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Poo spotted despite builder's mess…

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Poo spotted despite builder's mess…

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    Building going on in my garden but a few weeks ago under the bird feeder was some unmistakable hog poo & a bit more towards the border. Haven’t seen any since as more materials filled my tiny garden but things are hotting up a bit with building so hopefully when they finish in the next week or so & I clear up & put food & water out in the feeder my camera will pick up some visitors.

    Bird activity is at it’s busiest for years, they’re ignoring the builders walking back & fore & diving in for food for their babies. Sparrows nesting in the roof with a cage over the downpipe to stop them blocking it with nesting materials or falling down it, all’s right with the world. Probably the most peaceful building site in Cardiff as I stipulated no noisy music & all you can hear above the mixer & loud voices is birds tweeting in the hedges & trees!

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    Hi Annie

    Pleased to hear the building is going well. Good for you banning noisy music! Glad to hear the birds are still visiting. Hog poo sounds promising!

    Don’t know whether you have seen elsewhere that hoglet 0 now called Siili (hedgehog in Finnish pronounced Seel – i (as in sit) ) got a strimmer injury. Thank goodness, this time, it wasn’t quite as bad and Siili is at the Wildlife Hospital – been there a bit over 2 weeks, but apparently doing well. Poor Siili, I really didn’t like having to catch the poor thing and confine him/her (still don’t know, for sure).

    Still some other hogs visiting and one night a partridge came walking up the garden!

    Good to hear the end of the building is in sight. Bet you’re looking forward to that!


    Hi Nic

    Oh no, poor Siili, that’s awful. Thank goodness you were on hand to help, strimmers are a nightmare. You’re not going to be keen on releasing him/her once recovered, apart from the fact they’re wild animals & you have to let them get on with it I think we all want to protect them as much as enjoy seeing them go about their daily lives.

    Great other hogs visiting & a partridge is a bit of a treat, wow.

    Will be hugely relieved when building over, it was delayed for weeks due to discovering an unexpected sewage pipe (which turned out to be inactive & in pristine condition never having been connected since it was presumably mistakenly put down there in 1986!) & builders are making up for lost time now. Very much looking forward to greeting my spiky visitors asap. Banned noisy music because it’s an assault on everyone, very intrusive & potentially damaging to the mental well being of anybody forced to suffer it, ie. me!!

    One of the many construction sites near here was shamed recently for netting hedges, what is wrong with these people. Being un-netted after public outcry & councillor’s intervention apparently.

    Speedy recovery to Siili, let you know when hogs appear here.

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    Hi Annie

    Sounds a bit of a nightmare finding a sewage pipe – lucky it wasn’t in use. Totally agree with you about the music.

    I haven’t actually seen any of these netted hedges – just pictures of them. I think it is outrageous. It seems some of these people haven’t even got planning permission yet. The builders claim to plant …. new trees. But that’s a complete nonsense. It will take tens of years for a newly planted tree to provide the same resources to wildlife as a mature one would. Not to mention the amount of carbon dioxide which the mature one is absorbing. Some hedgerows may even have been in existence for hundreds of years. A newly planted hedge may be better than nothing, but in no way adequately replaces a mature one.

    That is before even considering all the creatures that can potentially be caught in the netting. I heard they are supposed to check the netting a few times a day, but do they really. And what would they do if they found a trapped animal/bird/bat. Would they have the knowledge/expertise to know how to release it without injuring it even more – I somehow doubt it.

    Not to mention the visual impact. It’s supposed to be a green and pleasant land not a covered in orange netting land.

    Not sure if you are on Facebook, but if you signed the Petition you should have had an email asking for your views before the debate on 13th May. Unfortunately I’m not on Facebook, but hopefully there will be lots of people who are who will stand up for the hogs as well as the other wildlife. I don’t often wish I was on Facebook, but this would probably be a good time to be!

    Sorry, I know I’m preaching to the converted, but it just makes me so angry that people can cause all that, just for the sake of trying to cheat the law.

    Anyway, hope the rest of your building work goes smoothly and that your garden is soon reclaimed by hogs.


    Hi Nic

    Not on Facebook either though I signed the petition re netting, couldn’t respond with my views before the debate as Facebook was the only way. Emailed the company who netted their hedging – the very same as the one who was emailing me their assurances of eco & wildlife friendly building. No reply, what a surprise.

    Building is still going on due to some more delays but this time the end really is in sight, be glad to see the back of them even though they’ve built me a small but rather beautiful extra bit of house. Researched the source of the bricks & they’re made in the UK so don’t have to feel sick thinking of donkeys in brickyards abroad carrying them on their poor backs. I support the Brooke to help donkeys & other equines abroad & it hadn’t even occurred to me that my house could have far reaching bad effects on an animal til I remembered the brickyards.

    Great news is this – last night couldn’t sleep, heard a noise out the back at 2.50 & thought there was someone out there & the someone turned out to be a very large hog who’d been bumping into an upturned empty paint tub!! Spotted it meandering along the path, tonight the camera’s going outside to see what’s what. Have cleared a lot of the mess so there’s room to move out there & tomorrow morning the remainder is leaving my garden for good so the hogs will have a better chance of getting to the borders without having to climb brick or sand mountain!

    Watch this space. Haven’t read any other items on the forum so don’t know how your hogs are doing, well I hope.

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    Hi Annie

    That’s so exciting about the hog! Really promising news – when you get your garden sorted out, hopefully there will be more.

    Pleased to hear the building is pretty much finished. So many pitfalls these days – the bricks and donkeys. Feel so sorry for some of those poor donkeys. Did you see the donkey garden on Chelsea Flower Show?

    The hogs here are o.k. but I have a particularly persistent rat problem, so am having to do supervised feeding. Feel really sorry for the hogs who turn up after the food has gone in, but they may learn to arrive earlier. There’s a limit to how late I can stay up! Last night the rat kept scaring the hogs away by rustling in the undergrowth and at one point seemed to be trying to chase a smallish hog away! Trouble is, they are too intelligent. It seemed to realise that if a hog was there, I couldn’t be so vociferous in my scaring it away so kept trying to sneak up while a hog was there. The hogs were not happy, but at least 3 managed to get a fairly good feed. The good side is that it’s so much nicer to see the hogs in real life than on video.

    I have a ‘pied’ blackbird in the garden, with white, or maybe slightly pale grey, stripes on it’s wings. There is also another jackdaw with quite a bit of white on it. Only one frog in the pond. It looks like a new one, quite small and started off quite dark. Not sure how long frogs live for. I was hoping the two from last year would be back. I thought I hadn’t got any waterboatmen this year, but then saw one in one of the ponds. I wonder whether the eggs from last year’s damsel flies hatched and may have eaten the eggs of the waterboatmen. Don’t know enough about ponds, etc.

    Hope you enjoy your new extension. Might be fun getting the garden sorted out again. Some good tips on Garden Watch on the BBC red button, if you haven’t seen it.

    A ‘mob’ of starlings just flew in – they have young ones at the moment. Must have been at least 30 of them – you can imagine the noise!


    Hi Annie, Nic,

    A bit of good news on the hedge netting front… I passed the development the other day where they had draped all that awful orange netting over the hedgerows. After protests, the builders had already planted a few mature trees, but they have now also planted a new hedge and one of the existing hedges that had been draped in netting has been unmasked and left in situ..And all this before any bricks have been laid. It’s not ideal, but this firm at least has taken notice and is making an effort, let’s hope that other developers follow suit.

    Sorry to hear about your rat problem again Nic, we have been having a huge problem with a cat and it’s not been the hedgehogs dinner that it’s been after this time! For the last week we have been desperately trying to protect a nest box full of blue tits. I came down one morning to find the said cat wrapped around the box with its paw inside, thankfully I was just in time. It has been incredibly persistent despite strategically placed garden canes, a young hawthorn bush and a water sprinkler placed underneath to protect them. Despite several more attempts at getting its paw inside, the majority seem to have survived and fledged on Monday. A few of them finished up on the ground so I spent most of the day in the garden like a mother hen making sure they were out of reach of any felines. Great tits have used the same nest box in previous years without any problems, but it looks as though we are going to have to move it now.

    The garden is alive with young birds at the moment; the starlings are busy feeding their offspring and have already demolished a suet block that I put out only yesterday, we have even seen baby song thrushes for the first time in years. Our rescue hog Pumpkin has been very busy flirting with the boys so hopefully we might see some hoglets this year.

    I hope you manage to solve the rat problem Nic, I thought I had spotted one on the trail cam the other night, but thankfully it was just a large wood mouse very close to the lens. Hopefully your hog will return Annie to keep check on the building work; they do like to inspect everything!


    Hi Penny,

    Good to hear that some developers are taking note – even though it takes so much energy and time to get them to that point. It needs to become a habit for them rather than a regulation or legislation hunting them down with bad press and fines etc.
    I’ve had to stop putting fat balls out for the birds as the starlings just descend on it and stop the other smaller birds from attending the feeding stations – with their babies in tow, I was getting 15 or more at a time!
    The starlings are still managing to find food in the lawn – so I’m not feeling too guilty about that!


    Hi NIc et al

    What with rats, cats, builders & irresponsible idiots it’s amazing any of us see anything at all. One sighting in the last week or 2 shows that both the hogs in my garden that night, neither of them very large, have been marked with something. One has a large circle on its back with a blob in the middle the other looks like a ladybird covered in spots. Disgraceful thing to do, if you like wildlife you should just quietly observe & enjoy it.

    I have rather a lot of starlings visiting here, upwards of 20 at a go including noisy babies most days. They can only access the smaller feeder as the fatball feeder is made to only admit smaller birds so I can just about cope.

    Garden is as good as clear at last as building finishes Friday, yippee, the hogs & I will be over the moon.

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    Brilliant news, Annie, that the building must be finished by now. It will be so nice to have the place back to normal, but with the benefit your new extension. So sad to hear that the hogs there have been marked. Unfortunately, the ones here have too, although one young female’s marks have been fading nicely, but she had a lot of spots, as well. Unfortunately, she was late last night, so I didn’t get a really good look at her, but Friday and Saturday nights seem to be the danger time when they are most likely to be re-marked.

    The starlings here have youngsters, too. I always think they look a bit like aliens from another planet with those great dark eyes. I had to stop using the hanging feeder because of the rat and they have all been crowding, noisily, round bowls on the bird table. I always love to see them, even if they are rather quarrelsome and noisy. It isn’t usually too too long before they all whoosh off again, so the smaller birds have time to get a look in between the bigger birds’ visits. The best bit is watching the starlings all trying to crowd into and splashing around in the bird baths. I’ve given up on the fat balls for now, with not only starlings, but also rooks and jackdaws, the containers were in danger!

    I feel rather sad about the rat, because someone poisoned it, but it came to my garden to die in the flower bed. Seems I did too good a job at preventing it from getting food and it went somewhere else. I just hope whoever put that poison down did it sensibly so that hogs, birds, people’s pets can’t get it by mistake. Even though I didn’t want it here – poor rat – not a nice way to go.

    Good to hear that some of the nets have gone from the hedges, Penny. I hope they really do tighten up the legislation. Pleased to hear the blue tits managed to successfully fledge, despite the efforts of the cat.

    The most frequent male hog visitor here seems more interested in food than the most regular female visitor, despite her efforts to attract his attention! I can only hope that he is more attentive away from the camera.

    Latest news of Siili is that the wound has all healed up, but the spines haven’t grown yet. Amazing that such a nasty wound could heal – all thanks to the expert attention received. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too long before Siili can come home again. Then begins another kind of worry!

    Hope the hogs there settle into a new routine soon, Annie, and that you enjoy your new extension and watching the hogs.


    Hi Nic

    Poor rat, poison not a nice way to go. My brother feeds birds & squirrels in his countryside haven in West Wales & his regular rat visitor has turned up with a hoard of ratlets. If it wasn’t for the disease they can spread we’d be celebrating seeing wildlife thriving in our gardens, funny old life.

    Not sure spines always grow back if the flesh is badly damaged, hope Siili’s do. Yes, another worry once he’s well enough to return, hard to step back from it specially when you get to know them personally.

    Just looked at last night’s camera footage, 2 hogs, one small & looking good the other a little larger with huge swathes of sprayed curved stripes. Instead of being camouflaged it stood out clearly, so dangerous for the hog to be so easily seen.

    Found Mr Johnson’s hog food in Wilko’s so that joined the Spike’s Dinner semi moist in the dish which is quite empty this morning. Two happy fed hogs last night anyway. Plenty of poo too!! Strategically placed bricks seem to do the job to keep cats out of the feeder, think you had to do that didn’t you.

    Will put the camera out every night again, been waiting til there was more space for it & only just started to move things back where they belong. Judging by the beaks full of insects the birds emerge from the borders with there’s plenty of life out there for everyone, hopefully healthy bug options for the hogs that won’t give them lungworm etc. Shame natural food can cause such problems for them on top of all the wrongly fed stuff they’re given.

    Sounds as if your hog needs some family planning advice if he’s going to play his part in increasing the hog population, ie chase the ladies & make sweet music asap!

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    Hi Annie

    Yes, I know, poor rat. I did feel very sad about the poor thing. I agree, it is a bit contrary of us not wanting the rat version of wildlife visiting. But there is always the problem of neighbours, as well. Someone I knew was apparently reported to the Council and told they had to stop feeding the hogs because it was attracting rats. Your brother’s place sounds nice, although not sure how I’d cope with a hoard of ratlets!

    I thought the same about spines re-growing, but apparently they do and I rang up earlier to get a progress report and Siili’s spines are beginning to grow back – such good news! The lady at the Wildlife Hospital has a lot of experience of similar injuries and says the usually do. Such an amazing thing. I’m hoping to get a photo. I never think to take a photo when I find injured hogs because I’m always too worried about settling them in, etc. but apparently she did take a photo, so will be able to see the difference. It’s so easy to forget how bad a wound was, once it’s healed.

    Brilliant news that you have had 2 hogs on your camera footage! But so sorry one of them has been marked. My current visitors have been too, but it sounds not quite as bad as yours. Although one of them seems to have an unnecessary number of spots/stripes and another an excessively large blob. I’ve just had a bit of a rant about marking elsewhere, although managed to restrain myself a bit – although you might not be able to tell! But I just think it is so sad – poor hogs – they really don’t deserve it.

    Yes, I was using bricks to keep cats out at one time. At the moment I’m using a piece of Perspex type stuff on earth filled flower pots with bricks on top. It seems a good supply of bricks is a bit of a necessity with hogs around! I never seem to have enough.

    The thing about all these stories about parasites in all the hogs’ natural food, is that hogs have been surviving for millions of years most of which presumably co-existing with parasites. I think they can cope with a certain level as long as it doesn’t get too bad. The worry is that if people over-treat the hogs, some of these parasites may become immune to treatments and the hogs less able to cope with them by their natural defences. I know when we had our pony – quite a while ago – even then, there was a worry that parasites were beginning to become immune to certain treatments and it was advised to alternate them. In the end we used to do egg counts instead and it turned out she didn’t need worming most of the time. But I don’t imagine all the natural food has parasites in it.

    That male hog was here again last night at the same time as the female – now called Igel (hedgehog in German – possibly Siili’s sister, so thought it was appropriate). Little Igel was huffing away, but he just carried on eating and then exited! She didn’t seem too worried and carried on eating where he left off. (She does a bit of a Digger impersonation and digs through her food, but doesn’t circle clockwise like Digger did. She looks nothing like Digger, being a much paler hog.) I wonder whether the male thinks she is too young – she’s probably last year’s hoglet. But I have in the past seen a male hog circling quite a small hoglet – not sure what that was about, either.

    My garden is probably at it’s best at the moment with loads of different types of bees buzzing around. Also caught an image of a bat on my camera – still haven’t got round to getting one of those detectors yet. Sadly, frog seems to have gone missing, but there are a couple of waterboatmen in one pond – always love to see those. The pond frog was in has got a bit shaded so that might be why – all the plants have grown so tall with all that rain! So nice to have some sunshine today.


    Hi Nic

    Good to hear that about spines regrowing, just as well for Siili. Fantastic you have Igel who’s having the sense maybe to wait til she’s a bit older before getting involved with men!

    I’ve often thought the same re hogs being around all this time complete with the possible hazards from various natural foods they eat. Maybe it’s a human thing to try & cure everything, also at one time we weren’t here to be the worst hazard of all to animals in general so their numbers would be greater & kept down by nature. We’ve probably removed virtually all their natural food sources by developing land to suit us so they’re having to concentrate on a reduced choice of foodstuffs anyway.

    A Wood Pigeon just had a mini bath! Need to refill now.

    I feel the same about the ratlets, it would worry me a lot!

    Rather hope frog reappears, always amazes me the inhospitable places they sometimes live, surrounded by nothing you think a frog would want to be near as long as there’s a source of water. Survivors again as there are few places with ponds or anything approaching them unless you’re further from so called civilisation.

    Late last night as it got dark I sat by the back door to watch the garden for a bit & a largish hog appeared setting off the new motion sensor lights in the border. She spent a long time drinking water from the large bird bath, wandered out of sight again then returned to drink for some time. I moved Frankie’s old kennel while the builders were here & had stuffed all the bedding from both kennels, including the green recycling bag that was under his soft cat bed into the one kennel. Yesterday I moved it to the border near the back door under a shrub meaning to take out the jumbled bedding etc & tidy it up for someone to use out there & I noticed the blankets were sticking out as if they’d been pulled by someone. My first thoughts were one of the cats, then I thought of hogs…. I gently put the blanket up a bit so it wasn’t dangling everywhere & left it in peace. I set up the camera opposite it & have just been watching the hog going back & forth to it last night leaving a nice hog shaped hole in the centre of it all! More exciting/worrying was that on at least one of the stills you could see light from the infra red I guess reflecting on what appeared to be eyes just after she left the kennel. I think she’s nested &there are babies in there. The bedding moves a little too between one shot & the next once or twice so I think I’m going to be a granny! The responsibility is scary but so brilliant. On camera I can see she’s the one with curved stripes sprayed on her back.
    How I wish I’d taken out the plastic bags at least when the builders left but she doesn’t seem to mind & is obviously fine with the arrangement. Just glad I didn’t absent mindedly yank the bedding out & deposit her & her babies on the garden yesterday.

    Sun was a delight but back to the cold stuff today, just spent a half hour from 07.30 picking up rubbish round the corner, now in a Keep Wales Tidy red bag by the bin at the bus stop for the council to collect next week.

    Pete the pigeon still comes most days & asks for food on the fence, took some very close up pics of him as he ignores me & just eats a few inches from my head. As long as he doesn’t bring all his relatives he’s welcome!
    Had a Jay last week, don’t usually see them here, bit of a treat. Yesterday a large black bird which I thought was a huge jackdaw but surely too big. The lower wings were jet black, the face around the beak too but the rest a very light grey to almost silver. Quite a long beak, sat there for ages hoping for some food & eventually flew away. Nice to see Dunnocks amongst the Sparrows, very easy to see the difference when they’re all together in the garden. A visitor recently watching them with me thought they were all chaffinches! And was surprised when I pointed out the brown bird walking about with her wings pointing straight down like she was putting a coat on was a female blackbird. I’m always horrified at how few people seem to know even the most commonly seen birds we share the world with.

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    Hi Annie

    Brilliant news about your rather unusual nest! Fingers crossed for a successful brood. Typical hog – we go to a lot of effort to provide them with lovely hog homes to build nests in and they chose somewhere like that. With you mentioning the eyeshine, makes me wonder whether they were in there before you moved the box and already have their eyes open. Eyes open at 2 weeks. But she may also have move them in there, I suppose, afterwards. Sounds a bit of a mystery. Look forward to the next instalment.

    The frogs seem to have taken over from the wood mice – no sooner had I said to you they were missing, than later on I see a frog in the pond. It looks a bit smaller than the one there before and a bit jumpy – dived down pretty quick. I just saw that one, when suddenly this tiny little frog appeared at the edge of the pond. So exciting – hope there are even more around.

    I know what you mean about the bird id. It seems more frequent that people don’t know what the common birds are, than that they do. Not sure what your mystery bird might be, sounds like a jackdaw, from the description – apart from the size. But jackdaws have bluish eyes. Rooks have palish beaks and front faces, but dark eyes. But maybe a crow. Just looked up hooded crow and that might fit, although it’s the wrong area (but maybe on the way somewhere – apparently they have them in Ireland). They have dark eyes, too. I get jackdaws and rooks, here. The jackdaws always look so alert, with those eyes. They make me laugh the way they all line up on on the fence and then move along sideways. You are lucky to have had a jay visiting!


    Hi Nic

    Don’t know if I should laugh or cry but after the excitement of a possible hog nesting I think I was misled by the shots being stills not video & the eyes in the kennel were another hog looking out at the one going back & fore!! Possibly the repeat visits to it were a suitor after the one in the kennel. Today after photoing the kennel every day to monitor movement of sticking out blankets & hog shaped hole in the middle I emptied the kennel as there’d been no movement for days. Inside right in the middle was the green recycling bag someone had been shredding & leaves & poo here & there. I’ve repositioned the kennel at the bottom of the garden & put a blanket in there so anybody who wants to rest in it can do so with no plastic bags to worry about & in a quieter place. A shame but am having one or two visitors on camera down that end of the garden every night anyhow. Would prefer them to nest further from the main road so sort of relieved in a way.

    Still unable to identify the large birds, I need to get a picture or two to compare as it’s not so easy through the window & my eyesight isn’t brilliant. Yes, I love the way jackdaws do the lining up & shuffling sideways bit too, hilarious noisy birds. My brother sent me a photo today of 7 jays on the lawn opposite his house. We used to have a pair who visited & stripped the broom plant of snails & the following year came again with a baby jay to teach it where to go I suppose, our snail supermarket.

    Good luck to tiny frog, it’s a dangerous world out there as everybody eats you when you’re little & froggy. As Kermit says, it’s not easy being green. Except they’re often other colours actually.

    How’s hog activity in your garden now it’s warmed up a bit?

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