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Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs!

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs!

This topic contains 69 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Nic Nic 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 70 total)
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  • #7872
    Nic
    Nic

    Feisty cat, Penny. Whatever next! Can’t have that sort of thing. Poor hog.

    There was a hoglet here earlier in the year who was having advances made to her by an adult, although young (last year’s hoglet), male. I was surprised, but she was way too young for anything to come of it. Hopefully, the chap there was a youngster too, trying out his ‘dancing’ – don’t really want any more hoglets starting this late.

    Nice to see a pic of Sven at his hog hole.

    #7877

    Hi Nic,

    That damn cat was there again last night and still had a go at one of the hogs, despite there being no food that it could get its paws on. Out of all the cats that visit, that article is the only one I have ever witnessed having a go at the hogs, we even have footage somewhere of a hedgehog sat side by side with the next door neighbours cat watching the world go by. I can only assume that it’s a stray, who on earth would want that seething mass of fur and claws sat on their lap! It seems to vanish for a few weeks or months at a time and then comes back to haunt us. 🙁

    #8461

    There has been no hedgehog activity now since the last week in October and I am feeling bereft. They have usually been active until well into December, so I am desperately hoping that nothing bad has happened to them. I am clinging to the theory that one of their many talents is for predicting a severe winter and they all decided to retire to their beds early…only time will tell.

    Once again the ornamental hedgehogs have been busy multiplying and partying over the Christmas holidays, especially the ones in the garden and I now have a lovely set of hedgehog shaped coasters to add to my ever increasing collection. 🙂

    Hedgehog Party 004

    Despite there being no sign of any prickles – not even in the log pile or the two hog houses – the garden remains a hive of activity all the same. Wood mouse HQ is still under siege day and night from a neighbour’s cat. Just as well then that the main entrance is located right beneath a bird feeder so that any stray nuts and seeds land right outside their front door and they don’t have to stray too far. Even so, I have felt the need on occasion to sprinkle a few extra sunflower hearts at the entrance and have even bolstered their defences in the form of an old upturned hanging basket to prevent the crafty feline from constantly trying to dig its way in.

    Bengy 002

    Sven, the Swedish blackbird finally emerged with his new set of feathers and still insists on his daily bath despite the freezing temperatures. Most mornings during the recent Arctic weather, he has been hanging around on the doorstep for a handful of mealworms and to remind me to un-freeze the bath water. One chilly morning, I couldn’t understand why he seemed particularly stressed – not the only one over the festive period! – until I discovered that his bathing water had been reduced to half an inch of solid ice. No sooner had it been topped up and defrosted he was in their like a shot and spent the next ten minutes having a good old splash around…Brghhhhhh!

    Evenings are now particularly noisy after an influx of his Scandanavian cousins – searching for warmer weather!!! – all squabble for the most desirable perch to spend the night ahead. With Sven’s love of water and all things hedgehog, I did wonder if he was going through some kind of identity crisis and now fancied himself as a fish, but upon closer inspection the bird in the photo looks to be one of his northern cousins!

    Sven 002

    #8470
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Penny

    Happy New Year to you and all hog lovers.

    I still have a well grown hoglet visiting every night. Not sure if you read elsewhere, but first a cat got into the feed box (with similar entrance to your double entrance one, so I thought was fairly cat proof), so I put in an extra temporary partition then the next night hoglet decided to build a nest in there. I was then left with no feeding box and a cat who had decided it liked the hog food which cats don’t normally eat – so no way to ensure hoglet got any food. Since then a friend has made another box for me, with two partitions (one removable for the Summer when the bigger hogs are around). I’m not sure whether hoglet is staying in the nest box over day now, but each night on the cam I see her going in and out of there and the new feed box – now with kitten biscuits in it because a rat also turns up occasionally.

    Hopefully the new feed box has solved the problem (for now!) of making sure there is some food for hoglet, but at one point I was wishing she would hibernate so I could have a rest from trying to outwit cats and rats.

    No woodmice spotted here recently. Yours sound as if they are spoilt with extra rations of sunflower hearts! Glad to hear Sven is still around. There is a chap here who has lots of white blobs on the back of his neck. Not sure whether he is the local one whose white patches have expanded after moulting or whether he is a visitor, but hopefully time will tell.

    Won’t be long now until the hogs start returning from hibernation!

    #8474

    Hi Nic,

    Yes Happy New Year, I forgot to mention that in my last post, and on the 1st of January too… yet another senior moment!

    No, I hadn’t read the piece about your cat problems…and I thought we had some pretty determined felines. So far, the feeding station mark 3 is holding firm and there have been no insurgents as of yet – only gastropods – the upturned hanging basket though to protect the wood mice is another matter. There is now a well worn furrow in the lawn where they have still been trying to dig their way in despite the new defences!

    Sven has been having another strop; we are having some building work done so his bath was temporarily turned into brick dust sludge and has had to be relocated. On the plus side though, we have had to clear out a usually inaccessible part of the garden and have discovered another well trodden hedgehog access route through to next door. I have had my suspicions that there was one there, but could never get past the mountain of clutter to see. Our neighbour has also reported some sightings, so hopefully they will all be back soon.

    Sounds like you could definitely do with a rest from trying to outwit the cats and the rats; I haven’t seen the cats that steal the food for a while now, so I am hoping that they will have forgotten about the free grub by the time that the hogs return…here’s hoping.

    #8477
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Penny

    The cats there certainly seem determined to catch those mice! The cat here looked really funny squeezing it’s way out of the box on the cam – it wasn’t one of the smaller ones either. Luckily there have been no cat attempts on the new box and hoglet seems to have really taken to it and the kitten biscuits so I’m not so worried about her getting food at the moment. Even rat hasn’t been seen for a while, so things are looking up!

    Poor old Sven having his territory disturbed! Good news about the extra hog access way, though. Good luck with the cats forgetting about the free grub – I have a feeling the saga might continue!

    #8719

    BRENDA’S BACK!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Yes, the formidable Brenda is back and woe betide anything that comes between her and the food bowl! Unfortunately, she has returned just as everything around has turned to snow and ice. She was caught on camera several times last night trying to drink from the frozen water bowl and returned once again just before dawn to check if it had thawed out. Fortunately, she was captured guzzling earlier in the evening before it froze, so at least she didn’t go too thirsty. I have now put a water bowl in the feeding station, so hopefully that will stop it from freezing.

    2018-02-25 Frozen

    The wood mice don’t seem to mind the cold and are making the most of the fact that the felines would rather be curled up in front of a cosy fire.
    Unfortunately, we still have at least one sparrow hawk in residence and it appears that Sven may have become the ‘dish of the day’! Only the other week, he had a very lucky escape as one swooped in silently, just skimming the garage roof, missing him by millimetres. Having seen them in action, it amazes me how any of their targets manage to escape. On a brighter note, he has been replaced by another, equally charming and characterful male blackbird who also loves to bathe in these icy conditions and is just as brazen. Eric, who I would imagine is one of Sven’s offspring, will stand just inches away whilst I top up the rations…a lovely way to start the day.

    #8720
    Nic
    Nic

    Oh dear, Penny, that is bad timing on Brenda’s part. I hope she is ok. Here, it is usually the males that come back first, which makes me wonder if she might have come out of hibernation because she hasn’t got quite enough fat. Or maybe it is just a break and she will re-hibernate again. Either way, just as well that there was some good food ready and waiting for her. Last year the boys started returning at the beginning of March. With the forecast as it is, I hope they put it off a bit this year.

    The water has been freezing, here, inside the feed box, but I just hope that it doesn’t freeze until near daylight so that hoglet gets the chance to have a drink. Turns out, now he has grown a bit, that he is a boy! After I have been calling him ‘she’ most of the winter. I was just hoping he was a she because he is almost certainly Digger’s and the females are more likely to hang around.

    Sorry to hear about Sven’s possible demise. Numbers of blackbirds here have grown and there seem to be a few ‘brave’ ones, so that I’m not sure which is which – apart from Herbert, who has white on his neck. Beautiful birds, sparrowhawks, but very sad if they take a bird you have got to know well. The mice, here, haven’t been seen for weeks now – not surprising when there are at least 5 different cats visiting. So far the cats haven’t managed to get past the brick in the new feed box, despite numerous attempts.

    I hope you aren’t totally worn out delivering posters! I have noticed that if BHPS put a cute picture of a hog on Twitter with some good wording, the numbers signing goes up rapidly, but if the cute picture falls lower down the Twitter, it drops significantly. Only 23 all day, one day about a week ago. Latest calculation, it needs an average of 907 EVERY day, including today, if the 100,000 is to be reached in time! Let’s hope when a few more return to the forum that they will get the message, although I suspect that some of the 47,000 + might be duplicates after the update.

    Good luck to all the hardy hogs who are up and about during the next few days. Maybe the Express were partially right (for a few days at least)! Although, meteorologically speaking, it is supposed to be Spring from 1st March!

    #8723

    Hi Nic,

    I hope your young male hog sticks around; he would be a fool not to. I’m amazed that he hasn’t hibernated; he must be a very hardy hog! Brenda was back last night, none the worse for her lack of liquid refreshment the night before and the water in the feeding station only partly froze. Her toilet etiquette and table manners still haven’t improved any, but I have to say, I have never been so pleased to clean up the black stuff (especially when it’s frozen!) after not having them around for so long.

    Yes, it’s sad about Sven, but Eric is more than making up for his absence. He too was demanding that I un-freeze the bird bath this morning, I just hope that he can stay out of harm’s way, we had a pair of sparrow hawks stalking the songbirds last summer. I can understand why Chris Packham has such a fascination with them, they are incredible hunters, I just wish that they would leave the birds in our garden alone. I fished out this old photograph that was taken back in 2003 (sorry about the poor quality) of a sparrow hawk on the doorstep peering in…Rather sinister don’t you think?

    Sparrow Hawk At The Door

    Sorry to hear that you are still being menaced by cats, but at least the brick seems to be doing the trick. You were right about the cats here, they are still out in force, but then so are the wood mice.

    I have to admit, I haven’t been out delivering many posters over the last couple of weeks, mainly because the weather has been so bad, but I will be back out there on a mission if and when it improves…

    #8725
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Penny

    Have just seen the following on the BHPS Twitter. Maybe that is why Brenda came out of hibernation, so maybe not such bad timing.

    I agree the sparrowhawk does look rather sinister. I’ve had one who plucked a poor unfortunate sparrow just outside my back door once, but not peering in through the window!

    Numbers signing the petition right down again today, so far only 54 and no mention on BHPS twitter until quite a few down. I know they have other things to say, but if they seriously want to reach the 100,000 they need to keep it more prominent. It does seem to make quite a difference. I wonder if people just don’t bother to read past 2 or 3 entries. Just have to hope Hedgehog Awareness Week makes a difference, but that isn’t until 6th-12th May and the Petition closes 1st June. Meanwhile the other petition is catching up, but I don’t think they are getting enough signatures either – so sad if neither of them make it. I don’t understand it – I thought everyone loved hedgehogs.

    I think hoglet is beginning to have shared allegiances already. Last night I didn’t see him on any of the cams until after 1.00 and he left quite a lot of his food. Or maybe he just wasn’t keen on venturing out into the cold. The poor birds have been puffing themselves out like pompoms, today. Two cats still braved the cold last night, though!

    #8742

    Well, it appears that yet again I have got Brenda and Bruno mixed up and our arctic visitor is in fact male…I think! Every night except for that of the first blizzard, he/she has braved the sub zero temperatures and battled against a good four inches of snow. The snow has, however had one unexpected benefit, in that I have been able to track his/her movements. Judging by the snowy footprints, there have been no expeditions around the garden in search of frozen food, not even a mosey around underneath the bird feeders, just a quick trip from number 2 hedgehog hole, straight to the feeding stations and water/ice bowls and then straight back the way they came. So if any of us were ever in any doubt as to whether our intrepid hogs could survive in arctic conditions, then the answer has to be yes, but I am sure that they are grateful for a bit of a helping hand…like trying to unfreeze the water at gone midnight!

    Any sign of hoglet in the snow Nic?

    Hedgehog Footprints

    Hedgehog In The Snow

    #8744
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Penny

    I thought I saw a suspicious looking blob underneath the hog on your video. I guess it’s nice to have someone back, whoever it is!

    I think we had a bit more snow here than you did. I cleared the path for hoglet on Thursday night but it was beginning to fill again as fast as I cleared it. By the next day it was a foot deep in some places. So I cleared a path again, but it was quite deep every where else and I’m not sure where he is nesting during the day now. No sign of poor hoglet for 2 nights. Thank goodness he was back last night. My feed box camera was malfunctioning, again, and took over 500 videos (5 with hogs on!), but ran out of batteries soon after 10, so I don’t know how long he stayed. He was seen going into the nest box some time after 8. There was a shadowy image of a hog leaving down the garden about 5. That camera was producing a foggy picture (or maybe it really was foggy).

    The poor little chap was looking very insecure – misjudged the entrance to the feed box and then later came out and immediately dashed round the back out of sight. He was looking very wary, not at all his usually confident self. I wasn’t totally sure that the hog who I saw a bit later was him – it seemed a bit bigger. Last year the first of the boys came back from hibernation on 3rd March, so it’s possible there is another around as well. I will have to start keeping a better look out. It was unfortunate that none of the cams were working at their best – typical when it was just the night I wanted to make sure hoglet was ok. I am so relieved he made it back. The bowl of food was completely emptied and thank goodness there was plenty of unfrozen water around. On one of the really cold nights the water bowl from his box in the morning was uneven, as if he had been eating the ice before it got really hard. Fingers crossed for no more cold spells like that. At least it only lasted a few days, not all winter as per the Express!! It’s just started pouring with rain, so hopefully it will wash the rest of the snow away.

    Loved the video of your arctic hog. He must have got a cold tummy squeezing into your ceramic feeder! The blackbird was looking a bit miffed. Couldn’t quite work out what she was up to. Did she want to go into the feeder too?

    Won’t be long, now, until more hogs return.

    #8746

    Hi Nic,

    Yes the rain here has now washed away all of the snow and it is much warmer, but ironically much less food was eaten last night, the bowl in the feeding station wasn’t touched, only the food under the hedgehog pot was eaten. The poor hogs must be so confused.

    The blackbirds eat any leftovers from under the hedgehog pot, they’re quite skilled at running in and out, but it’s a bit dangerous with so many cats around!

    #8752
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Penny

    I’m glad to say the snow has nearly all gone here too and hoglet has returned to his usual self – running up the path and straight into the feed box! He is not eating quite so much again, but I suppose it isn’t surprising as he had 2 days to make up for. I have noticed that he is beginning to do a lot more foraging recently, which is good news.

    Clever things those blackbirds. I have seen starlings going into the entrance of feed boxes, and have sometimes wondered whether they have been right in, but never actually seen them.

    #8873

    The boys are back!

    Yes, the mayhem has started and once again we have a bunch of prickly thugs patrolling the patio (thank goodness!) I had feared for their safety after they all disappeared early last year, especially with those damn A24 hedgehog traps still on the market. Sorry to keep harping on, but please sign the BHPS petition if you haven’t already done so, we need to get to the 100.000 mark if we are to stand any chance of having them withdrawn from sale.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/206274

    Where was I…oh yes, the loutish behaviour on the patio. I don’t know if it is down to all those kitten biscuits they keep munching their way through, but the hogs seem to be getting larger. The terracotta hedgehog house which has adorned the patio for the last three years and provided a cat proof shelter and a safe haven for the smaller hogs, is now proving to be a bit of a health and safety issue. This year’s males seem determined to cram themselves inside regardless, with the result that it has become more of a mobile home! Last night’s antics were so manic that I am surprised that it has remained in one piece. So, I am now off to try and pin it down between two plant pots before it vanishes altogether or crumbles into a heap!

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