Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared
30th March 2018 at 8:36 am #8892
Hi Annie, so sorry to hear about your father, we lost my father in law aged 91 and the age doesn’t make it any easier. Being with nature most definitely helps, take time for yourself remembering those special memories you have. Take care x31st March 2018 at 12:13 pm #8913
Bit of argy bargy up in the garden last night. Stroppy male wanting to get into station for a feed.
Willpar.31st March 2018 at 1:17 pm #8915
Oh dear! That looks a bit of a tight squeeze. Wonder what happened when he got inside. Feel a bit sorry for the other one with no way to escape.15th April 2018 at 11:09 pm #9051
Thank you for your kind words, yes, remembering happy days with Dad, he was ready to go which makes it easier, just weird.
Sadly something really awful has happened, my beloved Frankie was killed in a road accident on April 3rd, he was out mid morning still after not returning from his early morning adventures & tried to cross the very busy road round the corner. He was killed instantly & a lovely girl stopped & picked him up & took him to the vets nearby who read his chip & rang me. Totally lost without him, he was the glue that held me together. He’s usually fast asleep on the bed long before the time he was killed, he must have been too busy to come home when it was quieter. Have been trying to find a way to move away from here for a long time to get him away from the road, no way I could keep him in all the time as he was living wild before he moved in with me & though he stayed in lately almost 24 hours a day he still liked his outings. Very sad house, much missed little man.
Put semi moist Spike food out for hedgehogs still with no cat biscuits but only slugs seemed to be eating it, Cat hadn’t bothered to try getting the dish out yet when I emptied the remains of it on the border on the weekend Cat (the visiting cat who Frankie was quite happy to have around) ate it all. No sign of any hogs visiting yet.
Hope your hogs are busily eating you out of house & home, in the nicest possible way.16th April 2018 at 10:21 am #9054
So sorry to hear about Frankie. Made me shed a few tears and I only know what you’ve told me about him, but I could tell he was a real character. I think you gave him a happy life and let him be who he wanted to be, which is the best we can do. Terribly sad for you, so soon after your Dad died. So nice of the girl to take him to the vet. Must have been another animal lover. I know there is nothing I can say, right now, that will make you feel better, but, keep going – and keep loving nature and animals. There lies our solace as well as our sadness.19th April 2018 at 10:00 pm #9142
Thank you, yes it’s so sad. He was only 8 & had spent the first 4 years of his life living outdoors, I know he was very happy with us, he’s been extra soppy for months & a real lap cat. Miss him terribly & am so glad to have shared his life, he was a good friend.
Birds are busy, a sparrowhawk had a lady blackbird next door yesterday but she escaped, a magpie chased her & then it chased the sparrowhawk. Everybody got away. Saw the sparrowhawk on Frankie’s gate last week eyeing up the little birds.
Still hoping for hogs to appear. How are yours?20th April 2018 at 7:29 pm #9159
Some cats are just special aren’t they and sad that they just sometimes aren’t around so long. My old cat, years ago, was a lovely boy, but he only lived until 7. He got some horrid blood parasite how or where from I’ve no idea. It is amazing how such small animals can have such big characters and presence.
Sounds like the blackbird had a lucky escape. I haven’t seen the sparrowhawk here for a while, but I expect one of them will be back. I think they are clever enough to know not to target one garden too long at a time.
There are a few hogs around, but they are being very annoying and mostly turning up very late at night. I have managed to get a few to come before 11, so I can actually see them. Most of the ones I have seen so far are last year’s hoglets and one of the big boys. He has taken to dashing in eating for a few seconds and dashing off again. I don’t know whether he has found a female. I haven’t seen any of the older girls yet, but one of last year’s early hoglets may be a female. I saw ‘her’ sharing a bowl with the big boy, one night and he usually biffs any other male in sight. Really good that it seems all 3 of the early hoglets are back.
I seem to have acquired another rat. Very annoying. It’s ok when I’m still up to chase it away from the food, but feel I have to leave a bit out for the late hogs. There was a very old looking rat around a while back – the one that used to go into hoglet’s nest box. One morning I went to check the box and the poor old rat was curled up dead in hoglet’s nest. Rats are the one animal I don’t really like, but I was glad it found a nice cosy place to curl up and die. I hoped the place might be rat free for a while, but no. The current one seems to have something wrong with one eye as only one shines in the light from the camera. Needless to say, I haven’t seen a single one of the 6 different cats which have visited through the winter!
Hoglet, who is called Horace at the moment, I think is one of the hogs turning up late. Horace was apparently a hedgehog character in Rupert Bear stories, although I didn’t know that when I thought of it. I’m still not sure it’s the right name, but I can’t keep calling him hoglet forever! I have been leaving kitten biscuits in his feed box, but interestingly, he seems to have stopped eating those and prefers the hog food.
Fingers crossed for you that some hogs appear soon. It’s still early yet, so still time.24th April 2018 at 2:15 pm #9192
I can’t tell you how excited and delighted I was to see the unmistakable form of dear old Digger on video this morning.
The only worry is that by the time she got here 12.18 the food had been put in the hog box. I saw her vaguely look at the box, but I don’t think going into boxes is her thing (very sensible hog!), and I didn’t see her go in. I hope she’ll turn up a bit earlier tonight, so I can see her ‘in person’. It has been quieter than usual, so I hope she might ‘encourage’ some of the others to turn up earlier too.29th April 2018 at 3:07 pm #9300
Oh that’s great to hear, have been waiting to see her name crop up again, good old Digger. Hope you’ve seen her since too.
Re your poor cat’s blood parasite from what I’ve been reading they can get them from the animals they prey on, mice etc, horrible for you & him however it happened. Not something you hear about, I certainly haven’t before yours. My friend’s rescue greyhound has picked up toxoplasmosis & is very ill, beginning to respond to unpleasant meds at last, long way to go though.
Rat had a safe end in your box, not nice to think of any animal suffering & having nowhere peaceful to end its life. Really rats are just here to clean up the mess we leave around on the whole, they’re very affectionate animals even wild born ones. Met one called George at Secret World sanctuary in Somerset many years ago, a total sweetie.
Little slugs are the only beneficiaries of my hog food still, no sign at all of droppings either. Maybe not a very safe environment round here with busy roads & too many strimmers etc. You can’t wrap wildlife in cottonwool can you, or cats come to that.
Bird activity is extremely busy, diving about in the borders eating insects every day. Saw a Peacock butterfly when I was litterpicking by the river a week ago, flitting from pieces of rubbish to the undergrowth nearby. There was a water vole too, snapped by one of the organisers as it was unconcerned by all the people & just sat nibbling grasses.
Sensible Horace going for the hog food, I’ve been trying to find kitten food but need a larger supermarket than I have access to.
Hope your hoggy visitors start to arrive a little earlier for you!1st May 2018 at 11:53 am #9338
Digger didn’t turn up the next night, but the one after came at a decent time and tucked in hungrily to the hog food. Since then she has missed several nights on and off. If she came last night it was after the food was taken in. Very worrying. It may be partly because she is being pestered by the males (but can’t help worrying about those ghastly traps and I also worry about people feeding mealworms). One night the young male pestering her looked suspiciously like Horace! She was totally disinterested and just hunched up and continued eating, much to his disgust.
The dreaded blobbers have been at work and some of the hogs look a real mess. Some look as if more than one person has marked them, with different shades. One with zig zags. It is just so sad that the poor hogs are treated in such a way. It also makes it more difficult to identify naturally. I tried to start a hog group here, but no-one really wanted to know. I sometimes think people want to keep the hogs to themselves. If they are going to mark hogs (which I don’t agree with, but people are going to do it anyway) they should get together with other people who are interested in hogs in the area and reach some sort of agreed system, instead of everyone doing their own thing. So unkind to the hogs on many levels.
Haemobartonella felis was the blood parasite my cat had. I still remember the name after all these years! I have just looked it up on Google and see it has since changed it’s name. We didn’t have the internet in those days – 20 years+. I was told it was very rare – which didn’t really help much, at the time. Hope your friends poor greyhound does ok. I always thought that was more of a cat thing, but I know it can be nasty in humans too.
Re. rats. I know they are really quite intelligent animals. I had a friend at school who had a pet one! Not my favourite but they do get a bit of a hard time. By the way, they are experts at catching worms!
So sorry you still haven’t got hogs there. It is a dangerous world for any animal who goes out and about and I hate hearing the sound of strimmers. It all comes down to people being in too much of a hurry.
You are so lucky to see a water vole! Years ago, I used to see them regularly in the countryside, but now it is much more unusual. As with many wild animals these days, maybe you are more likely to see them in urban areas.
Horace, who is merging into the background a bit, now, seems to think hog food is better than kitten biscuits. But now the new rat is sometimes around, the hog food is only left out whilst I am there to watch, so some of the kitten biscuits go. I am amazed, and didn’t really notice it until the others came back, that Horace never messed in his feedbox! Obviously well brought up. He and his fellow hogs are still turning up annoyingly late. I sometimes only see one or two in person/hedgehog, but there seem to be quite a few more on the cams.7th May 2018 at 9:20 pm #9450
Digger knows how to make you worry doesn’t she, how awful about the idiotic marking of the hogs, sounds a bit like twitchers having their lists of birds to spot rather than just enjoying seeing the birds themselves for their own sakes. Trainspotting for the animal kingdom, taken to extremes. No easy answer, this is all indicative of modern life I think, very sad.
Mealworms are a big worry, wondering if that had an impact on all the hogs I saw last year who disappeared so quickly, remember at least one of them seemed to have a mobility problem of some sort even though it was quick to rush away after appearing on camera. Hedgehog rescue that used to be in Cardiff used to hold open days & it was always live mealworms they fed the hogs in front of us all.
The blood parasite your poor cat had sounds really awful. My friend’s greyhound is slightly improved but still a long way to go. He’s an ex-racer rescue, had no idea how to be a dog when they took him in, always been in a kennel or racing, very sad. Big black boy, like a little horse.
I wish I had seen the water vole, all I saw was the photo they took, they thought it was a harvest mouse (!) after surfing the internet, I put them straight having seen them at Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust years ago.
Hilarious that Horace is clean with his poo, so nice that you’re still watching hog activity at all. Set the camera last night & just saw Frankie’s friend Cat, & then when it was light a lot of birds. Will try again tonight but think it’s unlikely I’ll see any hogs, very sad.
A huge swathe of the countryside less than half a mile from here is being built on, we were on the edge between city & countryside but now it’s disappearing beneath a mass of expensive ‘executive’ houses. Increased traffic will be an additional hazard to hogs & cats, there’s actually a hedgehog warning sign on a roundabout a little further up the road towards the former countryside, been there since I moved here in 2007. Not that anybody will have bothered to slow down or watch out for them sadly.
I live in hope of seeing a hog again one day!!8th May 2018 at 4:16 pm #9480
Glad to hear your friend’s dog is doing a bit better. Poor chap – not fair for him to have that when he has had such a difficult life. Sounds a lovely dog. Hope he pulls through all right.
Naughty Digger had me really worried. She disappeared for about 4 days. Very unlike her, but she has been here the last two. The first of the 2, she was pestered relentlessly by one of the young chaps and left in disgust – chased by him. Last night she arrived first. He appeared, but this time decided to share a bowl with her instead and then disappeared fairly quickly and left her in peace. Perhaps she gave him a telling off after they left the night before! The problem is, she seems to be the only female left around. For a long time previously there have always been about 5. That’s a heavy weight for poor Digger to carry on her shoulders.
I agree with you about the mealworm thing. It could wipe a population out, because hogs fed large amounts of mealworms are not so likely to survive hibernation. They don’t provide sufficient nutrition to put on the two types of fat they need. It isn’t only Metabolic Bone Disease, though that is bad enough in itself. Seems a bit strange, a rescue place feeding them mealworms ‘on display’, but was that before the knowledge about them became more widespread?
Sorry to hear about the building work near you. It must be horrid when you were so near the countryside, not to be. And why is it always ‘executive’ houses. They keep saying we need more houses for the youngsters, but most of them need starter homes, not ‘executive’ ones. And I hope the builders are including hog holes in all their new fencing, so there’s not so much need for the hogs to go on the roads.
Have you spotted that Pam Ayres hedgehog poem book ‘The Last Hedgehog’ is out now? BHPS are selling it and some of the proceeds go to them as well.
I know I keep saying it, but I hope you get some hogs visiting soon. As a consolation for the decline in hog numbers here, for the first time since I’ve been here, there is a friendly robin. A bit disconcerting (for fear of hitting it by mistake) when you are digging with a trowel and the little robin suddenly appears inches away, but a lovely little thing. Not sure if it’s the male or female that’s friendly, but the male sings away on my tree in the evening and seems to have an amazing repertoire! That is, when the blackbird hasn’t got there first!14th May 2018 at 10:30 pm #9612
Poor Digger, sounds like hard work being the only female with all those cheeky youths. Hope she puts them all in their place so she can get the food every night, much as I realise all of them need to play their part in continuing the hog population somehow.
Have just ordered Pam Ayres book from BHPS, thanks for telling me. Also a few other items, what a nice shop.
I emailed the developers of one of the sites up the road & asked specifically about hedgehog holes, bird nesting bricks & bat bricks being built into houses, also ponds & wildlife areas & am waiting to hear from them. It’s the ideal time to do all those things so wildlife have a chance to thrive from day one, particularly as they’re destroying a huge piece of countryside.
We have a new visitor, Tatty blackbird! Looking at him more closely it looks as if his baby feathers haven’t actually fallen out when the adult ones emerged & are sticking out all over the place. Thought at first he’d been attacked by something but not so sure now, the feathers look very fluffy sticking up, down & all ways. He comes & fills his beak with as much as he can & flies off, obviously has a nest nearby. How lovely about your robin, Grandad used to be a gardener & robins used to sit on the handle of his shovel. My aunt had one that came into her kitchen every day looking for scraps. Blackbirds serenading in the evenings here, the other assorted birdsong all day is wonderful to hear, some sing all night because of the streetlights on the main road but not the blackbirds, they seem to have the sense to go to bed.
Yes, it was a few years ago the hog rescue, probably before it was recognised as a problem but has always stuck in my mind as a hog food til seeing your advice on here & the biggest reason I used to put them out with cat food.
Doggy pal is very slightly improved again, hoping for further progress.
It makes me mad when people still use slug pellets, talking to a lady the other day & she quite happily told me she used them because slugs were eating her plants in the same breath as saying she’d love to have hedgehogs & how much she loved wildlife & cats! I said I don’t use any chemicals at all in my garden because of the risk to all those creatures & just grow something else if slugs eat things, she just smiled & said she thought it would be OK to keep using them, she’d not seen any poisoned animals….. Just as selfish as the people marking hogs, they do things regardless of the cost to the animals because it suits them.
My camera recorded just one jackdaw early this morning when I put it out last night, triggered a few times but whoever it was disappeared too quickly to be seen. Nobody ate any of the hog food, but putting it out & water every night just in case & setting the camera again as surely someone will come soon.17th May 2018 at 8:04 pm #9649
Yesterday was a sad day for hogs when, yet another, rural hog became a roadkill statistic. It was on a link road from a major (dual carriageway) road to a minor one. The poor thing was so squashed that it was difficult to make out which part was what. I just about managed to work out that it’s face was pale. I know I shouldn’t feel relieved that it wasn’t Digger, because it was a hog and near enough to have been one of my visitors, if not this year then last. Impossible even to tell whether male or female but seemed to be a good sized hog. So sad. Last night I waited in trepidation to be sure that it wasn’t Digger’s beau of the previous night, but no it wasn’t him either. Naughty Digger, who has been arriving recently within a half hour span didn’t turn up, but thankfully she was on the video about midnight. I have made sure that the poor dead hog has made it’s mark by entering it on the Big Hedgehog Map – frustrating though that was, I persevered – I felt I owed it to him/her to have his/her death recorded.
Digger seems to have got things well worked out. If the young lad hogs make advances, she either ignores them or runs off – usually with them in hot pursuit! But when a handsome, more mature, chap, worthy of her attention, appears it’s a different matter. Mind you, she wasn’t very impressed by his wimpishness, when he ran off and left her when a helicopter flew over! Nor when he deserted her, again, to get some food. No wonder she gave him a disgruntled biff at one point! I caught some of it on my pond cam (which has quite a clear picture) before they disappeared into the undergrowth.
Someone has ordered the Pam Ayres book for me, although I’m not sure whether or not I am going to have to wait for it until Christmas!
The slug pellet thing is a problem. People are too distanced from wild animals and can ‘conveniently’ put them out of their minds. Even worse, when the problem is pointed out to them and they still use them. It’s like people who waste huge amounts of money buying stuff to put on their lawns and all it creates is a green desert. (and I’m convinced the moss killer makes more moss grow!) I have never put anything on my lawn, but have been complimented in the past about how nice it looked. Or ‘how do you keep your grass looking so nice’ – Don’t put any chemicals on it! Allow a bit of clover to grow. It fixes nitrogen so fertilizes the grass naturally. Digger has been having a good time foraging on my ‘lawn’, complete with it’s new longer patches, which is far better than having an expanse of, fake looking green, grass.
Well done re. The developers. If you haven’t already seen them, here are a couple of links from Hh Street, which might be useful.
It’s so easy for them to put in bird nest bricks, etc. I worry about the poor swifts, when so many people these days seem to block every possible entrance into their roof spaces. They could really benefit from having built in nests, as well as martins, etc. I have four artificial martin nests on my house and love it when they all return. It is so nice to hear them cheerfully chattering away. The good thing about the artificial nests is not only can the birds start breeding earlier, but also their droppings don’t seem to hit the walls, because of where the entrances are located, so it is wins all round.
Interesting about your tatty blackbird. I sometimes get them here looking similar to how you describe, but definitely adults. It seems mostly on their backs and I have always thought it looks like their downy underneath feathers sticking out. Not sure why. It’s almost as if they have been pecking there to get soft feathers for their nest lining. It reminds me of how rabbits use their own fur to line their nests. I also wondered whether they could have been attacked, but got away. It has always been male birds I have seen. Robbie still seems to be waiting to swoop close to me when I go out, in the hope of some food. Wish I knew whether Robbie was male or female, but I did see a fledgling robin in the garden recently so that’s probably where some of the food has been going. One of the starlings seems to think it’s name is Robbie, too and is usually not far behind – looking very resplendent in it’s iridescent plumage. I have to stand close so that Robbie has first chance.
You are good, keeping putting food out in hope of a visiting hog. Fingers crossed one turns up one night.3rd June 2018 at 5:37 pm #9816
Poor hog on the road, you did the right thing putting the death on the map, sad though it is. Relief it wasn’t Digger or her suitor, you can’t help feeling that. She does have a bit of fun by the sound of it, your safe grass is a good thing, so many creatures will benefit from it.
My borders are at last buzzing with insects, many types of bees & all sorts of tiny flying things & a few butterflies but very few indeed. Birds hilarious as usual but getting a little quieter as the babies get older. Lovely seeing them bathing together being possessive about their portion of the bath!
Hog/kitten food mix continues to be visited by crafty cats getting their paws in & pulling the dish out & somebody else apart from slugs seems to eat some of it as it’s less full on the occasions the cats haven’t been at it. Have such a heavy heart about Frank I can’t bring myself to set up the camera as he used to be on it more than anyone else & watching the playback is difficult. Last time we set it up it didn’t work properly anyway, silly things these cameras can be.
Had a reply from developers which seems to say that there are ecology conditions relating to the development which include everything I asked about, but was worded so it wasn’t easy to understand if that means they’ll be doing it all. I’ve signed up for updates of their ebulletin so we’ll see what it all leads to. Or not.
Tatty is still around, maybe it is his under feathers as you suggest & he’s been a bit over zealous making a nest with them, he certainly would win no prizes in a smart blackbird competition!
Lucky you seeing a fledgling robin, they’re so delicate & very pretty with their well disguised colouring, if they had the red chest they’d be much easier for predators to spot.
We used to have house martins when we lived in the country, artificial nests is a good idea, your home must be a heavenly place for wildlife & you.
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