the railway fence right opposite my garden – made by the hogs, I suspect. At least one of the hogs, last year, came from across the smaller, nearer road.
The hedgehogs were visiting before I started putting food out. I decided to offer them some supplementary food and more came. Except for this time of year when there are possibly still hedgehogs returning, hungry, from hibernation, I don’t normally leave any food out over night. Only when I am up to watch them. (Partly to make sure it is only hogs getting the food – apart from the odd woodmouse). It might be encouraging them to arrive earlier – can’t be sure. Even, now, as I have discovered from the nightcam – new this year – not very clear, but you can see there are hogs there – the food doesn’t last long.
At the moment the first hog is arriving at about 8.50. She is a female who has been visiting for a long time and keeps pretty good time!
The night cam shows that hogs are still visiting the garden a long time after all the food has gone. That is how it should be. Hopefully they are finding wild food here as well. Regarding the habitat part – you can make your garden a better habitat. I know there are still improvements I can make (from the hog point of view). They can apparently travel 1 – 2 kilometres a night and have quite a big ‘range’ that is why it is so important to link the habitats/gardens.
You are lucky having newts. I had a frog in my ponds last year – I have 3 ponds in tubs, one buried (all with beaches/steps up the side to allow hogs and birds to safely get out). He – I’m guessing maybe he was a he – sadly no frogspawn this year – would turn up in one or other of the ponds but never more than one at a time, so, might be wrong, but I think he was only one. (Haven’t started identifying frogs!! – yet?!) He had the disconcerting habit of suddenly landing on my foot when I didn’t even realise he was about.19th April 2017 at 3:50 pm #5947
We have a similar set up to you by the sounds of it, but no main road nearby. We have lived at the same address for over twenty years and only discovered that we had hedgehogs within the last two. Thinking about it, they only started appearing after our next door neighbour replaced a fence panel and left a large gap underneath. They now use this as a through route by coming in at one end of the garden, having their dinner and then leaving at the other; some of the boys don’t even bother with the dinner bit, but rush past the kitchen doors obviously on their way to a much more interesting destination. The house backs onto a long footpath with lots of hedges and large mature back gardens, although the one which I suspect most of the hedgehogs were coming from is now having two houses built on it; thankfully it doesn’t seem to have affected numbers.
Have you thought about asking your local rescue if your garden can be used as a release sight to boost your numbers?
So far this year we haven’t seen the frog that used to live in the plant pots outside the back doors; sadly I think he may have fallen victim to one of the cats. 🙁19th April 2017 at 6:35 pm #5953
Hi guys, thanks for the insight, it’s interesting to hear where hoggys hang out.
We’ve only lived here 3 years this year, last year we noticed we had hoggy visitors they were regular as clockwork from 7pm but the nights were lighter etc.. this year it’s been sporadic so far. This is our first spring watching hogs so wasn’t sure what to expect. Keep putting food and fresh water out but only had a few sightings.
We’ve gradually made the garden more wildlife friendly with different areas, it was a lot of lawn when we moved in, we’ve put in new beds incorporating shrubs and trees, flowers and grasses. This winter we used some old leylandii roots for a hibernaculum, we dug up the soil near an old Apple tree next to the compost bins put in the roots ad hoc and roughly filled it with soil and put some woodland planting through the top to blend it in. We’ve had bees overwintering underground in this area the last couple of years.
Highlights since moving in was a slow worm near the front door! A grass snake in an old compost bin inherited when we moved in (only 1 of each) the hogs, pheasants, woodmice, a sparrowhawk and the wildlife pond (its not very big) we only put it in May last year and the newts bred last year. We wondered if we might get frogspawn this year but no – guess ponds are usually frog or newt ones, we don’t mind either. We were offered spawn and plants from other ponds last year but we wanted to keep it ‘au naturel’ and see what came of its own accord – I would recommend this to anyone, it’s amazing what finds it way into your gardens when you’re not looking. The hedgehogs visited it regularly last year for a drink, so do the squirrels and every bird going from goldfinches to rooks! (We welcome all wildlife except for pigeons, rooks and neighbours cats!!).
We got 3 hedgehog homes but too late for hibernation last winter, we made sure they were in position for early spring. We built a new leaf mould bin and incorporated a potential hoggy home underneath it (an excellent idea copied from a fellow hedgehog champion). You guys have some excellent suggestions.
Having heard how many hoggys are out there it’s good to hear they are living in such diverse habitats, if they can live and breed happily in lots of habitats they stand a much better chance of recovering or at least stabilising their numbers.
I’ll keep putting the food out and wait for my pricklies to pop in, maybe they are being distracted by a harem of prickly ladies nearby ! I haven’t seen any casualties so they are having fun somewhere.19th April 2017 at 6:55 pm #5954
Thanks Penny, our local wildlife rescue closed at Christmas. I’ll try another one see if they have any we could release.19th April 2017 at 7:41 pm #5955
Hi Wildlifehaven. Sounds as if you have made a lovely place for the hedgehogs. They may still come back. Last year one or two females didn’t return here until the beginning of May. I am still hoping that two of my regular visiting females will come back. Once the females are there, a male or two will usually follow!
I usually find that the females are more regular in their visits, so it may be that it was females you had there last year. Keep putting out the food, and hopefully a hog or a few hogs will turn up soon.19th April 2017 at 8:37 pm #5957
Ooh that sounds more promising, fingers crossed. We did have varying sizes last year, we had a huge one, a ‘normal’ size one and a smaller couple. So far this year we’ve seen the big one once and a smaller one.20th April 2017 at 1:33 pm #5983
You can’t really tell whether they are male or female from their size. Some females can be quite big. I think they tend to get bigger as they get older, although, having said that some always seem to stay on the small side.
Just to illustrate how contrary hedgehogs can be sometimes – I didn’t have any hog visitors last night until 11.15 and then, judging from the Cams it was a very quiet night. That’ll teach me to say the first one usually arrives at 8.50!
I find it very worrying when that happens, especially now those ghastly traps are around, but it does, occasionally. Just hope they arrive as usual tonight.20th April 2017 at 1:50 pm #5984
Don’t worry about your lack of hogs last night, it was exactly the same for me. Neither of the hogs that I can easily identify, Hercules and Snout, turned up and there was very limited activity from other hogs. We have had some very cold nights here so maybe they’ve decided to go back to bed for a while. I always worry that something dreadful has befallen them but, fingers crossed, they will turn up again knowing that the two hedgehog cafes serve great grub!20th April 2017 at 1:55 pm #5986
I checked back in my notes and found they were very late 7 days before. Wonder whether it has anything to do with the day of the week!
The little one in your id photo looks almost as if his spines are a woolly jacket he/she is wrapped in. Very cute!20th April 2017 at 2:03 pm #5987
I love that picture too, Nic. One of my Tiggywinkles releases. I do hope he/she is still around. All you can do is make your area as safe as possible, provide food and drink, and hope that they stay safe. I never stop worrying about them!20th April 2017 at 2:08 pm #5988
It certainly takes up a lot of time! I had to stay up till I saw a hog last night! Just as well I saw that one – according to the cams the next one didn’t arrive for another hour and half.
Perhaps Wednesday is party night for hogs?! – somewhere else.20th April 2017 at 4:22 pm #5989
On profile pic – Meet Erin one of last year’s hoglets on return from overwintering – pre-release. Not the best photo, but the only one I have.20th April 2017 at 5:02 pm #5990
Erin looks very pretty. She has a very pale snout, useful for recognition. I have a hog called Snout because his nose is quite scarred; it shows up well on the trailcam.
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