Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

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 - 91 through 105 (of 199 total)
  • Author
  • #7978

    Hi Nic

    Thank goodness for Digger (& her feather) yet again, let’s hope all your visitors (& any offspring they may have) find safe havens for winter & make it to next year to bring happiness to you for years to come.

    Pete & little friend have made fleeting visits this week, both now splendidly turned out in full pigeon feather uniform & seem to have learned a little caution & that it’s not really good to get too close to people however nice they may appear.

    Frank slightly in disgrace as he’s found a source of baby fieldmice & after he happily let us have the first 3 he brought in we decided enough was enough & his catflap is now set at out only. He has to wait to be let in – provided his mouth is empty. He brings them in unharmed & is unperturbed at being shut in the kitchen while we capture & liberate the tinies but it’s not nice for us or them. The last time he appeared with one at the flap he went away & returned too quickly to have made a meal of the poor thing, think he put it down to play with & it took off at the speed of sound. Hope so. No lip licking either which says a lot re eating.

    Wallflowers planted, an amazing burgundy Cosmos bought for Β£1.99 at Lidl, all I need now is a patch of grass somewhere to attract the hogs to forage next year. Still working on how & where that’ll be.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Yes, indeed, thank goodness for Digger. Guaranteed to lift the spirits every time she makes her way through the arch into the feeding area. I can usually tell it’s her, by the way she walks, even before she is close enough to see the markings. Still no sign of the others, but the two (large) hoglets are still visiting as well. They make me laugh too. There are usually three bowls but they will insist on sharing one of them! They don’t turn up together to start with, but must have a meeting place somewhere in the flower bed and later on revisit together.

    Naughty Frank. That’s what the cat I used to have did. I remember spending ages, once, emptying the entire crockery cupboard, because a wood mouse he had brought in and let loose, got into it. It took me hours to wash it all up afterwards too, because I didn’t know where the mouse had been, and had heard about their unreliable bladders. I suppose cats will be cats! I saw the visiting cat here climb up on top of my ponds in tubs to drink out of one of them. Was amazed to see that he could balance on such a narrow top and didn’t look in the least danger of falling in.

    Good to hear Pete has visited again and is looking well and your garden sounds as if it is going to look good in the Spring after all your hard work. I have treated myself to some new shrubs (they had some good deals on at the garden centre). Some still waiting to be planted. I have a bird bath on a pedestal in the middle of the lawn and am planning on planting some wild flowers round it next year. So far I have just got some bulbs there. Not sure whether it will end up too damp for them, when the starlings all get in the bird bath and slosh around, but worth a try, I thought.


    Hi Nic

    I guess Digger will be making her nest ready for winter as the temperature is dropping now. Love the story of the 2 hogs feeding together, meeting up somewhere in your border to have a chat over supper perhaps.

    Did you see Autumnwatch, they showed a clip somebody sent in of a hedgehog feeding at a dish being bashed sideways by a badger but it still seemed to be sticking around. Not sure I’d like to see badgers near my hogs if I had any, specially after things I’ve read on here.

    Set up the camera outside last night & the wonderful new super strength batteries which have only been used a few times packed up as soon as it started recording. 2 of them were quite flat, the others still had some charge. Bought a dud on eBay possibly, you never know. Sat down for some entertainment this evening only to see sweet nothing on it except me setting it up.

    Yes, know what you mean about mouse wee. The large basket in the dresser that the last mouse was hiding in has been sniffed very excitedly by Minx & Frank but the things in it aren’t washable! Frank’s door is still on OUT only, makes for less sleep for me as though I keep him in at night if I can he’s a wildy having grown up on the streets before living with us & insists on his nocturnal ramblings. I then wake up all the time from crazy dreams & have to go & see if he’s there & wants to come in! His kennel’s a few feet away from the window his door is in & super warm with a soft catbed & vet bedding so he usually kips in there til I let him in.

    What activity have you seen in your garden?


    For those interested, 7day shop does AA batteries that are 2900. Ok for those units that seem to eat batteries.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Believe it or not, Digger was still here last night. I didn’t see any of the large ‘hoglets’. She visited 8 times, that I saw, and a couple more on the cam. The cam missed a big chunk from 9.30 to just past midnight when she was back again – and it was really cold! She ate quite a lot. I checked last year and the 30th was the last night she visited so imagine she will hibernate quite soon – although I’m a bit worried she might have had more hoglets. If she has there isn’t much hope for them unless they make an appearance. I also see the two missing females were here a few days later than her last year and there were quite a few hoglets around – so, much quieter this year.

    Yes, I did see the badger and hedgehog on Autumnwatch and agree, I wouldn’t want to have badgers eating next to hogs, especially after the things I have heard.

    Sounds a lovely bed Frank has. They can be a worry sometimes all these animals!

    The visiting cat has been showing a lot of interest in one patch of bushes, I think there might be some baby mice in there somewhere. I see one out in the open now and then. Hopefully, he will deter any potential rats which might be thinking of visiting.

    It went a bit quiet birdwise, but now a few blackbirds are beginning to appear again to boost the numbers of the usual sparrows, collared doves, etc. Some evenings the starlings get into quite a decent sized group and fly around. Not quite a murmuration, but still good to see them flying around and suddenly changing direction, etc. Always amazes me how they don’t collide.

    Thanks for the info. re. the batteries.


    Hi Nic

    Sounds like it is a source of mice the cat’s found in your garden, pretty much all we’ve recorded bar one mouse shooting past has been Frank & another cat sitting for a VERY long time just watching the same area of fence onto next door’s very overgrown garden where mice seem to live. Patience is obviously a cat trait.

    I hope Digger hasn’t any hoglets too, it’s much colder now than it was this time last year, she sounds very busy though. Wonder why it’s so quiet re hogs in general visiting, maybe they’ve all found natural areas away from the dangers of humans so don’t need so much help, we can only hope.

    I bagged up loads of leaves on the weekend from our car parking area, planning on making some sort of compost type enclosure open 5″ or so at the bottom on one side & filling it, maybe making a cover to keep it from being soaked. Be a good place for anybody needing a bit of shelter & warmth if it’s damp rather than wet & I read hogs need moisture in their bedding over winter anyhow.

    Had a lovely surprise this morning, watching blue tits on the fat balls – first time I’ve seen them for a long while – & a wren was bobbing along the fence. First one in the 10 years I’ve lived here, used to see lots in my previous house but we were nearer woodland there. Yes, the blackbirds have been here too, hear them making their warning sounds in the hawthorn. Starlings are amazing in their groups, glad you’ve had some, they’re here being argumentative as usual. A murmuration would be welcome wouldn’t it. They’re hilarious using the feeder with the clematis netting on the front, they go in through it then hurtle out under it in all directions with a beak full of food like little bombers coming out of the clouds.

    Frank is on the whole staying in most of the night or just out briefly to do his business somewhere – he’s disgusted with Minx using a litter tray & has only used it a handful of times in desperation for a wee (& once or twice our shower tray!). Hate it when he’s out longer, night is a bad time for nasty things to happen.

    I think any water splashing out of your birdbath on the growing bulbs will probably be good for them.

    Yes, thanks to William re batteries, never heard of that site before.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    I wonder whether hog numbers seem quieter to some people because there are more people feeding them, in general. Your leaf pile sounds a good idea. Even if they don’t go into it, they will have easy access to lots of leaves and they should attract lots of creepy crawlies for them to eat. I don’t have huge numbers so have just been moving them to the edge of the lawn.

    On a sad note, a friend of mine has seen 8 dead hedgehogs on about a half mile stretch of road this year. Two one day last week. Very upsetting. Too far away to have been any of my visitors, but a hedgehog is a hedgehog and any dead hog is one too many. I know the perceived wisdom used to be that if there were was a lot of ‘roadkill’ it indicated a good population of hogs, but what must those sort of numbers of fatalities have on a population?

    I agree with you about night being a time when nasty things can happen to cats, which is why I always tried to keep mine in at night. I was lucky, having had him from a kitten, that he just was used to it. A disgusted looking Frank – that did make me laugh. Makes me think of ‘The Aristocats’.

    Interesting about the blue tits – I have been seeing more blue and great tits here recently, too. Nice that you’ve seen a wren. They’re very good at staying hidden in the vegetation, but lovely little things when you see them. Sounds like the clematis netting feeder is a success. I know some people aren’t so keen on starlings, but they are good fun to watch. Good analogy, they do seem to dive down from nowhere.

    Digger still visited last night. I was relieved to see her – bearing in mind bonfire night – but I last saw her at 9.45, so hopefully any bonfires would already have happened by then. A new hoglet has also been around the last few nights – not very small. That’s the first new hoglet I’ve seen since July. There was a clip on the cam of the cat staring into the usual area. When the cat moved away, there was the hoglet right in front of where it had been. It got up and walked away too – in the opposite direction. Wonder what was happening just before the clip started. The hoglet has been seen eating with Digger. That’s no guarantee it’s hers, but they have twice been seeing ‘trotting’ away together, so maybe it is. On the other hand it might just be following because she’s the only adult female still around. It bears absolutely no resemblance to her, but maybe it’s like Dad.

    A cat has been coming and eating the hog food – very unusual, as most cat’s ignore it. But very annoying, especially when the hoglet needs the food. Last night I put an extra bowl in one of the hog boxes – I had seen the hoglet go in there a previous night. I left a slight trail towards it, but this morning the food was still there. The hoglet made several appearances (on it’s own) on the cam up until 6.30 this morning and drank a lot. Just wish he’d found the food. I’ll have to leave a better trail tonight – and hope the cat doesn’t eat it.


    Hi Nic

    Horrible to hear of all those hogs in the road, must be high numbers there you’d think but maybe just plain unlucky due to the nature of the surroundings being close to a road.

    Hope the cat has stopped eating your hog food if you still have hogs visiting, a cat who visits our garden was sitting on the fence yesterday hanging down & trying to scoop bird pellets from their feeder!

    Frank has a cat doorbell, it plays the Pink Panther theme when he walks in front of the sensor which wakes me up & I can let him in as long as his mouth’s empty! Makes for better sleep for me & on the whole he’s in most of the night now, long may that continue. Found it on the sometimes wonderful Internet & rather glad as he’s much safer being in than out.

    Has Digger gone into hibernation yet, the weather is so up & down again must be hard for them to know what to do. No sign of any hogs at all here or happily on the roads so am looking forward to the Spring to see what it brings. Rather hope she & the hoglets you’ve seen are all safely snuggled up for winter.

    A nearby garden has Palm trees & the fruit is obviously ready to eat, or was til a few days ago when a hoard of starlings descended raucously from the skies & stripped it bare in a moment.

    Red Admirals still around now & again on the few remaining flowers, good year for them apparently.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    The cat managed to get into what I thought was a cat proof box last night. Grrr. So annoying now that the hogs need the food more than ever. Just when I had seen on the cam that both hoglets were finally going in there. (I haven’t ever seen Digger go in.) So this afternoon I made an extra partition – only cardboard at the moment, but hopefully strong enough to keep the cat out. Only trouble is the hoglets may not like it either. They now have to turn straight left and go to the end, through the gap and sharp right, to the end and through a smaller gap then sharp left.

    From which you will have realised that the two hoglets are still visiting. Digger missed last night, but it was horribly wet and windy and she was here the night before. She is beginning to miss the odd night now and then so I am guessing it won’t be too long now before hibernation. The only trouble is, when she does visit it is very late.

    Those naughty starlings eating all the fruit. I was beginning to wonder whether they were going into the hog box, too. I have seen them going just inside the door when I was leaving a trail, but I don’t think they went right in.

    I have been seeing Red Admirals as well. I felt a bit sorry for them, as there aren’t that many flowers around here. They must be getting confused with the changeable weather too.

    Love the idea of Frank sauntering along to the Pink Panther tune. Glad to hear he is mostly staying in, now.

    Avatar photo

    Hi again Annie

    Update on the hog feeding box. Seems like one of the hoglets liked the new partition a bit too much and has decided to make a nest in there. I hope it isn’t planning to hibernate as the new ‘chamber’ is quite small now – and the food is still in there to potentially get a bit manky, unless it has all been eaten, which seems unlikely from past experience. I was suspicious because there was vegetation outside, so opened the box very carefully a tiny bit and there was the hoglet all curled up amongst loads of leaves. So much for my plan to keep providing safe access to the food.

    For once I was glad that the cam started misbehaving (i.e. taking non stop clips) and it very conveniently didn’t start going wrong until after 4 a.m. otherwise the batteries would have run out. There are lots of clips of the hoglet (quite a good size now) going into the box with huge mouthfuls of leaves, etc. I think it started about 5 and the last mouthful went in just after 7. Interestingly, it didn’t use the leaves from another nearby box, where they would have been dry and plentiful, but disappeared into the flower beds.

    I didn’t see Digger again last night but haven’t checked all of the cam clips yet.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Further update on the hog box. The hoglet came out the next night and didn’t go back in. Knowing the box was empty, I went against everything I would normally do, and advise other people to do, and opened the box to get the food out. I was worried it might become rotten. I had opened the lid a tiny bit and could see it was far from being a hibernating nest. I managed to get the food (mostly uneaten but completely buried) safely out without disturbing the nesting material too much and then decided to remove the partition as well. I was worried that if the hoglet tried to come back and use the nest, it just wasn’t a big enough space to get sufficient insulating material into. The hoglet had two choices. It didn’t have to use the box again. The interesting thing was that I got a good view of what was being used. Dried leaves and stalks, grasses, and some fresh green leaves. The grasses seemed to be ‘woven’ around amongst the leaves in a more or less circular way.

    I didn’t see the hoglet in real time last night, but this morning there was a trail of long grasses leading into the box. Yes, the hoglet had been back and started filling the box again. I had cut some long ornamental grasses and left a pile of them near the box and it had been using some of them. So lucky that the camera came up trumps again and only started misbehaving in the early morning (taking non-stop clips), so lots more clips of the little hog with huge mouthfuls of vegetation. Amazing how much they can get into their tiny mouths. The nest building began about 5 a.m. And finished just after 7, with a roughly half hour break somewhere in between, both days. The hoglet was last seen on the cam going into the box and then I saw the grass which is coming outside the door moving a bit, before all went still a few minutes later.

    The whole thing has been fascinating and not something I ever thought I would have the luck to see. If the little hog is planning on hibernating in there (or anywhere else), I just hope all goes well for it.

    Haven’t seen Digger for a few days now, so safe hibernation wishes for her too. I can’t be sure that this hoglet is hers, but have a feeling it probably is.


    Hi Nic

    How fantastic to see the hoglet’s nesting efforts so well! I hope it’s OK in there too, at least you’ll be on hand to see if it comes out in the winter if things go awry in any way but suppose it’s been in their genes for such a long time you have to hope they’ll get it right when they make their hibernation nest.

    Frank’s doorbell went off earlier when he was asleep on the settee, turned out to be a black & white cat who we’ve seen on camera going into Frank’s house & trying to get at the hog food when it was underneath to stop cats getting it. Never seen it in the day, must be a night traveller. Nothing to eat out there now so probably looking for mice.

    Sending good vibes to Digger & the hoglet to spend a safe & cosy winter & then reappear to give you more joy next year & for many to come.

    A few shrubs have flowered again since I cut them back a bit for winter to stop them being damaged by rain or snow weighing them down, any bees & butterflies remaining will enjoy them a little longer.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    I am still seeing the hoglet on the cam every night. Not sure whether it is still using the nest, although the night before last it was seen on the cam going in. But, no more nesting activities. It’s amazing the hoglets just know how to make a nest so elaborately. The hoglet is beginning to look more like Digger and last night I had to look really hard at one of the cam clips to be sure it wasn’t her back again – it was in the shadows at the side of the frame.

    For years, not a single cat has shown any interest in the hog food, and then suddenly this annoying one appears and keeps getting there before the hoglet is out to eat. I have now taken to spreading the food more thinly and putting some of the long grasses loosely over the top (to, hopefully, deter the cat). Last night I didn’t see it eating – so fingers crossed. The hoglet doesn’t seem to mind the grass.


    HI Nic

    Blinkin cats, hope the grass has put it off the hog food.

    Rather sad to find that when sorting out my phone storage problems recently all the recordings of this year’s hogs were wiped off it. Not a single one left, luckily the photos that were downloaded are on my computer, the videos were supposed to be too but disappeared into the ether instead.

    Be nice to think the hoglet is one of Digger’s, I expect it’s still thinking of using it’s nest after going to all that trouble. Seems this winter will be colder than last so fingers crossed for all the hogs to be snugly tucked away soon. I know they wake sometimes in winter so better leave a tuck box for your hoglet just in case.

    The only activity here seems to be birds – specially gangs of noisy starlings – mice & cats.

    Amazing moon the other evening wasn’t it, Frank was happy to take advantage of it with a night of hunting periodically between kipping on the bed.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    That is so frustrating about your hog recordings. I can really sympathise, having lost most of my early clips when the memory stick went wrong. Computers and accessories are certainly a mixed blessing.

    I am hoping a friend is making a suitable feeding box to replace the nest built one. The grass covering has been working so far – I haven’t seen the cat eating any of the food, but have seen the hoglet doing so. Have still been seeing her every night. (not completely sure she is a she, but have a feeling she might be). The problem is, with these cold nights, that the food seems to freeze to the ground, so a box would be handy (for water too).

    Yesterday morning, on the cam, the starlings, who normally descend and finish off any left overs, got a bit of a fright when one of the cat visitors pounced out from underneath a covered chair. Luckily they all safely escaped. Needless to say, the chair has now been moved elsewhere.

    Yes, the moon was amazing. Bright enough to go for a walk without a torch.

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 199 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.