I'd been wondering when hedgehogs would make their first appearance of the year in our garden but didn't have long to wait. Heading to refil the bird feeder early this morning I soon discovered their trade mark - multiple black poos speckled with beetle carapace. Now starts the daily circuit of the garden with a poo bag so nobody inadvertently walks it into the house. I love them really!
I'm getting rather anxious about our local hedgehogs. Last year, our first in this property, I was finding evidence of hogs every day in late spring and through the summer and often saw them in the garden at night. One morning this March I found the usual signs of hedgehog activity in the garden hence the post "They're back!" but since then, and we're now in late April, there has been very little sign of activity and not a single sighting at night. So far I've put it down to cold weather and a distinct shortage of slugs, worms, beetles, etc. I've never put food out because of Mrs A's concern about attracting rats.
What has been nagging me is that in early autumn last year sightings stopped. I assumed they had gone into hibernation a little earlier than usual. Coincidentally visits from local cats stopped at the same time. Four cats had regularly paid visits to the garden, often on a daily basis, through most of last year. All looked in good condition and I assumed they all lived in the neighbourhood although none of our close neighbours have a cat. We've never seen a cat since.
I have a horrible feeling someone, possibly to get rid of the cats, has put out cat food containing poison and this has done for the hogs too. There are a few rum characters around here! I've no proof and just hope the hedgehog population can recover in the year ahead.
Hog numbers are still down here but having said that I went outside about 11:00pm last night and there were two in the garden (saw them only thanks to a torch) and what a lot of noise they were making - never realised hedgehogs were so noisy. Don't know if they were falling out or mating!