Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Demon Eyes and Other Visitors

I expect that Dunnocks visit the garden fairly frequently but I only spot one every now and then as they tend to stay close to shelter. It was very dull the other day when I spied this one on the garden fence in the shade of overhanging bushes.


During a brighter session I spotted a Chaffinch having a drink from the bird bath and later a Goldfinch sitting in the sunlight giving its feathers a good preen.

Another of the bird sown Sunflowers has now opened fully and is being visited by various insects including this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.

One or more adult Hedgehogs continue to visit for a snack of crushed unsalted peanuts, dried mealworms, Sunflower hearts and raisins. Yesterday a new day / night camera arrived so I fixed it in position to try it out. It is in a fairly low position and the intense reflections from the hog's eyes gives it the appearance of a spiky demon.

Today I have moved the camera a bit higher to see what difference that makes. I will not know the results until after dark tonight.

Thanks to all who left kind messages regarding the loss of Hope, the young Hedgehog. They were much appreciated.

As no Hedgehog seems to have made any visit to the hedgehog house I am contemplating moving it to a different spot. I wonder whether the dead pine needles in that area of the garden put off the hedgies as they have soft feet and probably find it uncomfortable walking in that area.


  1. Try a bit of bribery - a trail of mealworms leading to the house might help (but it might not.)

    It may be that they are not looking for a house just yet. We had Nightshift living in one of our houses for about four months, then she moved out. We had other regular visitors up to the same time, but none since the end of July until the bad weather a few nights ago. Most of the hedgehogs don't go near the houses at the moment, but those that do ignore them completely. Give it a few more days.

    I'm not sure the pine needles would put them off - ours are walking 25ft up a concrete path to the front door.

  2. I've been trying the bribery angle Twosie. I have a camera in that part of the garden and have not spotted a hog go round there as yet. I'll give it a while longer. The problem with pine needles is they stick in, as I found out when putting the hog house in place!

  3. They can be so frustrating! We had a bowl full of mealies six inches from the hedgie house, and for ages the new hedgies walked within six inches of the bowl and ignored it and the house. Yet the very first night we put out the first house, we were late finishing it (it was almost dark) and within 20 minutes of putting it out a hedgie wandered in with no incentive at all.

  4. As the per the old saying - You can lead a horse to water ..... Wildlife can be frustrating. My Tit box was ignored for a year before one bird started to bring in nesting material only to abandon it a short while later.

  5. Lovely videos. I like your transition in the first video as you move from one bird to the next and the colors in the 2nd of the butterfly are gorgeous.

  6. Thank you Kelly. I must try to remember which transition I used as the software has so many to choose from. Sunflowers always have such a spectacular colour.

  7. Another new toy? Um I mean camera! Well I never! Whatever next ;)

    Lovely videos John, the new camera looks great to me!

    I particularly liked the Chaffinch and Goldfinch video and of course the Sunflower with the flutter was so cheerful. Nice to see the little Dunnock too, they do skulk around don't they.

  8. Lovely movies today John...man that butterfly was busy today!!! Loved the movie of the Hedgehog..that camera is great, even though it makes their eyes glow. Very sharp details nice

  9. Camouflage looks like it plays a large part in the Dunnock's world. I think Flighty mentioned that they blend right into their surroundings and very hard to spot until you nearly step on one!

    Nice birdbath video, especially with such a tidy bird...not a drip in sight ~ no bib necessary for this one ;)

    I really love those colourful chaffinches. Too bad we don't have any here.

    I do think the butterfly and sunflower make a delightful composition. Such wonderful autumny colours.

    I can definitely see the resemblance of the hedgehog to a spiky demon! Looking forward to seeing how the camera's adjustment in height turns out.

    PS I liked the transition in the video as well.

  10. Lovely blog John, love the Hedgie project and your bird feeders are great - love the meal worms amongst the seeds!

  11. Thank you Jan. Yes. I couldn't resist the camera when it came up at a well reduced price :) It was nice to get such a close view of the Chaffinch. I think I have yours as well. There are lots of them here at the moment. As the young males are maturing they have started chasing each other about.

  12. Thank you Crista. I was pleased with the colour video clips. It helps when the Sun shines brightly.
    Even the BBC end up with glowing eyes when they use IR cameras so I expect I will get used to it.

  13. Yes Glo. The Dunnock is well camouflaged for skulking around in the shadows. It is easy to miss them unless they move. I also saw a Wren the same day but they are even harder to catch out in the open.

    The camera adjustments I made yesterday made things worse :( This morning I hurriedly put it back where it was to start with. If at first you don't succeed .....

    Pleased you like the video clips.There are time when I prefer to video the visitors, even when they are doing everyday things.

  14. Thank you for visiting Maree and for your kind comments. The mealworms amongst the seeds are for the Robins but the Starlings make off with most of them.

  15. Interesting post John and the Goldfinch preening was lovely. Hope you're enjoying your new camera!


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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