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Spring has sprung, they’re back!

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Spring has sprung, they’re back!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 40 total)
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  • #31800

    Hi Nic

    Cat poo as revolting as dog poo, what with that & the hog & bird poo assorted faeces seem to play a large part of life in or too near our gardens!

    I expect your frogs were practising for next Spring or just one wanted a ride somewhere.. There’s a magic about tadpoles, the whole sequence of watching the jelly progress to froglets, like caterpillar to butterfly, taken for granted by the majority.

    Can’t believe the size of the hogs here still, the speed they go when they’re charging around & the huffing still occurring most nights. Tesco seem to be withdrawing their dry kitten food which has been the mainstay for my hogs for a year or 2 so I’ve ordered some different chicken based dry kitten food recommended by a rescue from elsewhere to mix in with what’s left so they get used to it. I’m so pleased with the feeder I bought, it’s very easy to use & keep clean even when they have a poofest.

    Squirrel has brought the family to the food box I made, my neighbour has been delightedly watching them early in the morning but I’ve only seen one or two at a time. She’s got envious of my birds so has set up a feeder & water, they’re getting the hang of them which takes the weight off keeping mine supplied quite so much. Good to share the wildlife!

    #31802
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Good to hear your news.

    Well you know what happened the night after my last message – the cat turned up again! I have now blocked the entrance with large plant saucers full of water. One cat managed to get over once, but when it tried to reverse out got wet and so far none have tried again. The hogs are quite happy to trot through the water. There’s always some kitten biscuits in the hog boxes as well, in case. I haven’t seen a cat manage to get into those with bricks in the corridors

    That sounds fun having a squirrel family! Yes totally agree about sharing the wildlife, even better sharing the cost of the food.

    Total frogs in the pond now risen to 5! Two small ones and 3 normal sized. I don’t see them all every day – some of them are a bit timid and dive if they see anything move above, but some seem to have got used to me peering down at them!

    I still have 2 hogs visiting and sometimes a third. All that I have managed to verify are males, but not always easy to see. But there was an area of flattened vegetation at the end of the garden (out of range of any of the cameras) which looked as if some circling may have been happening there.

    Glad to hear all the hogs there are doing well. Hopefully some hoglets might materialise, with all that hog activity.

    #32178

    Hi Nic
    You spoke too soon re the cats, water is the best deterrent for sure once you’ve enough of it.

    I’ve just purchased a Hedgehog Snug as a replacement feeder for my home made one in a small space out the front. It’s sold for nesting but don’t think it’s at all suitable for that as it’s far too small, great for a place to rest or eat though. A dish of water outside the door is I hope keeping cats out.

    You’re a frog whisperer, that’s good having 5, all trained to like your face!

    I’ve heard lots of crunching going on, have met a hog earlier than you’d expect a few times so putting food out earlier as it’s light much longer & they must be hungry waiting for dusk. That means more chance of slugs getting on the food which isn’t a good thing. I did wonder if copper tape would work on all the entry surfaces of the feeders, might be worth a try.

    Hopefully you’ll have some pattering of tiny feet as there’s obviously lots of activity going on, I’d be a bit worried if we had any here as there’s a dog next door & she rushes at hedgehogs, babies wouldn’t stand a chance. Plus the strimmer & mower. Also we’re right by busy roads & too many people & dogs passing by. If they stayed in my garden they’d be fine!

    Peeped over the fence behind & there’s a desert lurking, all gravel & slabs, no greenery except the remains of a few bits sticking up in a raised bed & rather strangely what appears to be a vine being trained along a 4′ high x 5′ long wire in the middle of the slabs. Hogs go in there under the fence as they leave evidence but maybe there are beetles & worms in the gravel.

    Delighted with my full borders, Mrs Blackbird follows me around if I do any disturbing of the soil, she’s very fond of me!!

    #32274
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Yes, the water has been working quite well, but only because the cats have to duck down under the perspex at the same time – otherwise they are very good at stepping over it – but don’t seem to like getting their tummy’s wet – even the ones who don’t mind getting wet paws! The boxes are fine, they don’t even try to get into those, with the bricks in them to reduce the height of the tunnel – the hogs get in and out fine.

    But one cat has been caught on camera trying to catch my frogs! That one obviously doesn’t mind wet paws because it got partially into the pond more than once! The first time it definitely came away without anything in its mouth, but sometimes the clip time runs out at just the wrong moment. The frogs are pretty good at diving down, so hopefully they did that and escaped.

    Found a hog asleep in the feed box yesterday – obviously got caught out staying out too long! I still seem to have mostly males visiting although there is a smaller one who I’m not sure about yet – haven’t seen any courtship activity. So I’m pretty much resigned to another hogletless year! Although there is always a tiny hope!

    Interesting that you mention copper tape. I planted a courgette in a large pot and it got badly eaten, but just managed to survive. I had some old copper tape which I put round the pot and it is growing again now. So I think it must work, a bit at least.

    Yes, sadly there is a fair bit of strimmer activity round here, too. They probably think I’m mad going out and doing it all by hand. But I so often come across frogs in even comparatively short grass that it’s worth the effort.

    That garden sounds horrid. Maybe that vine type thing is a hop plant and they are planning on trying some brewing?

    Nice that you have a friendly blackbird. I have a male one here who peers at me and says ‘feed me’ and a robin who is often around if I’m pottering. I think it nested in one of my nest boxes. I didn’t like to look too closely in case I disturbed them. But there were some young ones in the bushes in that area afterwards. I’ve also had some very noisy starlings in the roof, luckily over the bathroom. I don’t know what on earth they do up there in the middle of the night – sounds as if they are re-arranging the furniture! But in the day time it started as little cheaps, but fairly rapidly progressed to more raucous starling sounds.

    Glad to hear your garden is doing well. Nice to have lots of full borders for all the insects!

    #32739

    Hi Nic

    Oh no, cats catching frogs not good. Hopefully the novelty will wear off quickly with the wet paws, little horror. Frogs spend most of their time in grass as far as I know, just using water to reproduce & cool down when it’s hot. Yours need to develop a quick reaction to cat faces & dive fast.

    Shame about no hoglets in your garden, plenty of assorted sizes of hog up to very large here but have yet to see a baby. Some pretty small ones though with cats observing, doesn’t seem to worry the hogs being stared at! Some huffing was going on a week ago, thought they’d have stopped that by now.

    The front feeder has had no takers for weeks but next door have closed off access round the side of their house having rehung the gate that blew off a couple of years ago & that was a hedgehog run while it was all open. I asked them to cut a hole but they didn’t. I moved the feeder out the back two days ago & it’s had visitors, happily not cats as it’s behind big flowerpots & is a challenge to hogs to find never mind cats to squirm their way past the pots.

    Put the camera out a couple of nights just to see what’s what & plenty of feet back & forth through the back gate, cats too.

    Mrs Blackbird has progressed to clucking in the dead tree next door when the food’s finished if she sees me, then when I put a handful of food for her she dives on the fence right next to me & fills her beak while looking at me the whole time. Not afraid at all, I almost tripped over her while pulling out excess plants in the border Tuesday as she suddenly shot out of the border & was running round my feet! She doesn’t know my eyesight is very bad or she might be more careful. I’m very flattered. Mr Brown Pigeon is pretty friendly too but doesn’t come quite as close as Mrs B.

    Glad I only have sparrows in the roof, your starlings sound a bit noisy for close neighbours.

    There’s a dead hedgehog under the hedge round the corner, apparently it was there yesterday, fair size poor thing but it’s only the third I’ve seen in almost 14 years on the road. I would rather not see any there.

    You may have put your finger on it with the hops in the garden behind. At least it’s something green in all that nothingness.

    My escallonias are absolutely covered in huge fat furry bees!

    #32759
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Great to hear from you. Glad you still have lots of activity there. No it’s not too late for huffing etc. – if there are still males and females around. It could either be a female who has already had an early litter which have ‘left home’, a previous failed pregnancy, etc. Some of those late Autumn hoglets are probably conceived even later.

    That’s sad that the gate got blocked and sorry to hear about the poor dead hog – always sad to find one.

    I have seen one or two smallish looking hogs, but sadly no obvious hoglets. But they do seem to be mostly males. I haven’t seen any really ferocious fights so far this year – they mostly seem to miss each other, but there is the occasional biffing.

    I am still finding the occasional hog which has been caught out late and has spent the day in the feeding box. Today’s was lying partly over the food bowl, but I managed to ease the bowl out. Only trouble is he’ll probably trample all over the food when he gets up!

    The frogs seem to have moved out of the pond. I didn’t see the cat there again. One morning I saw something moving over the edge and disappearing into the water. At first I thought it might be a small frog, but it kept moving and moving until in the end there was a tapered off tail – a grass snake! No wonder there were no frogs there! Earlier I had seen one of the frogs in one of the other ponds – standing tubs, which I don’t think the grass snake could get into. Then just after I had mown the lawn one day, a frog suddenly appeared by my feet. (I always check, before mowing, all round the edged with a stick to make sure there are no frogs, etc. hiding in the edges). It hopped off and later on I saw it sitting on a hardy geranium leaf which was quite a strange sight! I’m hoping that more of them are hiding in the borders amongst the undergrowth.

    Your blackbird sounds a character. Mine seems to have disappeared and I suspect his young ones have grown and are self sufficient and I suspect he’s gone off to moult.

    Yes, it was lucky that the starlings were over the bathroom – it might have been a bit annoying over the bedroom! That lot left, but there are noises back up there again now. I’m not sure whether they can be having another clutch, or whether they are just roosting up there now.

    Oh, and by the way, the courgette with the copper tape around the pot was eventually completely demolished by the slugs! So it seems it’s not a lot of use in the slightly longer term. Although I suppose wider tape might work better.

    #34060

    Hi Nic

    Grass snake, wow! Not surprised no frogs around, hopefully the snake has moved on to pastures new since your post in July. Not sure what happened to the months in between except I haven’t been on the internet much.

    Having put the camera out a few nights recently I’ve seen very small hogs visiting, have experimented with the food dishes to try & get the amounts right as I’d hate a hog to come here & find no grub for them & have finally got it right so there are crumbs & maybe a kitten biscuit or 2 left by morning. I know we’re only supplementing their food but it seems sad to think they trot in the feeder & see an empty bowl. At least one of the tinies is definitely a boy! They visit continuously from about 20.30 until 04.30, revisiting repeatedly until presumably they go home to bed.

    I now have no feeders out the front as nobody visited it for so many weeks & it just had vile slugs all over the food in it every morning but there’s always water out there. The back garden has a double feeder near the house & a single feeder at the bottom where the hogs enter the garden. Successfully made both cat proof without anything complicated so apart from the mice the hogs are free to feast in both.

    I have Kevin the squirrel visiting & he’s pretty brave coming close for food & eating from the feeder I made him, a racing pigeon who eats from my hand – I know it’s not much of a conquest getting a tame bird to trust me but it feels good anyway. His feral mates think he’s mad.

    Hope all is good with you.

    #34067
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Great to hear from you. I was only thinking today we hadn’t heard from you for a while! Hope you’ve been keeping well.

    No more sightings of the grass-snake – I guess once the frogs had all gone/moved out it wasn’t worth it hanging around.

    I know what you mean about the food. It’s nice to think if they’ve made the effort to visit that they actually find some left. But quite tricky getting it just right.

    My problem now is that one of my feed boxes is out of action – for feeding, at least – having been taken over for a nest. It’s a male hog, so I’m assuming he’s planning on hibernating in there. He has been building it the last few nights. I keep cutting long grasses for him, which he has been taking in. Great streamers leading into the doorway!

    I’ve ended up a couple of times with hogs on top of my perspex which looks quite funny. Unfortunately the video usually runs out before they get off, so not sure quite what the technique is – although it’s only a 3 litre flowerpot high.

    It’s good to hear you have had hoglets visiting. I’ve seen a few, but they haven’t become regular visitors, so far.

    Lucky Kevin the squirrel having his own custom made feeder! The racing pigeon sounds fun – can just imagine the others looking down on him in horror at his behaviour!

    #34511
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    I hope all is well.

    I saw your name was in the title list, but your post doesn’t seem to have appeared. Probably Captcha has blocked it for some reason. i.e. I’ve discovered it seems to block them if there is more than one link included in a single post. I know it’s a nuisance, but maybe you kept a copy?

    Hope hogs, squirrels etc. are all ok.

    #34855

    Hi Nic

    No idea what happened there, no I didn’t keep a copy unfortunately.

    Activity has been up & down but last night someone left a giant hog poo in one of the feeders – thank you for that whoever it was. Most nights food taken, mostly all of it & by the mouse droppings they help out too. I scrubbed out the nest box & put it in the back garden as the front isn’t seeing any action , fresh dust free hay with a thick layer of newspaper under it & waiting to see if anybody moves in. There’s a bucket on its side with more hay under cover next to it as I know they like to make their own nests however nicely you may have filled the nest for them.

    Good though it was to see the grass snake I’m glad it’s moved on so your frogs are safe again, is the hog still nesting in the feeder?

    My pigeon pal is still visiting some days, the others definitely think he’s nuts sitting on my hand. He smells lovely, impossible to describe, beautiful grey feathers with dark banding & he happily flies to my hand as soon as I hold it out.

    Hope this post stays on the site!!

    #34898
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    So annoying when that happens and it always seems to be that they disappear when you don’t have a copy!

    Hogs and poo! What can I say – messy little things!

    Pleased to say that in the past few weeks two large frogs have been seen in the pond again. Also came across another large one – the other side of the house in some long grass. It would be so nice to have some tadpoles – ever hopeful!

    Your pigeon pal sounds lovely! I’ve got a little robin who seems to appear whenever I’m in the garden. He sits in a nearby bush and sings away – very quietly. I’ve heard blackbirds doing the same before now – almost as if they a practising their harmonies. He’ll land on a post about a foot away, but doesn’t land on me. But it’s lovely when there is one like that.

    I have a hog (or two) nesting in one of my food boxes (the one with the smallest end chamber! When there was a perfectly good empty hog box next door!) He scurried around for a few nights taking in lots of material and then a few days later I noticed that another hog also kept going in there (both males). They both kept coming out for a while and I began to wonder whether either of them was going to hibernate, but the one whose nest it was eventually stopped coming out.

    I continued to see the other one going in and out until a couple of nights ago. But not certain that he went back into the box the last time, so he could be hibernating elsewhere. I’ll leave the cameras on, so hopefully will see if there are any comings or goings. I hope they both do ok. A bit worried that nest might have been a bit squashed with two of them going in and out!

    I’ve seen a few hoglets (separately) at various times this year, but they didn’t come to the food, which is strange. So didn’t become regular visitors, which is a bit sad. But no hogs at all the last couple of days.

    I hope all the hogs there have a safe hibernation time too.

    #35287

    Funny hogs picking your food box when there’s a larger nesting one ready & waiting! As it’s suddenly got so cold I hope the one who stayed in the box is fast asleep now. Maybe the other one will pick the nest box if he hasn’t already.

    The nest box has had some interest here as have the 2 buckets (put an extra one out) I’ve secured on their sides under the shrubs with hay in for anyone who wants some. Some nights there’s hay trampled in one bucket & a perfect round hog shaped hole at the back where someone has obviously spent some time resting & keeping warm during the night, one morning there were two smaller entry tunnels (or an entry & exit!) in hay in the bucket as I push the hay back in if it’s obvious there’s nobody in there so it doesn’t get wet if it rains. I collected a couple of buckets of leaves from the car park & scattered them under the shrubs & on a pile of cuttings & twiggy bits I started to build further down the garden in the border this summer, assorted materials for anybody needing them.

    Much activity in the feeders, plenty of poo to clean up every day varying from stonking great huge hog poo to baby size, suspect the babes will have to refrain from hibernating so making sure there are plenty of places for them to shelter from cold weather. There are two cat kennels, one I made the entrance hog sized, fleece blanket in each, judging by the poo in the open one it’s well used.

    Birds are a treat still like yours, robin almost landed on my hand one morning in his enthusiasm to have breakfast. Pigeon still there most days, squirrels entertaining us, crazy starlings raiding the feeder most days. The pigeons wait for the sparrows to drop food then gather underneath hoovering up as they go.

    Keep warm, hope all is well in your garden.

    #35298
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    It’s good to hear from you.

    The two big boys are hopefully safely hibernating. But my cameras are busier at the moment than they were in the Summer!

    There is another medium sized hog, who I think might be a female (hope so). She has been around for a while but won’t go into the remaining feeding box. So I have been scattering her food on the grass and she seems quite happy foraging for it. It all seems to be gone by the morning. Then about 2 weeks ago a hoglet turned up very early one morning, but didn’t come back – that is until about a week ago. Now I have the pair of them (mostly one at a time) foraging for the sprinkled kitten biscuits. I’ve started sprinkling them on the patio as well, now there are two of them.

    A cat turns up now and then but only eats a little bit of the food – seemingly can’t be bothered to waste too much time foraging. Then the night before last a rat was seen, but it arrived after most of the food had gone, so I’m hoping it won’t be tempted back. One of the frogs was caught on video leaping out of the pond one night! (the pond is behind where most of the food is sprinkled).

    I’m trying to encourage the hogs into the feeding box, but so far they only go just inside the doorway. But the sprinkled food might not work so well if it rains. They must be able to fit through to the food – the big boys had no trouble.

    It sounds as if the hogs there have lots of options. As well as keeping you busy clearing up after them! A good idea to collect a load of leaves. Nice to hear pigeon is still visiting and the squirrels.

    Fingers crossed all the hogs do ok – there and here- it sounds as if it’s going to get colder soon.

    #35527

    Hi Nic

    I can’t believe how contrary hogs can be! Hopefully your collection of visitors will begin to use the feeder as it’s surely better to feed under shelter as the weather deteriorates towards winter. Very good to have so many around, they’ll know exactly where they can get food through the winter if they need it. We’ve only had a few frosts so far though the camera has registered zero once or twice.

    Hilarious catching the frog on camera, he doesn’t know he’s famous,

    I really don’t know if my nest box is occupied or not but the nearest bucket is being turned into a nest judging by the hay & leaves that have been dragged in, there’s a neat hole at the back of the tunnel which is empty by day. The bucket next to it was emptied a few nights ago so I’m putting more in there for use by anybody who wants it. I elevated the back of each bucket a bit yesterday to make them less likely to get rain blowing in but the fuscia above them has lost most of its leaves so is providing very little shelter. The buckets are held in place by assorted rocks & pieces of wood to stop them moving. The nest box is very sheltered under an evergreen camelia so I hope it has an occupant. I’ve tried putting the camera out to see what’s what with buckets & nestbox but they’re in the border where it’s not possible to place the camera securely. Managed to get a hog face passing now & then one night I placed it further away & umpteen mice, I’m sure the mice are performing for me.

    Vast amounts of food still being taken & poo left along with pee on their more generous nights.

    Pigeon here most days, squirrels & all the rest of the menagerie as usual.

    #35549
    Nic
    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Glad to hear the menagerie there are all doing well. My little robin still seems to appear whenever I go out and can often be heard singing very quietly when I change the camera batteries, etc. Just in case I don’t see it, of course!

    Sounds as if the hogs there are keeping you busy. My bigger hog has disappeared – hopefully hibernating. The hoglet has got quite big, but now has another companion – a smaller hoglet! It really is just as busy with video clips here as it was in the Summer! I hope the boys are doing ok hibernating in the second feed box -it’s easy to forget they’re in there.

    The hoglets still won’t go in the feed box. There’s a nice bowl of kitten biscuits in there every night. They will go just inside the door, but no further – even if I put a little trail of food there. But at least it’s there in case the boys come out and they will know to go in.

    Luckily the hoglets don’t seem to mind if the food gets a bit soggy. But they even seem to prefer the grass to the patio. Various cats turn up from time to time, but don’t eat much of the food – too much like hard work for them! Ratty finally disappeared and hopefully any relatives stay away! A pair of magpies visit in the morning and eat some of the leftovers. I probably put a bit too much out, but never know when another hoglet might turn up!

    Good luck with the hogs (and the others) there. Fingers crossed the weather doesn’t get too bad for them all.

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