Tuesday, 5 May 2015

… and the potentially noisy neighbours are…

… Woodpigeons and sorry Mr & Mrs Robin, we were here first! We enjoy preening in the morning sunshine on the roof of the pergola and we enjoy a bit of exercise jumping across its rafters. Then there is the great central location with a lookout over the whole garden - especially towards the potting shed where the gardener goes to get seed for the bird tables :-)



So what’s this all about then? The gardener has gone towards the potting shed (I'm on the house roof lookout this time) and she is standing behind one of those video cameras we've seen her with before and is pointing it towards the Robin’s new house! Mmm...




Perhaps I should remind her I’m here. Shh… chaffinches, I’m trying to get us some seed…

Woodpigeon calling, short video 26 seconds, try HD quality.


Oh dear… well that’s not working! Wait a minute… Mr Robin is using the perch I like to use to stare in the window at the gardener to get her attention. The Blue tits and Great tits have perched there too en route to the camera nestbox on the house wall above. Perhaps we should go and tell them that we’ve got nesting competition!




Yes, Mr & Mrs Robin, as mentioned earlier… we were here first. We made a nest in the more common ivy on the opposite side of the pergola to you in June 2014 and we laid two eggs! Unfortunately we had to leave in a hurry (the gardener thinks Magpies or Jackdaws had something to do with us leaving our eggs just before they were due to hatch).


2014 Woodpigeon nest completely hidden from the garden border and only
just visible from the path below. Abandoned eggs disappeared from nest.


Okay, Mr & Mrs Robin, strictly speaking we weren't the first to take advantage of the cover and food provided within this pergola area. Yes, there are other noisy neighbours to this location besides us that you should be aware of.

The gardener here has hidden a feeding station for night garden visitors between two of the ivy clad pergola poles at ground level below your new house. Yep… during the night when you are sleeping, directly below you, passing by on a well travelled route through the garden are hedgehogs.






So, Mr & Mrs Robin, just before dusk (sometimes later) you should also be prepared to hear the quiet footsteps of the gardener walk by below you as she brings food and water to the feeding station known as Hedgehog Manor.

There are two tables here after altercations with diners. It can be a bit noisy when the ceramic plant saucer (used as a water dish) gets pulled out for cleaning and refilling but wait until you hear the huffing and puffing of two hedgehogs!

Both the gardener and a hedgehog got a fright one night as the plastic scoop of food gently bumped into a diner. It was dark this night and a quick photo has revealed the strong roof is sagging with the the likely roots of a bigger plant above so some attention is required here so you should expect the gardener at work below you too.




We weren’t visiting this garden when the gardener experimented with her first hedgehog feeding station of an upturned plastic box with an entrance of 13cm x13cm cut out of it. It worked fine at the time (we've heard) but this garden has got way busier since the introduction of the more spacious hedgehog Manor hidden out of the rain and wind.

So to sum up, Mr & Mrs Robin, our 2014 Woodpigeon nest is still sitting across from your new house and we have visited it already for a spell a few weeks ago. We are currently not in residence but you should expect us back, calling to each other and to see us preening and jumping on the rafters above you - Blackbirds too.

Finally, before you completely settle into your nice new house we should give you the final thumbs up on your potentially noisy evening diners. When they take their huffing and puffing altercations out to the street below you need to be prepared for the night sounds that hedgehogs make…


Hedgehog huffing & puffing in annoyance, great sound,
image not perfect but great capture of behaviour in feeding station.


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in May 2015.

9 comments:

Janneke said...

A real enjoyable post! Pretty views on your beautiful garden. The hedgehogs steal the show this time, so nice to have a feeding station for them. Funny video. I know the noise they make, in early summer when it´s almost dark at night they appear in our garden too and once they were chasing each other in circles making this noise. Thank you for sharing this lovely wildlife in your garden.

Brian Skeys said...

Thank you for the garden tour Mr Wood Pigeon, better luck with your nest this year. Wonderful to see the Hedgehogs feeding inside The Manor, one to show the Grandchildren when they next visit.

Sue Garrett said...

Lovely post - our woodpigeons favourite spits are wither in Martyn's anemometer, the round ball at the top of the summerhouse or the top of the greenhouse. Like yours it also likes to sit and stare in at the window.

Jo said...

What a lovely post. I don't know how you get anything done with so much going on in your garden, I'd be watching the comings and goings all day. I've just been watching a bullfinch in my garden, the first one I've ever seen visit so I'm thrilled about that and we've got bluetits nesting for the first time so there's lots to watch here too. I loved the hedgehog video, I didn't realise they made such a noise. We're lucky, we often see them here but I know their numbers are in decline and some people haven't seen one for years, very sad.

Lisa Greenbow said...

Oh Shirley, Your garden is gorgeous. I can see why the wildlife love it so. I thought it was so funny to hear the hedgehogs going on. I often wondered how those sweet looking little prickly animals got the "hog" in their name. Now I know. They sound just like pigs grunting. Too Funny. Wood pigeons sound a lot like the Rock Pigeons here. Happy Spring.

Gardeningbren said...

Shirl...as always, loved your post. Your garden is awesome and look at those trimmed beds! I have a thing about edged beds. You are so far ahead of us here in Nova Scotia. But we have had our eagles, osprey, and blue heron arrive. All is good.

Shady Gardener said...

Shirl, I'm sorry I hadn't been here in quite awhile! Your gardens are beautiful. That sound was the woodpigeon? That's an amazing sound.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh what a lovely post ... aren't hedgehogs noisy!

A great garden for the wild-life.

Take Care.

All the best Jan

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, sorry for delay in replies – I’ve been on hols without internet connection. Thanks for all your comments :-)

Janneke, thank-you, I had fun with this – great to hear you have and hear hedgehogs too!

Brian, yes, perhaps luck is required when magpies are still around. Great – I hope the grandchildren enjoy seeing and hearing the hedgehogs :-)

Sue, thanks, good to hear that you have the staring too – that makes me feel a bit better about it!

Jo, ha-ha… I have trouble at times. Then there is the time taken sorting photos and telling tales about my visitors too! Delighted to hear about your Blue tits – that is exciting. Hedgehogs only make that noise when they are bothered – it can happen when mating too usually when the female is making the noise to say she’s not interested! Great you see them too :-D

Lisa, thank-you… just back from hols and it has been transformed again. This time of year suits my garden. Ha-ha on the hogs ;-) A Happy Spring to you too :-D

Brenda, thank-you! Yes, as with the South of the UK being ahead of us I know what it’s like. Ooo… eagles back! We’ve Ospreys back and there is a well-used nest with new pair here in Scotland that I follow. Great visitors to have :-)

Shady, don’t be sorry, I fully understand as I don’t get about blog hopping as much as I used to. Thanks, I do love my garden at this time of year. Yep… that was the sound of a wood pigeon and it was looking straight at me!

Jan, Thanks, yes they are and it is ;-)