Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Windy, Caterpillar, Hedgehogs, Greenfinches

It is nearly a week since the remains of Hurricane Katia passed over the country. Fortunately, here anyway, wind strength was well down on those forecast as possibilities. Mainly gusts in the 35 to 45mph range. We had stronger winds last January. For wildlfe it matters not what the weather is like, life must go on and they have to eat.

In spite of the wind it was a glorious sunny day. As I checked out the garden pond a movement in the grass caught my eye. At first I though the grey shape crawling through the grass was one of the newts but on closer inspection it turned out to be an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar. They are large, stretching to about 3.5 inches ( 90mm) long. Every so often it would stop and investigate the vegetation and the ground. I read somewhere that they bury themselves underground to pupate and remain there through the winter. Holding the TZ7 steady was difficult in the blustery conditions.

I said earlier in the week I had managed to take some video of the adult and juvenile Hedgehogs so here they are. Focussing a bit iffy in places as the camera was on manual focus and I couldn't find the switch while I was filming from the darkened kitchen. Notice how perfect their table manners were while they were being filmed - not once standing in the dish. Most unusual.

Finally a short clip of the Greenfinches which are a very welcome sight as it shows their numbers are recovering a bit after two years of finch disease. This goup of seven or eight are mostly juveniles.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you wherever you are.


  1. Great videos today John.
    I've never seen an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar before, so it was good to watch the video.
    The hedgehogs were just adorable, and impeccable table manners. Must have known they were on camera lol
    And really good to see so many Greenfinches like that.

  2. A wonderful Friday. The caterpillar is a wonderful find.
    I suspect most of us got away lightly with the wind.

  3. Glad to hear it wasn't as windy as expected, but still blustery enough by the looks of things ~ sent the clouds scudding anyway! Wow, what a large aptly named Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar ~ can't say I've ever seen any caterpillars that size and what clear video you were able to take. Yes, the hedgehogs were on their best behaviour ~ perhaps mum was teaching how offspring how to eat daintily in case they are invited for tea with the Queen. ;) Lovely to see all the greenfinches as well. Fabulous Friday Flicks!

  4. Hi John, we are delighted to read that you have got a little juvenile hedgie visiting you. It was lovely to see them eating most especially because they were not fighting. We have only seen one little baby this year and only for a few days. She had been very small when she arrived at the front of the house. She came for a few days and we do not know why she stopped coming :( At the moment, it is very quiet here on the hedgie front - only one female (another newcomer) visits the garden these days and we have no residents but we are keeping an eye out for any more Autumn little ones.

  5. Thank you Keith. I don't want to see too many. Don't mind the caterpillars but don't fancy the large moths about the place ;)
    The two Hedgehogs looked really cute eating together.

  6. Thank you Adrian. Made a change to have several videos.

  7. Thank you Glo. The TZ7 really comes into its own on close up stills or video.

  8. Hello Twosie. I wonder where all your hedgies are hiding, especially as you had so many the past few years. Possibly with a large population some will go off to find their own territory.
    The little one comes to feed every night so it should be the right weight by hibernation time.

  9. We think they may have already started hibernating. At the start of Sep, we had three males - Tyndall, Rupert and Alfie coming to the dishes in the back garden in early Sep. A fourth, James, also put in an appearence but he was very big and it was only for a day or two, then he vanished again. It was very sad to watch the bowls at night as poor Alfie was always being bullied by the other two (they were much bigger) and they really picked on him. Bailout used also visit the back (we thought she might have had some young ones, but we haven't seen any). Rebecca used come to the front. Then we went away on business (we left the hedgie food with our neighbour) and when we came back, only Jessica is around (no longer at the front, now at the back) so all we can assume is the rest have started hibernating already (which might suggest that the mention snow in Oct may not be too far out ....). We haven't seen sight of Twearly, Tog, Henry, Quattro or Gordon in months. It might be that Tyndall is Tog and perhaps Rupert might be Quattro but when we first saw Tyndall and Rupert, we could see no sign at all of any markings on them.

    As you said, it could be that earlier on in the year, the other males all went off to find their own territories, particularly as there were so very few females here.


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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