The blog may have been quiet but it has been quite busy here behind the scenes!
As the cold weather began to make an appearance numerous hedgehogs were spotted rooting around the garden trying to fatten up before hibernation. So we decided to build a little feeding station to help them along.
Stocked with fresh water and a hearty helping of ‘Super Meaty’ catfood – the station is wiped clean on a nightly basis as hedgies big and small help make it a neighbourhood hot spot. We’re delighted by how popular it has become!
If you click through you’ll find more details on the station and how to make your own if you have any night time visitors!
Wildlife folks contacted us and said it was unlikely that at 4oz and in his current condition, the little hoglet would make it. And indeed, in the early hours of this morning, the little guy breathed his last. I really hoped he would make it and am heartbroken at the loss of this tiny life that has left a huge vacancy in the house and in our hearts. Rest in peace little dude, I hope that the last couple of days of your too short life were comfortable ones.
Care centres and rescues around the country are dealing with hundreds of these little Autumn orphans. Many are underfunded and understaffed, some operate out of tiny rooms and little sheds, and many carers pay for their treatment and care out of their own pockets. I have been overwhelmed by the time and effort people around the UK put in to help these little creatures and other native wildlife and I am humbled by the way they reached out to this tiny creature in my care, calling and messaging and making themselves available at all hours. In particular, I’d like to thank Bob Fleming from the Cardiff Hedgehog Rescue for his non-stop assistance and Jackie Burke at Leighton Buzzard Hedgehog Rehabilitation for her advice and encouragement.
If you are able, I would ask that you donate what you can manage to the BHPS, one of the individuals mentioned above or contact one of your local carers to find out how you can help or donate towards their costs. It doesn’t take much – just £5 can feed 20 hedgehogs a day.
Please consider a donation to these causes. They make a big difference to these delightful little endangered creatures.
The wonders of the English country garden do not cease with the bird life. We have seen many other critters come and go over the last year including, but not limited to, a fox, a hedgehog family and various cats in search of a tender morsel or two. Aside from the little birds we had some ducks drop in and I had a close encounter with a sparrow hawk, which I have no photos of unfortunately (mostly because once it fixed its eye on me I found myself unable to move – more prey than predator in me I suppose).
Some of these comings and goings were documented, I hope you enjoy them:
A Mallard – Lily was desperate to have a go at duck hunt, but had to watch from afar.
The Incredible Mr.Fox – since we got Lily last year we have had to stop encouraging this nightly visitor in case of an encounter, but he was a pleasure to watch.
Mr. & Mrs. Hedgehog would come by around dusk every night for a plate of cat-food. Contrary to popular belief, feeding them bread and milk is not a good idea as it makes the little critters very ill.
And where there are fluffy little fledgelings, there is a a hopeful cat waiting by the bird feeder for a little smackerel of something. This one has had to be chased off a few times, but often we’d see him hiding in the nearby bushes anyway….hope springs eternal.
Named ‘Shooshoo’ after failing to respond to that command repeatedly, this cat is a regular in our neighbourhood and always ready for a cuddle. A neighbour was smart enough to bell her as she is quite the avid tree climber/bird killer herself.
Lily now keeps the yard free of predatory cats, but occasionally decides to pull a predation herself (ref. The Pigeon Caper).