24th March 2022 at 8:34 pm #36261
Having spent the summer months in the hut in our garden, Helga went out on 19th October and did not return. We assume that she went off to wherever she has her other nest to hibernate.
Last night, she returned and seems to have moved back into the hut, and we are delighted to see her back again:
We now have food out to go with the water that we have been keeping topped up all winter
😁26th March 2022 at 9:30 am #36262
That’s great news that Helga has returned. It’s so lovely to see our old friends return from hibernation, which is always a bit of a worrying time.
Fingers crossed for a good and successful hog year ahead – and lots of hoglets!
Good luck and happy hog watching!27th March 2022 at 11:36 am #36272
We were very relieved to see her return, as we only started providing for her after we found her in the garden last summer during daylight.
She seems very happy with the hut, but it does catch the sun in the afternoon. Do you think we should try to shade the hut to prevent it overheating in summer, and if so, can you suggest anything ?
We don’t really have many shady spots when the sun rises a bit.
Thanks in advance,
PS. We also have a resident female blackbird who has started picking up any cat biscuits that Helga leaves, so it looks like we are feeding more of the locals now 😁27th March 2022 at 8:19 pm #36277
That’s lovely that Helga has appreciated the care you provide for her, already!
I have some fairly small (children’s) tables which I sometimes strategically place for shade if it’s hot and the sun is on a hog box. But you might find in the really hot weather that Helga might go and nap under a nearby bush (if there are any). Also, if she has hoglets, females often do nip out during the day to get a break from the youngsters. But in that case the hoglets might appreciate a bit of shade for the hut. It depends what lengths you want to go to, but alternatively, maybe a special hog sunshade umbrella.
Interesting re. your blackbird – I also get them here, as well as robins and various corvids. I’ve taken to scattering some of the kitten biscuits on the lawn as I have some hogs here who don’t like going in boxes, but also get cats. If I scatter the kitten biscuits the cats are too lazy to forage for them all and the hogs don’t seem to mind. Inevitably a few get left for the lucky birds!27th March 2022 at 8:49 pm #36278
We have just cleaned out and moved one of our hog boxes as the space it was previously in has become too thorny and inaccessible (for us). We struggled to get it anywhere else shady that we can get to. We placed it in an area that does have shade but that gets a bit of morning sun. The entrance faces a fence so back of it faces into the garden. We put some willow screening round it, then some logs in front of that. I’ve then placed shrub prunings and cut ferns in amongst the logs and placed some balanced on the willow over the top. None of it touches the house. Planted some grasses in front of all that to. Looks quite good but no takers yet. Our other house was used over winter and was still in use by the one that hibernated in it and for last few weeks another one to. Both in there for the day. Neither have used it for last 2 nights. We’d love to get it cleaned out if it stays empty a bit longer, but now have a blackbird sitting on a nest in the shrub it’s under, so it will have to wait for now.
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