Friday, 24 June 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Snuffling Hedgehogs, Juvenile Moorhen

Hedgehog mating is a very long winded process. It takes days of snuffling for hours on end each evening for the male to persuade the female to lower her spines so he can mount her. This is very short clip from the first night taken with the Lumix TZ7. The only lighting was a hand held LED torch. The original video for this episode and the next were very dark so I had to do a lot of processing in the video software.

On the second night I didn't have the torch as Bobby and I watched for about 20 minutes. The hedgehogs were under a set of four LED lamps. We were about two metres away and the Hedgehogs took no notice of us at all.

They were much later arriving on the third night so this was captured by the video camera. The result has been speeded up and you can see how the male spends all his time going round in large circles and returning to the female while she just carries on eating. No sound this time. You will see that at one stage it is a case of two is company, three is a crowd.

The same activity was still going on last night, the fourth, even in the pouring rain.

Yesterday's visit by a juvenile Moorhen was more than a bit of a surprise. I had had an adult visit a year or so ago but that didn't stay very long. This youngster is different. It spent a long time investigating every part of the pond, even walking up and down the little waterfall. It was another surprise to see that it is still here this morning joining the other birds at the Birdy Bistro. I did manage to take some video yesterday as can be seen here.

 Shirl, Shirl's Gardenwatch, asked me about the LED torch. Here it is next to a pound coin for size comparison. Instead of one bulb it has about thirty LEDs, works on three AAA batteries and gives quite a bright light, to the human eyes anyway. Its main help at night is allowing the TZ7 to focus faster and more accurately in dim light. It doesn't help much with video but was better than nothing

LED Torch

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you - no knowing what will turn up.


  1. Wonderful film! You have to give the little chap some credit for his persistence! I am reminded of a very old joke... How do Welsh hedgehogs make love?... Very Caerphilly! (sorry!)

  2. A superb Friday at the Flicks. If they don't get a move on it will be time to hibernate.
    Good luck with the Moorhen.

  3. Wow John, what better endorsement for a garden pond, than to have waterbirds visit. You'll be getting Swans and Geese next ;-)

  4. Hello Matron. Thank you. Love the joke!

  5. Thank you Adrian. I wonder if it's the same pair which were snuffling weeks ago. She is certainly in no rush to become a mum.

  6. Hello Keith. It obviously pays not to be too fussy about how the garden looks to humans ;)

  7. Hello again, John. Thanks for adding the photo of your LED torch. It is quite compact (pocket size) isn't it? It's a great portable way to see activity at night in your garden. I like the idea.

    Love the hedgehog captures. As you say, this activity can last hours. Love all the videos but I have to say I am quite taken with your moorhen. I caught footage of a Mum feeding a juv at Pensthorpe a couple of years ago. The capture was shaky as they moved around but it was still quite a delight to get. Enjoy your weekend Moorhen watching :-D

  8. Great flicks, John. Never a dull moment at your place! There must be some sort of avian telegraph advertising your birdie spa and hedgehog honeymoon hideaway.


  9. Hello Shirl. The torch is very useful The batteries last a reasonable length of time. It is very robust, being made from metal. I got mine on eBay some time ago.

    The Moorhen seems to have moved on as I haven't seen it since yesterday morning.

  10. Thank you Wilma. The activity seems to go in bursts. Days of little of note then a flurry of interesting activity for a couple of days.

  11. Excellent flicks again John.

    I hope the juvenile Moorhen returns, it is a captivating little thing.

    The Hedgehog behaviour really is fascinating, at this rate you will become an expert!!

  12. Thank you Jan. The Moorhen is a bit of a pest at times as it chases many of the other regulars and destroys my pond lilies.


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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