Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A Bank Holiday at Home and a Hedgehog Night

This morning I am still laughing. I have just been watching the antics of a young Goldfinch which couldn't quite get the hang of landing on a perch on the feeders and ended up sitting on the head of a young Greenfinch.

I never have been one for getting the car out on a Bank Holiday weekend. Great sunny day yesterday so the coastal towns would probably have been packed and not far inland there had been the usual warning from the police about traffic congestion on the approaches to Cadwell Park. (Motor bike race meeting)

Bank Holiday Monday started off cloudy and cool but soon developed in to a beautiful warm day for checking what was going on in the garden and even to do a bit of weeding.

I decided to snap a few views of the pond as the last time was back in the Spring. As I was taking the last couple of shots a pair of Common Darters, once more linked with the male's tail fixed to the female's head, flew across the shot. At one stage then dipped so low on the water the ripples could be seen. Somehow, in spite of three pictures being taken as they flew across the pond, they managed to stay invisible to the camera.

My Garden Pond

Fortunately a short while later they settled on a stepping stone and waited patiently while I got a few shots in. They were definitely at risk on that chosen spot as there is a large mass of spiders sticky threads just below the female.

Male and Female Common Darter

I find it amazing the agility these creatures must have to be able to fly in unison whilst joined in this fashion. Eventually they flew off together.

The only other life on the pond, apart from visiting wasps, were a couple of pond skaters - one resting on a lily pad and the other on a floating bird feather.

Pond Skater on a Lily Pad

Pond Skater on a Floating Feather

As we were setting off for afternoon walkies there was the usual crowd of flutters at the lavender bushes.

Lavender Visitors

A Painted Lady on the path.

Painted Lady Painted Lady

A cheeky Small Tortoiseshell hitching a ride on Bobby's back.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

As usual at this time of year there was a group of Pied Wagtails grubbing round the grass on the cricket field. It is difficult to get close to them to get a good clear shot. I very carefully took a few steps nearer each time one looked away but if I got too close for their liking they just walked further away.

Pied Wagtail

At about 9 p.m. the clouds were racing across the Moon giving tantalising glimpses every so often.

Moonlit Sky

By 9.30 Henry the dominant Hedgehog made an appearance on the feeding area and proceeded to scatter the mealworms from the dish. At the bottom there were Sunflower hearts and peanut nibbles. The last brief part of this video shows Honey, the shy adult Hedgehog, arrive, ignore the dish and carry on to the rest of the garden. Later she did come back for a long drink of water.

I think there must be plenty of natural food about for them as they spend more time foraging in the garden than on the feeding area these days.

At bedtime Bobby caught the scent of Hedgehog and within a couple of seconds had found Henry who proceeded to curl up and stand his ground. Honey always runs away. I waited for a while and Henry slowly peered out to see if it was safe to move on. I turned round to see where Bobby was. By the time I turned back again Henry had vanished. They really can get a move on when they want.

Henry the Hedgehog

If you enjoy watching the antics of Hedgehogs I have recommended Hog Blog in the past - great videos and photos. Just recently I discovered Twosie the Hedgehog - another site with lots of videos of their Hedgehog visitors and lovely descriptions of what they get up to in the garden there.


  1. Some really lovely shots again John. Thanks for the Hedgehog links. Had a quick look and will go back for seconds!

  2. Thank you Pam. I hope you enjoy the other two sites.

  3. Your photo of the flutters on the lavender has a very impressionistic feel to it; lovely.

  4. As ever, fantastic footage and photos! I see now that Henry has distinctve markings on his back - is that how you are able to recognise him.

    The only one of my hogs that I can recognise time and time again is the one I call Scratchy (for obvious reasons) - again she has disntinctive markings on her back.

  5. Lovely photos and video, John.

    Even after living here for 26 years, I yet have to spot my 1st Irish hedgehog.

  6. Sounds like a very nice, relaxing weekend John. I think your weather was better than ours, we were promised a beautiful weekend but sadly it was grey and miserable!

    That is a lovely photo of your pond, it looks like a painting and I agree with Wilma about the impressionistic look of the flutters on the Lavender.

    Nice video again, Honey was moving jolly fast I noticed!

    Bobby places host to quite a variety of wildlife ;)

  7. Thank you Wilma. I often have to walk through what is almost a cloud of red, orange and brown. I never expected the lavender to be so attractive.

  8. Thank you G L W. I have never seen more than the two adult hogs in the garden at the same time and they enter from different directions. That and the way they behave fortunately makes it easy to work out which is which.

  9. Thank you for the kind comment Yoke. This year is the first I have seen any Hedgehogs and I have lived here over 30 years. I think 'mine' must live nearby as they normally arrive so soon after it gets dark.

  10. It was quite pleasant Jan. Better than I expected weather wise. Sorry to hear yours wasn't so good.

    I chose the angle of view on the pond so it would look its best!! ;>)

    It never ceases to surprise me how fast a Hedgehog can move on those four inch legs.

    Bobby is true to type - very laid back most of the time.

  11. Sorry I'm losing it :) I meant plays host.

  12. Worry not Jan - I knew what you meant but don't have too many senior moments or you will be catching me up :-)

  13. The pond and surrounds are beautiful! I also especially liked the photo of the lavender with all the butterflies and bees on it.

  14. It did look good from that angle Mick. You can't see any of the junk which is stored near the pond. A lot of people like the lavender shot - to think I nearly didn't use that one.


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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