Foxes, Hogs and Reds
It has been ages since my last post, so I thought I had better get one in before the new year arrives! Remember to click the title of this post above so you can view the post from my blog site proper 😀
The foxes are still regular visitors to the hedgehog feeding station, along with the mice, cats, oh… and the hedgehogs of course. There are two foxes, one vixen and one dog, that come almost every night but never together. They used to be very wary of the soft red glow that the Trail Cam emits but I think they have got used to it now, that and the fact that some nights I think they mustn’t have caught much to fill their bellies and just before dawn, on their way back to their den, they stop by and finish up what is left in the bowls.
Most of the hedgehogs have gone into hibernation now, apart from two that the Trail Cam still picks up every night. One is Lottie, who weighs in at a healthy 988g. Here she is just after I had brought her in for weighing…
And the other is Slash, who is an even larger sow but I haven’t managed to catch her yet, so I haven’t had the chance to weigh her. She is so-called, as she has two large scars, one across her back and the other across her backside, which look worryingly like they could be the scars caused by a garden strimmer.
A couple of weeks ago, I had to take three very young hedgehogs to our local hedgehog rescue centre, to be cared for over the winter. They were very underweight and would not have survived if they had gone into hibernation. The lady who runs the centre will call me in spring so that I can bring them back and release them where I found them in our small woodland. It is most likely that they are all from the same litter. I had seen a fourth small hoglet on the Trail Cams, about the size of a large apple, but even after going out night after night, four or five times a night, I still haven’t been able to find that one and it most likely has gone into hibernation now and so won’t survive the winter with it being so tiny. I would have gladly cared for them myself but we go over to Ireland every couple of months so that put paid to that idea.
Here are the three autumn orphans, which is what they call hoglets born late in the year…
It has gone very quiet on the red squirrel side of things. At one point this past summer we were feeling overrun with red squirrels but now there are only two males around. As you know from a recent post, Delilah, our beautiful, formidable female is no longer with us. The woods are very quiet without her around, even though until recently all three of her older boys and her youngest kitten were still hanging around. She was a very vocal squirrel and incredibly territorial. Her boys have been busy making dreys though and we now have four in our trees with a possible fifth, although until I see a squirrel go into it I won’t know for certain. Until I have some nice recent photos of Delilah’s boys, I will leave you with a funny red squirrel photo taken last October 😀