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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Thursday, 27 August 2020

Hedgehogs - continued

Because our garden hedgehog feeding station is open to the elements, as opposed to being housed inside an enclosed space, with restricted access, I am unable to put out the food until I get home from work. With the nights drawing in it is well over an hour after sunset before I manage to set out the stall for the night. Any attempt at preparing our offerings prior to leaving for work would see the hedgehog buffet quickly devoured by the local Herring Gulls. Now some might be wondering why I offer the food in such an open fashion. "What about cats?" Well; I can happily state that the local felines have learnt to give our garden a wide birth. The aviary used to be a very attractive place for cats, until I purchased some high powered water pistols. That I also have a 1959 Webley Mk III air rifle also aids my anti-cat regime. Of course I don't shoot the neighbours pets, but a pellet hitting the fence right next to its' arse certainly has the desired effect. 



I'd been warned of other, unwanted, creatures also being drawn to the food yet have seen no evidence for myself. Gary and Julie use a trail cam to monitor the activity around their feeding station and have, on occasion, seen Brown Rats and Grey Squirrels helping themselves. If this is happening, unbeknown to me, I'm not overly bothered at present. What I do know is if there is any food left over, cum the dawn, then our Herring Gulls are on it like a plague of locusts as soon as there's enough light to see! I'd got the feeding station prepared by 21.50 hrs, this evening, and by mid-night there had been at least five different hedgehogs tucking into the Tesco Kitten biscuits. Bloody brilliant!







An absolute privilege to be able to observe these wild creatures at such close quarters. All of the photos were obtained, tonight, from my study doorway and the hedgehogs are so close as to be on the absolute minimum limit of the Sigma 170 - 500 focal range, hence the lack of focus in the foreground.



6 comments:

  1. Dyl, I do like the old Hedgehog. I've been signed up to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for some time now. I only see them occasionally now in my area, unlike the days when they would appear as a regular road casualty. Pam Ayers poem 'In Defence of Hedgehogs', was about that.

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    1. Ric,
      Only by spending time watching the activity around the feeding station am I able to appreciate the numbers of individual hedgehogs involved. The crazy thing is that they must have been here previously, yet overlooked because of their nocturnal habits. It's a bit like the bat detector and how it has allowed an insight into the huge numbers of these animals present at the syndicate venue and along the Royal Military Canal. All good fun and part of the continuous learning experience - take care - Dyl

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  2. Nice to see your garden "hogfest" Reminds me of my youth in Canterbury housing estate all the gardens in the street were visited by hogs at night, as kids we caught slow worms at some small patch of waste ground under waste wood piles, where we would occasionally find frogs (or toads) despite no pond or river being that close to my knowledge. Roadkill hogs were found occasionally probably due to the high concentration present, These are not found on this estate today as all space has had building done on it,or has been urbanized landscaped by the council and is not hedgehog friendly.
    This is the scenario nationwide, we need to establish small interconnected patches of suitable environment (gardens are a start) which will enhance wildlife as a whole, increasing diversity, and generally improving life to plants to insects to birds and mammals and eventually us. We are all part of the environment, if only all of us could open are eyes and mind and see what we are doing and strive to make amends no matter how small. The powers that be are aware... but do they care?

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    1. Phil,
      Growing up in Hertfordshire, Hedgehogs, Slow Worms, Grass Snakes, Weasels, Stoats and umpteen other creatures were encountered on a regular basis as we explored the surrounding countryside. Today, my two younger brothers who remain in the area, tell a very different tale. Urbanisation, high intensity agriculture and general apathy have combined to produce a wildlife desert! As for the powers that be? Wealth before health and anything else for that matter. The culture of greed is what drives the world, to hell with anything which gets in the way!

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  3. A few years ago I cut a small 6in sq hole in my panel fence to allow the hogs to wander through into next doors garden. A few weeks later it was boarded up on the neighbour's side because he didn't want bloody hedgehogs in his garden!

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    1. There's no helping some folk - eh? Well done on finding that juv Purple Heron - smart birds whatever age! - Dyl

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