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Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

Viewing 15 posts - 181 through 195 (of 199 total)
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    Hi Annie

    The trouble with the captcha thing is it doesn’t seem to speak english either! Sometimes you have to tick just about every box and then it gives you another lot and another lot!

    Naughty cat getting at the hog food. I’ve just had the entrance to one of my boxes made a bit smaller to hopefully deter the small cat here. One of the hoglets goes into the boxes, but not the other. Typical that the one who does is the bigger one! Although they are both big enough, but if they aren’t going to hibernate they need to keep getting food. Unfortunately a rat has made a re-appearance, so I’d really like to change to cat food, but no point leaving it outside with all the cat visitors I’ve been getting.

    I still have mice here. Two sometimes now. I put some of those fat balls on a tree down the garden, but, surprisingly the birds didn’t find them and they went mouldy so I’ve had to throw them away. I’ve put some new ones out today and just hope they find them this time. It’s colder, now, so they might. Pretty cold last night. I couldn’t undo the lid of one of the hog boxes this morning – it has one of those butterfly screws – frozen solid!


    I’ve still got one large hog about, it’s living in one the hog bungalows in the corner, and popped out for food last night as usual and is showing no signs of giving up.

    As regards other animals nicking the food, not much at all is being stolen at present. I do have one avid thief though, it pops into the feeding station several times a day and is clearly developing an addiction to Spikes Dinner. Would you believe it’s a robin? Naturally now nicknamed “Robbing” he goes in, picks up one piece of hog food, hops out and goes into the vibernum to eat it. 5 mins later he’s back. There’s a feeder of sunflower hearts 3 feet above him but he clearly prefers hog food!

    Maybe I should start a new thread on robin proof feeding stations 😉


    I still have some too! Given the amount of food that’s being taken I assume there are several juveniles – I am getting 30 or so video clips a night but it’s hard to tell how many different hoggies! I wish they would wear scarves or hats to help us!

    Sometimes the house looks as if it’s been disturbed and other times not – although I see a round shape being made at the edge of one of my grasses! It wouldn’t be a very good place to hibernate as it’s right on the edge of the path and there is currently no more evidence than of something going round and round! No weaving or piling leaves! Watch and wait!


    Hi Nic

    Birds can be funny about fat balls, I had to stop putting mine out last year because we had so many jackdaws coming for them it was getting ridiculous as none of the smaller birds could get close, but other years no birds at all & mouldy balls like yours. Jackdaws are so noisy too, they bring their babies in the spring & hilarious & entertaining though they are I can’t feed all the jackdaws in Cardiff! Long tailed tits love the fatballs so am tempted to put some out in the ball feeder again just to see who turns up, ltt’s don’t seem to want to get in my suet pellet feeder probably because of their long tail feathers.

    Shame about your rats & cats, typical it’s the larger hog who wants to get in your boxes after your efforts to keep the cats out, sometimes I think wildlife likes to take the mick. Mice are so quick I think they move too fast for cameras on the whole, probably hundreds of them out there!

    Nice to hear from Williamc & DwarfHog & that you’re both getting visitors still, love the idea about scarves & hats to help identify them! Also Robbing sounds like the young magpie who visits my front door every day to take cat biscuits, dives in on bombing raids & leaves a present plopped under the handrail when he sits on it as a thank you….
    I expect there’s more fat in Spikes Dinner than in sunflower hearts, probably why he prefers it.

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    Hi Annie

    I see the blue tits on the fat balls sometimes now. They are on a weeping birch, so not an ideal location for starlings or larger birds to get to. Hopefully some long tailed tits will find them – they are so lovely to watch – and listen to. It is a bit further from the house than I normally feed, though, so I need to have some binoculars handy to get a good look down there. I know what you mean about feeding loads of jackdaws, a few years ago, I used to have fat balls out the front of my house and there was a nearby favourite tree of rooks – they used to get through the fat balls in no time. Don’t know why but they don’t seem to go round the back so much.

    The two hoglets are still visiting and showing no signs, yet, of hibernating. No attempts to make nests in the feed boxes this year. But, the rat, cats and mice take up far more video space than the hogs do. The camera watching the feeding area doesn’t seem to have any problem picking up the mice. The mouse did scarper last night when the rat arrived, which was interesting.

    I have a new system for the food. I used to put a piece of Perspex between 2 small children’s tables when it rained, but have now changed that to four large filled plant pots so it’s much lower. (bricks to weigh it down on top). I’ve placed it so that it’s quite near to the entrance to one of the feed boxes, so it makes it more difficult for the cats to get in there. Some sometimes try to get underneath, but not so often – probably not that comfortable. It has the advantage that the hog who doesn’t like going in the boxes is likely to get more food and he doesn’t seem to notice the lower ceiling. It also keeps the food drier if it rains – less space for the rain to blow in. Luckily the rat doesn’t seem to turn up until after the hoglets have eaten, but I’d really rather not be feeding it as well!


    Hi Nic

    Your feeding arrangement sounds ideal for everyone including you. Your rat might be a bit of a social outcast if it waits til after the hoglets eat & the mouse ran away when it saw him coming! Cats will try almost anything for food but you may have nailed it by the sound of things.

    As the hoglets aren’t nesting in the boxes I wonder where they are setting up winter quarters, such a shame we can’t see that side of their lives. There’s a heap of greenery with cut down shrubs & branches piled up in my neighbour’s garden & it’s gradually got grass growing through it & has become a pretty good shelter, wouldn’t be surprised if there was someone sleeping in there. Close to source of food in my garden & a quiet place to sleep apart from when their dog is out the back but it’s pretty inaccessible to the dog because it’s so dense.

    Hope the mice etc don’t flatten your batteries like Nala did mine!

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    Hi Annie

    The two hoglets are still visiting so looks as if there are going to be Christmas hogs here again! So far, mostly, the cats just come and look but aren’t going under the Perspex. I added a slight extension which seems to have helped. The mouse is still visiting but the rat not every night.

    I wonder whether the hoglets or one of them might be nesting underneath my shed. An ideal location. But I also have a hogilo down the garden – very difficult to tell whether anyone is in there or not. The hoglets do still spend a bit of time foraging on the grass and I found a video with one of them catching a worm on the patio. So, they are still getting some ‘wild’ food.

    Re. the batteries. I have got used to changing them (rechargeable ones) every day on the patio cam – where the food is. If I leave it longer the clips just get very short, which is irritating. In the Summer they sometimes get short towards the end anyway. The cam on the grass usually lasts 2 or 3 days – depends how many times cats walk backwards and forwards! I tried using non-rechargeable ones to start with, but they just didn’t last very long, so I thought rechargeable ones might work out cheaper in the long run.

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas.


    Hi Nic

    Christmas hoglets, that would have been nice to see. All a distant memory now, time flies, ours was very quiet which was great as noisy neighbours away most of the time & peaceful when they returned.

    Not so peaceful birds though, huge numbers of starlings descending on the fat some days like bombers, & a few jackdaws returned too. Blackbirds aplenty already sorting out territories & at night the birds are twittering away in the bushes because of strong streetlights on the main road, you’d think they’d be too tired!

    Good rechargeable batteries are great, less pollution too.

    I’ve looked under my shed for any residents but not enough space for a hog, if you have any there it’s a superbly safe home when you think about it tucked away from everything. Planning on rejigging the garden in the Spring to make it more interesting & wildlife friendly.

    Hope you had a nice Christmas & we all have a happy New Year despite all the political shenanigans & nonsense that’s going to land on our heads. Hope it all doesn’t pan out as badly as expected for animal (& human) welfare.

    Put some hog food under the feeder tonight & refreshed the water in case any cold & hungry hogs are about, you never know. Living in hopes of seeing some again this year.

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    Hi Annie

    Best wishes for 2019 to you as well. Hedgehog matters are definitely light relief from politics at the moment!

    I still have one hoglet visiting. The other one was last seen on Christmas Eve, so hopefully is safely hibernating now. The remaining one is still visiting every night. I saw him ‘in real life’ last night and could see that he now appears to have grown quite big. Sadly he’s the one who doesn’t go in the boxes, but the new arrangements with the Perspex seem to have put the cats off – for now at least. I still have a mouse visiting, and sometimes a rat, but not every night. I see the hoglet quite a bit foraging on the grass, so he is still getting some ‘wild’ food as well, which is good.

    I don’t know if any of the hogs are under the shed this year, but there has been a nest there in the past. It would be lovely and dry in the middle. It won’t be long now, until some of the boys return from hibernation. I wonder if any of my old regulars will come back, as most of them disappeared at some stage last year. (pre-hibernation time).

    I, also, seem to have blackbirds back, – they are often seen on video in the early morning – a competition between them and the robins for first bird to arrive. The robins appear to have paired up already – often two seen quite close together without chasing each other. Plenty of jackdaws here too.

    I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to start a new topic. What do you think? Maybe it doesn’t matter that this one has got quite long! I’ll leave it to you to decide.


    Hi Nic

    Bothering me that it isn’t cold enough for the animals to know it’s really winter, not here anyway, a few frosty mornings& one very hard frost indeed this week but seems a pretty mild winter so far. Probably have a few feet of snow now I’ve said that!

    Blackbirds are the first to my food on the fence every day, also all night can hear the birds in the hedge out the front twittering away because of the strong lights on the main road next to them. You’d think they’d be worn out being up all night.

    Pity your hoglet doesn’t go in the boxes but sounds as if he’s thriving anyway. Great seeing him in the flesh as opposed to on camera, lucky you. You’re doing your bit for assorted wildlife with your mice & Mr Rat, all the birds etc.

    Don’t know what topic we could choose, suppose this has become a bit personal hasn’t it?! Am planning a small extension on the house in the Spring & hoping it doesn’t put off any hogs planning on visiting with all the weird smells that’ll be out there. The garden will change shape after it’s done because it’s time to make the tiny place that it is more attractive to small mammals like hogs. Not sure exactly how I’ll do it but it’s in the planning stages.

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    Hi Annie

    I know what you mean about the weather. It can’t make up it’s mind, either – cold for a couple of days and then mild again. I hope we don’t have a few feet of snow either! Not sure how poor hoglet 0 would manage. I think he/she might end up being Oliver or Olivia. Originally called hoglet 0 because there was a vaguely 0 shaped mark on his/her face. I suspect he may have vision problems (if he has, he always seems to have had) but appears to get around like any other hog, so I wouldn’t want to interfere. He seems to be managing very well and has grown. But snow would make it difficult re. scent he’s left around.

    Poor birds being kept up all night by the lights. I did an hour of Big Garden Birdwatch this morning, but there was a marked absence of the usual starlings. Very strange. I might have another go tomorrow and see if there’s a difference. Although, hopefully, someone else will have picked them up in their gardens.

    No I’m not sure about another topic title either. In some ways, its handy having old posts here to refer to .

    I imagine it might put the hogs off to start with, with new building work, but once it’s done they will be o.k. again. Especially with your new specially hog friendly designed garden! I have one or two small changes planned for my garden, but the weather just hasn’t been right for getting out there to do anything much. Most people would probably think it looks a mess now, but there are plenty of seed heads for the birds to sample. Good luck with your designing.


    Hi Nic

    Building work is going to begin in a couple of weeks so as it’s a small job & isn’t going to take too long to complete (hopefully) I think it may not put off any potential hog visitors as they’ll be able to arrive roughly when I usually notice them in May. Fingers firmly crossed for an interesting year!

    Guess you may have had activity already as it’s been so mild, be interesting to hear how hoglet is.

    I did BirdWatch too, but even though I tried several counts over the 3 days couldn’t get anywhere near the amazing numbers I counted the previous weekend when I got the dates mixed up (!) Typical. Counted 37 starlings the previous weekend, think a chunk of a murmuration must have landed in my garden!! A thrush was visiting every day for weeks but haven’t seen it this week.

    Lovely to hear the birdsong, including a thrush, put moss off flowerpots I cleared out & small twigs in a pile for anybody wanting nesting materials.


    Hi Annie – interesting to hear your nesting material stash! I have been saving the grooming from our long haired cat and hung it on the ivy this morning – already had one or two birds investigating – probably saying “is this 4 or 6 tog fur?’


    Hi DwarfHog

    Cat fur doesn’t seem popular here usually but will hang some of that out too just in case this year’s birds are more broadminded! Maybe it has to be long to be useful….

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    Hi Annie

    Well we had some snow and hoglet was missing for several days. I was a bit worried about him, but then he came back and has been visiting every night, as before. So far, no companions, although I haven’t checked last night’s video yet.

    I have managed to get him to go into the front corridor of one of the boxes – Perspex sheeting almost up to it, lower down, and an entrance made smaller, so very difficult for cats to get in. (some of the cats must think they’re limbo dancers – quite amusing seeing them getting under the Perspex for the hog food – although luckily it doesn’t happen often). The camera doesn’t always catch hoglet going in or out, but have had the occasional clip of him reversing out! And down a step, too. He has also taken to kitten biscuits, since the snow – good, because the rat is still an occasional visitor and eats the hog food. No mice recently, though.

    Re. the Garden Birdwatch. I have come to the conclusion that extra people start putting food out just for that and maybe some of the birds go there, because it is the same every year – some of the ‘regulars’ missing.

    I have a blackbird who I think may be roosting on my patio. He seems to be there every evening when I turn the cameras on. Of course, he may just be waiting for the hog food, but it doesn’t seem to be just that, and there is usually a bit of bird food left, which I take in when the hog food goes out. I’ve also been seeing some butterflies and bumble bees, but no frogs yet and sadly no sign of frog spawn either. I am hoping to see some damselflies later on – last year I saw them laying eggs in one of my tub ponds.

    So much to do in the garden! I usually pretty much leave it in the winter for all the insects, etc. but now the plants are beginning to grow – with all the warm weather – and so the old stuff needs moving. I gave the grass it’s first mowing – mower set very high. I was worried it was getting too long for hoglet – his foraging activities on the lawn had gone down. I have been trying to work it out, but I think they might like a variety of lengths. Shorter to get around more easily and longer bits to hunt for insects, but quite small areas, so they can get around them easily. But seem not so keen if too much of it is too long.

    Good idea – the nesting material – and yours with cat fur, too, DwarfHog. When we had a pony some birds used to land on it and take fur away. Not as bad as it sounds – it was when the pony was moulting so was probably quite glad for the birds to take some. We also used to put some in branches, etc. too and still do with bits of sheep wool. Some people put fur, etc. in hanging feeders, for the birds to use probably some of the fat ball feeders with bigger spaces.

    There’s lots more bird singing going on here, too. Lovely to hear.

    Good luck with the building work. I hope all goes well and that it is all out of the way for when the hogs come back.

Viewing 15 posts - 181 through 195 (of 199 total)

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