Saturday, 7 July 2012

Prickly predators in the garden

This weeks events have once again been dominated by the weather, and with heavy rain often forecast for the evening, cancelled bat surveys meant that I was able to spend some time at home. But not being one to sit down in front of the telly I opted for sitting under an umbrella in the garden to watch the resident Hedgehogs. 

Juvenile Hedgehog

Every year I record Hedgehogs in the garden, usually due to the presence of their faeces, but occasionally I see one in the early evening. To my delight, this year they have chosen to breed in the garden, and have been extremely confiding, often coming out before sunset. I have so far counted five together on one night, two adults and three juveniles, but usually just the four. Apparently males are usually larger than females, although it can be difficult to detect this difference due to seasonal variations and age, but one adult appeared to be much larger than the other and therefore I am assuming this to be a male.

Hedgehogs enjoying discarded bird seed...and slugs

The Hedgehogs have taken to eating discarded bird seed and the white slugs that are feeding on it, and seem to have made it their first port of call in the evening. You can hear them snuffling and grunting as they forage on the lawn, before letting out a satisfied snort when they find a tasty morsel.


The wet summer we have been having in the UK this year has made it ideal for slugs and snails, and subsequently that should make it good for the hedgehogs, but in order to avoid poisoning the little chaps I have refrained from putting down any slug pellets, I am hoping they will do that job for me.

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