Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared
30th April 2017 at 11:12 pm #6109
Pleased to hear you have hog signs there too now. The little frog has been back in the pond here. Haven’t given him/her a name – yet!
Digger turned up tonight with a different male hog! He was being an absolute pest and kept nudging her whilst she was trying to eat. He was one of the younger ones. He wouldn’t stay still enough to be certain who he was – either Tigger or Tigs who look very alike.
Hope the hogs come back to visit you too, soon Sammy9.1st May 2017 at 12:23 pm #6125
Hi Nic, glad Digger’s around, sensible of her to ignore her suitors especially at mealtime.
Heavenly rain almost all last night, lots of worms wriggling about. Set up the camera and just after midnight spotted a spiky visitor to the food who spent a long time around the pots after bugs of all sorts, treading on very long and wiggly worms and not eating them! As the hog left it was obviously very wet, shook itself vigorously like a little dog and almost fell over with the effort.
Hogs have such large areas I suppose they can’t cover every garden nightly, not to mention hazards that may occur on particular nights to make them change their route a bit. Glad I don’t know for sure if they cross roads but round here they’d pretty much have to and one is an A road so very fast & busy.
Sammy9 do you think there’s a word for people like us who go looking for poo in their gardens, quite a funny picture imagining us all scouring the borders for the stuff. I break it up to see what they’ve been eating but sometimes (as this week) it’s just fibrous and nothing interesting. Sure your hogs will appear soon.
Hope Bert the frog and the newts are still keeping you company til the hogs appear to join the gang Wildlifehaven.1st May 2017 at 8:19 pm #6136
Dear old Digger! She is such a character. I am so glad she is back this year. She must be quite an old hog now, hence the wisdom of keeping the boys in their place! I was looking at last year’s notes and the girl who crosses the road didn’t seem to feature until late May. But then became a regular visitor. She can’t have been hibernating that late, I wouldn’t have thought, so she must have been staying closer to home – until she had put on condition again(?). I hope she will do the same this year and turn up and surprise me one night
We had a bit of rain, but not as much as you, it sounds. Still, any is better than none. They are funny when they shake themselves so hard. I have seen them actually roll right over – and when they have been scratching too!
I don’t have the same hogs visiting every night here. There are usually a core of ‘regulars’ – mostly the girls – but the others come and go a bit.
I always think the looking for poo thing is funny too – Chris Packham would be proud of us all!2nd May 2017 at 3:00 pm #6140
Lots more rain for us yesterday again. Happy to say 3 sightings on camera last night in the early hours, think it was at least 2 hedgehogs as the 2nd seemed to have to work out how to get to the food. A lot of scratching going on by the latter, even getting a back leg up over its back at one stage to get the middle area.
Tremendous number of slugs, snails, worms & assorted little bugs all over the place, no shortage of food when it’s so damp. Dish of sunflower seeds, cat food & a few mealworms quite empty this morning apart from huge black slug. Yuck
Yes, think Chris would be proud of our poo inspections.
Loved getting up to run through the footage this morning, camera only runs for 4 hours or so though, not sure why. Maybe saving me too much excitement!2nd May 2017 at 3:31 pm #6141
So pleased to hear the hogs are returning there. They do seem to be extremely supple, when trying to scratch, etc. Lucky you, having lots of rain! We need more here, but it is a lovely sunny day today and the birds are enjoying it.
Watching time was very quiet here last night and then there were four at once at one time on the patio cam. Very remiss of them not to arrive when I am up to watch them! I had a cat visiting earlier so had to put the remainder of the food in one of the hog boxes. Several clips of rear ends of hogs disappearing into the box! And one hog having a good sniff all round. Not sure whether he was working out where to get in, or whether there was another hog already in there which he could smell.
Yes, I agree, it is fun seeing what’s on the cams in the morning. So, does yours record continuous action for four hours? I have one of mine doing 20 second clips and the gate cam on photos – because it uses less batteries that way. I was getting through so many batteries that I have taken to using rechargeable ones. They don’t recommend it, but I think it might be because they are only 1.2v and the ordinary ones are 1.5v. But I have found that if I put the full 8 batteries in, it works ok. I seem to constantly have some recharging. Have you seen anything else interesting on your cam? Here it has been hogs, cats and woodmice.4th May 2017 at 8:37 pm #6200
Our camera runs on mains & records continuously, set it up on desktop last night so had a 10 hour recording to look at today!
Around 23.00 before going to bed we had the pleasure of watching 2 hogs doing the dance together, she wasn’t having any of it & reversed the whole time but after about an hour they had some face to face moments & she nudged him gently a few times. At the front of his head his spikes were upright & facing forward, quite a sight. He had enough of her rejections eventually & left & she reappeared later for food. In the middle of their dance Frank came home & jumped clean over the pair of them, landed on the roof of the cat house & flew in through the cat flap at 100 mph.
In all on video we spotted at least 3, probably 4 different hogs. Trying to establish markings to be able to sort out who’s who, never expected to see so many. Scratchy wasn’t amongst them so must be quite a few hogs around here.
I expect you’ve had a few more visitors since your last posting as you have so many calling at your restaurant.
Battery powered cameras would be easier to place around the garden, might look into that.
I’ve only spotted mice & cats apart from hogs, always hoping for some interesting newcomer though.4th May 2017 at 9:23 pm #6205
Really pleased to hear you have lots of hogs visiting now. I expect now you have a few you will get even more.
Glad you mentioned Frank – I had been wondering how he was. I can just picture him jumping over the hogs! Has he got a house to himself now?
They do seem to waste a huge amount of time on those courtship ‘dances’! And many of them come to nothing, as it sounds as if that one did. The ladies are not averse to giving the boys a gentle biff now and then. I sometimes think they must be thinking ‘leave me in peace for a while – I want to get some food’. The boys seem to be very clever at making themselves look bigger than they are during those dances. They seem to be able to make themselves taller and thinner somehow – more impressive looking from the side. Males and females sometimes use the spikes forward trick to keep other hogs away from their food bowl too.
It must be handy having the camera running off the mains. Saves a lot of time changing batteries, but as you say, the battery ones are handy for putting in different places round the garden.
I wasn’t able to watch the hogs much last night, but Digger featured a lot on the cam. She is really obvious on it as her face is so dark and also her skirt. Unfortunately when I put the remains of the food in the hog box I turned off the camera – didn’t really want to see myself on it! – and forgot to turn it on for the rest of the night. No sign of the other two yet. I keep thinking about putting the camera out the front one night, but haven’t yet.7th May 2017 at 4:57 pm #6248
Haha, best to remember to turn the camera back on! Have me going out in my red dressing gown to pick up the empty dish on a few of our recordings now.
Digger is obviously a precious hog to you, hope I’m lucky enough to see hogs long enough to recognise them & see them return year after year.
Last couple of nights we’ve had a huge hog, he’s at least 12″ nose to tail, possibly longer. Very itchy, he does a lot of contortions with long legs reaching pretty much anywhere he wants to scratch. His forehead spikes were well forward last night though he was the only one there. Like a little helmet almost. He’s very dark coloured.
So hard to identify them, one girl has a clear stripe down her nose & light patches on her lower back but need to spend more time looking closely at video to sort them out.
Frank doesn’t use either house at the moment but no hog seems interested in them so he’ll have his pick come the summer evenings when he likes to snooze out there in the cooler air. He often appears on video walking past the feeding hogs & takes no notice apart from the time he had to jump over them. They ignore him too. All old hat to them I suppose, it’s just us humans who are intrigued by the comings & goings of our wildlife.
Another interesting evening ahead I hope, is your garden hotting up now re hog activity?8th May 2017 at 7:54 am #6250
I managed to catch rather a lot of me on the cam last night! A hog turned up bleeding, what seemed rather a lot, so I thought the poor chap might need some help. Luckily the bleeding stopped after a bit, but the poor chap is in the kitchen waiting to go to the Wildlife Hospital to get checked over. I don’t normally like interfering, but it looked like a lot of blood for a little hedgehog. This morning, I see that the blood trail isn’t that long, so don’t know what could have happened to cause it. Will have to wait and see what they say. Unfortunately the shed is down the end of the garden, hence me on the cam to-ing and fro-ing to get the old cat basket – now hog carrier!
All this unusual human activity must have frightened the other hogs away, so it was very quiet last night. Just had a quick scan through the cam content and – horror – a rat. The first one caught on the cam, but bad news, as I won’t be able to leave any food out unattended for a while.
The hogs are very funny sometimes when they are scratching – amazing the positions they can get into! That sounds a BIG hog. Maybe someone else was lurking in the undergrowth to make him put his spines up?
I find the best way to id the hogs is to look at them through the binoculars in real time. You can see more detail that way. My cams aren’t really good enough to tell who is who, apart from one or two more obvious ones. If you look carefully, usually the dark parts on the face vary in shape and size a bit and sometimes they have a ‘star’ in the middle, or a v shape coming down from the top, or other ‘blobs’ all these of varying sizes and locations – ie. only down to the eyes, or past them, etc. Some of the ones here are quite similar, especially after last year’s intake of hoglets, so I have to find some small feature which is different. I haven’t got all the youngsters totally worked out yet. Then there’s size, colour of spines. Does your camera do colour or b/w? The night ones here are b/w. The skirts are often useful. I sometimes think of them as a bit of a bar code. The different gradations of dark or light along the length. I need to work on them more, as I think they might show up better on the cams.
That’s very contrary of Frank not using his boxes. By the time he decides to use one, they might have been taken over by hogs! One particular cat here has become annoyingly persistent, although on my quick scan of the cam content there was no sign of him when the rat was around!
Other wildlife here? Just Frog who is nearly always in one of my tub ponds, the birds, of course, the hogs and one rat! Still no sign of the missing girls and the hogs don’t seem to have settled into a routine yet. Often different hogs turn up on different nights – during live watching time, that is.8th May 2017 at 1:55 pm #6253
Pleased to say the hog is back home waiting to be released again tonight. He now has one claw less which he somehow managed to tear off! Apparently it always bleeds a lot when they do that. I expect he is very miffed with me, making him miss a whole night of chasing the girls!11th May 2017 at 10:31 am #6319
Well done with the injured hog, must have been painful for him.
Our camera has decided to play up & by the morning has not only stopped recording but won’t let us replay anything that was on it. Last night must have been an epic one for numbers of hogs & also size as the garden is awash with poo, some of it very large!
We watched the pair who did the dance a few nights ago do it again last night & I think I’ll have to stay up for longer tonight & watch it live on camera or sit out the back & watch them in the flesh as it’s so disappointing finding nothing on video. The dance continued all round the garden in the borders, the flowers were shaking all over the place then they came back for food & appeared to share the dish under the cat house.
I’ve put solar lights in the border here & there so it’s a bit easier to see them in the dark, I’ve taken on board your suggestion re markings etc. It’s an infrared camera so everything’s black & white. The whopping big one we’ve called Sherman (as in the tank) & I think it might have been his massive poo last night. Then there’s poor Scratchy who comes some nights, must have a lot of fleas or ticks, a fair sized hog too.
Last night Frank came home while the dancers were feeding separately & sat to watch them & suddenly one of them raced towards where he was sitting, he leapt away & turned at the same time, landing with his foot in the water. He walked away with a flick of his wet foot with as much dignity as he could & tried to pretend nothing had happened!
Never seen a rat here, hope yours has gone elsewhere though they do say you’re never far from a rat. Saw a baby wild rabbit a few years ago early morning in the bushes but never before or since. A frog was using our frog solar fountain to cool off a couple of years ago but haven’t seen another since. Bees & others are visiting the flowers which are growing quickly now & getting quite tall, whole garden is made to attract insects & is obviously being successful. We badly need rain though, everything is very dry again. How’s your garden?11th May 2017 at 2:28 pm #6320
The poor hog seemed none the worse for his adventure. Other than having a blue foot of course – from the antiseptic spray. I put the open ‘hog’ basket out for him just before the time he arrived the night before, thinking he would come almost straight out. Never anticipate what a hog is going to do – he didn’t come out until after 1.00 a.m! I had to stay up because the rat was still about and it would have eaten all the hog’s food. I saw the hog get up and stretch and do some enormous yawns, a couple of times, but then he went and curled up again. He stayed there so long that in the end two bigger boys (at different times) actually went into the basked, biffed him and ate his food. So I had to keep topping it up and he did manage to have quite a good chomp before he left.
Talking about the rat, I had several clips of it on the patio (it is an old patio and there are lots of gaps with grass in them) catching worms. It was pulling great long worms out of the ground. I had never thought of them eating worms, but I suppose they eat just about anything. It was back again last night, at one point climbing up the side of the arch. Where are all the cats when you need them! Sounds like Frank must be doing a good job there, keeping them away.
That is so annoying that your camera is not working properly. It must be so frustrating not being able to get the night’s filming off.
I think there must be a fair amount of ‘dancing’ going on here, too, judging by the flattened plants all over the place! I have lost track of how many different boys I have seen Digger disappearing into the undergrowth with. They do say one litter of hoglets can have more than one Father!
I leave the patio light on during hog watching time and watch them through the window with the binoculars. The hogs don’t seem to mind the light.
I love the description of Frank. I can just picture him. Typical cat pretending everything is completely normal!
Yes, it is extremely dry here too. Really hope we are going to get some of this rain they are talking about. The water butts are almost completely empty and I need the rain water to top the ponds up which the naughty birds keep emptying. I expect the hogs would be quite pleased as well. Frog is still there, all on his own in the tub pond which is sunken. Love the sound of your frog having a shower under the fountain. I forgot about the bees, when mentioning the wildlife in the garden. There are usually quite a few of those and I often catch clips of moths on the night cam. The bunble bees gave their seal of approval a couple of years ago – I had just filled an old wooden box with bits of wood, etc., as a sort of bug hotel, and they made their nest in it. I love the ponds in tubs – one has water boatmen which are quite fun to watch and loads of water snails.13th May 2017 at 10:50 pm #6352
That blue footed hedgehog must have been enjoying the rest when he was so slow off the mark, lucky for him you sat up to make sure his supper was replaced for him after the boys ate it all.
I didn’t realise rats ate worms either, doesn’t seem quite the type of food for them does it but I guess they eat whatever comes along.
Hubby’s looking for help on the internet for the camera problem as it’s being a total pain, more to do with the method of playing back than the camera itself apparently, all beyond me!
Our light is motion activated & would confuse the infrared aspect of the camera & make everything invisible, have to think about that a bit too.
I know what you mean about flattened plants due to the dancing, have found damage here too, little scallywags. Lot of activity every evening, a strange cat frightened the smallest hog the other night, it scurried off & hid til the cat had gone. The cat tried in vain to get at the food, inspected the inside of the cat house, sniffed around where the hog had been & left, shortly afterwards followed by a very territorial looking Frank who’d been watching out of the window.
The quantity of poo is amazing some mornings, I have to wash it all away as I’ll step in it otherwise. They trample in it themselves without any help from me!
Mucho rain for a few days now, hooray! I have a bug hotel made of cut up pallets, wondered if a hog might use the bottom but doesn’t look like it. Also have a pond made of a small earthenware glazed pot (around 1′ across, 18″ high), put lot of pebbles in to make it safe if anybody climbed in & planted an aquatic plant which thrives in it. Had a dragonfly hover over it last year but no egg laying. Numerous solitary bee houses along the fence but only one has any occupants.
How are Digger & friends?14th May 2017 at 12:10 am #6353
Grr!! Had just typed out half a reply and the page suddenly jumped and when I got back to the reply bit it had all disappeared. Does that ever happen to you, or is it just my antiquated computer?
Anyway, as I was saying:
Good news, one of the ‘missing’ girls has turned up. But, very quiet tonight – only a few visits from two of the girls – no Digger – and one of last year’s hoglets. The boys seem to be elsewhere tonight. The dratted rat has been here. I sometimes wonder whether the hogs don’t like it. Yesterday, when it was not here there were more hogs. I have taken the food in now, as I don’t want the rat to get any of it. Did you see, elsewhere, my not very good description, about the hog who flipped a hog over the top of another one? The poor hog who got caught up in the middle of that made a hasty retreat!
My camera does infra red as well, but seems to work and still take b/w video when the light is on. Not really sure how these things work either – maybe it is because it is not one of the really bright lights? Hope you get yours sorted out soon. Once you have one, you really don’t want to be without it.
Good old Frank seeing off the cat. Don’t want cats scaring the hogs!
The poos! Don’t know how I manage it, but I am always treading in it, even though I know it is always there.
I hope we really are going to get some rain here. They said there would be some yesterday, but we only had a light sprinkling. They said there should be some here by now, tonight, but no sign. I put the covers out for the hogs all to no avail.
Interesting you mention the dragonfly. I have had them visit once or twice in the past, but that was before I had the ponds. I keep hoping they will come back. Ungrateful bees, not using your bee houses! I might have mentioned before, but we had some straw on a pallet a few years back, and when we got down to the bottom discovered there was a hedgehog underneath it all. I suppose it must have been really well insulated under there. Good idea to use one as a bug hotel, so you can keep it all reasonably tidy and still provide lots of nesting places for the bugs.15th May 2017 at 10:19 pm #6377
Would love to have seen the upended hog, must have been very miffed.
I’ve had the experience you mentioned of being in the middle of typing then the page is suddenly gone again, pain in the bum.
Still no solution to the recording problem, have to settle for recording on my mobile which still works for the 4 or so hours before packing it in & plays back too & can transfer it to the laptop/desktop. Goodness knows why, technology is a mystery to me.
Can’t seem to find any moist Spikes food anywhere to buy, all out of stock online & only shop I’ve found it in locally is a foul ‘pet’ shop selling poor little birds & I refuse to support them. They’re perfectly happy with the other food I give them so perhaps it doesn’t really matter.
So many hogs again last night, they’re coming earlier now, 21.30 onwards instead of midnight. Lots more rain still, the borders are so lush now you can’t see gaps between the plants any more. Had to replant the border last year after my fencing people trampled everything to death!
Hope Digger’s been to see you by now, I imagine they all want to stay clear of the rat so hope he’s gone on to somebody else’s garden.
An outside light I can operate from indoors would be good, the LED one I have I might be able to adjust so it stays on longer to spot hogs better & it’s remote control so that would be a good alternative to having to run a cable outside. Less complicated anyhow & can do myself. Try it tomorrow.
The chopped up pallet is 2 layers high with bricks around the base & gaps for creatures to get in without access to cats or anything larger than a hog, lots of branches, cuttings from the border, fir cones, shells, pots on their sides etc & a large ex bird table with a roof stuffed with fir cones & things sitting on top of it all!
Had one visitor so far tonight, this might be a silly question but do they have tails? This one I’ve noticed has a dark little something or other that appears to be a tail, not noticed it on anybody else, makes it easy to identify as it’s a regular every night.
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