Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hedgehog Street & visits

What a great idea to ‘Gang up to make where you live hedgehog friendly.’ With numbers in decline, making small changes to our garden boundaries can create wildlife corridors that will benefit the birds and wildlife that visit our gardens.

Chatting to neighbours about this is a good place to start. It would be brilliant if we could quite literally turn things around for the hedgehog :-)


Screen grab from video below


Hedgehog Street was mentioned in the BBC Springwatch programme on Thursday and in a blog post. This morning I watched my recorded episode. Great timing then when the first video footage from my garden earlier this week is sitting (already uploaded to YouTube) waiting to be posted. This website looks an interesting read with lots of info.

Fortunately, for the hedgehog, I have long strips of hedge without any restricted access. However, a couple of years ago one of my boundary neighbours had a ‘garden make-over’ and replaced an old fence that I’m guessing had gaps. Since then, I can confirm I have had less/almost no sightings of hedgehogs in my garden. I guess this stopped a route to my garden where food was available.

If it got enough support, I could see that Hedgehog Street (which is a new collaboration between the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People's Trust for Endangered Species, funded by the BBC Wildlife Fund) has a realistic chance of making a difference for the hedgehog’s survival. I hope so :-)

As you can imagine, after waiting some time, I was thrilled to finally see our first Hedgehog visitor for the year on May 30th & 31st. As regular blog visitors will know droppings have been seen in the garden which gave me a clue that they were around. With the second dropping I spotted being outside my window I knew I had a chance of getting some colour video footage.

So… come dusk, sultanas, unsalted peanuts and water was put out. The night cam was set to watch the area and I was set ready for a quiet, quick run to switch on the outside light. At the window, my video camera was charged, lens cover open, on the tripod, focused on the food and waiting to record! I did this for a few nights.

LOL… like on all occasions like this when you think everything is covered… expect the unexpected! Well, I guess it wasn’t that unexpected really. When the hedgehog in the video footage below arrived and the outside light went on (which doesn’t disturb it) there were three other sets of eyes watching the direction of the hedgehog.

Our family of guinea pigs were running around now excitedly too. To them, the light on might mean I was coming out and maybe grass was on the menu! It was around 11:30pm so they were out of luck there.

Eventually I was out of luck with the first clip in my video too as the hedgehog (after eating) waited still for some time for the noise of the excited guinea pigs to go down. It then walked towards the hutch and round the side of it and out into the night again.

The second clip in my video was taken the next night and a marking on the hog tell me it was the same one which is great news. It also told me why some stones have been moving around my pond edge as this hedgehog walks on to the first reservoir of water for my pump running. I’ll have to make alterations there :-)


Note gentle background music with this video.


Yep… timed well for Springwatch, we too have some wonderful wildlife to watch again in the garden. Yay! We have been watching some unexpected nest building from a bird not mentioned in my garden before too. The video has been running – fascinating stuff!

Sorry, in true Springwatching fashion I’ll just tease you with that as I need to sort my footage out for this and collect some info. I just wanted to quickly post today after John at Midmarsh Jottings reminded me about the RSPB Make Your Nature Count which is running from now until 12 June. The RSPB say:

“find out how garden birds are doing. We’re also keen to know if you've seen other animals including badgers, bats, snakes or frogs.

The survey is quick and fun to do. Don't forget to submit your results! We’ll use them to build an important snapshot of summer wildlife in UK gardens. We’ll find out which species are thriving and which might need our help.”


Thanks for that John, I missed this with other stuff that has got my attention at the moment. I’ll tease you a little there too… it does involve the RSPB and Springwatch… but it doesn’t involve the BBC :-)

Wishing you a great weekend of wildlife watching. Mmm… I wonder if you’ll see any swallows :-)


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch

9 comments:

ShySongbird said...

Great piece of video Shirl. I haven't seen any evidence of Hedgehogs in my garden for some time now where they were once very frequent visitors. I saw the piece you mentioned on Springwatch and thought it was a very good idea although sadly I suspect some neighbours would not show much interest.

I enjoyed your previous post too but was too slow to comment... sorry :( However it did look like an interesting and colourful visit! I thought the Reinforcing Nature exhibit was very creative and most unusual, a very worthy winner.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those sweet little hedgehogs. Wouldn't you like to know where they roost for the day? Lucky them that you put out such yummy treats for them. I can't wait to see what kind of bird you have nesting in your garden.

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

We get hedgehogs regularly and it is surprising how small a gap they can squeeze under so popping fences a little bit off ground level would really help them.

I do have one query - I read that hedgehogs shouldn't be given whole peanuts as it can cause jaw problems - I guess this isn't the case if you feed them to your visitors. Ours like the small biscuity food that is for small dogs.

Midmarsh John said...

A brilliant piece of video Shirl. When mine stopped visiting early last year I wondered if a nearby new fence had blocked their route. Fortunately this year they have found their way back.
Thanks for the mention / link.

Cher' Shots said...

I wish we had those cute little critters over here in Upper Michigan USA ~ but we dont. Thanks for helping the wildlife.
'hugs from afar'

shirl said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments. Hope you all had a good weekend :-)

Jan, delighted you enjoyed the video. I was so pleased to see a visitor in my garden. Hoping that you can see hedgehogs in your garden too one fine night. Yes, I agree Hedgehog Street will not go down well with everyone. Thanks, I really loved the garden in my previous post and have wanted to share it for some time :-D

Lisa, for all their prickles, I agree the hedgehog is a very sweet animal. Yes, I really do wish I knew where they hold up during the day. It would be wonderful if it was in my garden but I suspect not. Ah… I’ll not keep you in suspense too long over the new nest :-)

Sue, great to hear you have hedgehogs visiting. Yes, as you say they will go through tight gaps if there is a little give. I see them push through solid areas of planting. I’m sure you’ve queried the whole peanuts with me before. Yes, you are quite correct that whole peanuts aren’t good when very young juvenile hedgehogs are around. Perhaps I should map a habit of always putting crushed peanuts out throughout the year. The ones I have at present (although look solidly whole) are quite small and most split in two when I pour them out of the bag. Thanks for raising this :-)

John, glad you enjoyed it. I learned from the first night when the hog disappeared under the tree to a feeders there. I couldn’t see it then. Interesting you have thought the same about a neighbour’s new fence. Great to hear/see they’ve found their way back. I’m hoping ours have too. My small pond pump is broken and I’ve a thought that the sound of running water brought them to my garden too. You’re welcome re the link. Thanks for the thumbs up :-)

Cher, I’m thinking you’ve cute critters with you too. I wonder what they are. It feels good to help wildlife. I’m sure you feel the same :-)

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

This was my first visit here, Shirls. I found you through Christina.

My husband and I so enjoyed watching your hedgehog! Adorable novelty for us Americans.

Hope to view/read more soon!
Julie

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Shirl, I've always thought hedgehogs were the cutest!! (You can blame part of my being a fan on Jan Brett, children's book author!) ;-)

Cute post!

shirl said...

Hello again and thanks for your comments. Sorry I’m a bit behind here :-)

Julie, welcome! Ah… looking at your blog just now I see we have a lot of fav plants in common. I too like the plantings of Christopher Lloyd. Delighted you enjoyed seeing our hedgehog. By the droppings I’ve seen since, there must be more than one visiting which is good. They all have different routes in and out my garden too and that is where the droppings will be seen. Thanks, looking forward to browsing your blog now :-)

Shady,hello again. Funnily enough pre blog and sightings, I never thought of hedgehogs as cute until I saw their little faces close up and have seen them browse around my garden. They are very entertaining to watch and yes I’ll say they are cute. Ah… your Jan Brett book illustrations… you’ve mentioned them before and I did look them up and they are quite lovely. Ah... I see your latest post is on wild flowers I'll be over soon to check it out :-D