Sunday, 19 July 2009

Early Shift and a Baby Hedgehog

I had no sooner put out the food for the Hedgehogs just before 9.30 p.m. when the first visitor arrived. It was an adult by itself.

It spent about five minutes hoovering up unsalted peanuts and dried mealworms, had a drink, disappeared for a minute and then it (or another adult) appeared again for a while.

There was a while with no visitors. About 10.15 p.m. I went to the conservatory to check for signs of hogs before letting Bobby out. To my surprise there was a baby and an older Hedgehog. This baby looked smaller to me than the one I saw the other night. Also the older one looked smaller than the one which had been bulldozing its youngster.

Last night the larger one spent a lot of time rushing backwards and forwards. Every so often it would go to the youngster, sniff it and try pushing it around. This went on for nearly three quarters of an hour. The actions were less aggressive that that seen in the past. It was almost as though the adult was trying to get the baby to get a move on but either it didn't understand or it was just plain stubborn.

It is hard to convey in words just how much effort the adult was making, rushing backwards and forwards, pushing and shoving for three quarters of an hour while I was watching. In the end it managed to shove the baby off the paved area and on to the grass.

By that time it was 11 p.m. and I was ready for bed. I banged on the door to try to get them to move away. Bobby barked at them but they took absolutely no notice until I let Bobby out. The older one ran away and Bobby had a quick sniff at the youngster. It was still on the grass when I went to bed but I assume baby was eventually persuaded to do as it was told.

Some pictures of the baby.

Baby Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog

To give an idea of size - the baby is the same height as the wood behind it - three inches.

Baby Hedgehog

Adult and baby together.

Adult and Baby Hedgehogs

The adult even took time out to have a drink of water.

Adult Hedgehog Drinking

Earlier in the evening I managed a few photos of the spiders building their webs over the pond.

Tetragnatha extensa - the Common Stretch Spider. Identified for me by Rambling Rob.
Tetragnatha extensa

I had to put the ISO right up to 3200 to get any semblance of fastish shutter speed. Why I didn't change to a flash setting I have no idea - another of those too frequent 'senior moments' probably.


  1. Great shots of the 'hogs' again John, especially that last one at the water bowl.

  2. Thanks Keith. As they seemed to be hanging round for quite a while and light was poor for manual focussing I took blocks of three photos with slightly different focussing. The idea worked quite well a lot of the time.

  3. Great photos again and the baby one is so very little compared with the adult - 3 inches - wow!

  4. Thanks again Mick. The little ones always look so bemused by the big bad world around them.

  5. Good heavens! While I have been offline, your habitat has become a Haven for Hobnobbing Hedgehogs! News of your Nightly Nurturing of Nature must have made the Hedgie Headlines, perhaps with a promise of youtube fame!

    The little one is very sweet, and think it could be called "Hope" ~ because I hope it comes back soon!

    I saw an informative site: Studying the mammals in your garden – The Mammal Society, which I thought might be of interest. I haven't added the link, but the info above should aid the search if you wish. Little do they know that you have a setup where there is no need to wonder which mammals visit your garden!

    It's good to be back on line and thanks for dropping by my blog :)

  6. I'm really enjoying your hedgies John as they're something I don't see in my garden - about one visit in one year!

    Thanks for stating the size of the little one - much easier to visualise now; it's really quite tiny!

    Great spider pics - don't know that flash would have worked so well?

  7. Hi Glo. Thanks for the pointer to The Mammal Society. I have had a quick look and will take a longer look later. I will put a link on my blog.

    'Hope' it will be. I wonder how many babies there are. TMS says 4 to 5 in a litter so I could be right in thinking I have seen different size youngsters about.

    Hope was back by itself just after 9 p.m. last night and I managed to get some video of it feeding which I will put up shortly.

    I hope you internet connection continues to behave properly.

  8. Hi Tricia. I am pleased you are enjoying the pics of the hedgies. I was useful when the little one was next to the 3x3 inch timber round the paved area as it gave me a more accurate idea of its size.

    I will try some flash shots of the spiders one night just to see if it gives me some sharper pics.

    The baby hog arrived just after 9 p.m. last night and I managed to get some video of it with the camcorder.

  9. Lovely pics, John. I'm so jealous. My hogs don't come out early enough for me to photograph them under natural light. I haven't seen any little ones yet either, but hopefully there's still time. I saw a few last year (before I started documenting visits on the Hog blog).

  10. Hi GL. Thank you. The hogs here are so variable in their timing. I think someone forgot to tell the local ones they are supposed to be creatures of habit. Most of my photos have been flash as even when they come early the light is fading fast. The young ones have only been around a few days. When you get some it will be interesting to see how they cope with so much hog traffic.

  11. Love those Hedgehogs John..the baby is just too cute. :) Everytime I come here your blog makes me smile John...Oh and to answer your question yes I'm in some of those bubble images :)


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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