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A South East garden

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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 11:21am
About 20 clumps of spawn now, with more fresh clumps each day, still only at one side of the pond which is odd but I guess they know what they are doing.

At least 3 hogs now, although only one goes in the feeder, the others just mooch around the lawn and annoy the foxes.





Plenty of woodmice everywhere, unfortunately I also have a rat which lives in the rough patch near the hog-feeder and keeps going in there, as far as I can tell it is a single juvenile so hopefully it won't be a problem, I have tried a humane trap on him but he is too bright for that, don't want to have to go down the line of using a lethal one as I couldn't bear to kill a wood mouse. I am ok with one rat being there but unfortunately I don't want to have a 'rat problem'...

I do love woodmice, they are so sweet!


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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 2:52pm
Love wood mice, they are really cute! Sounds like a good haul of spawn. What we have left in the pond isn't looking great, some is still developing, think a lot got ice damaged in the second freeze, so glad I got some inside. Rats, hmmm .22 rifle, quick clean kill and nothing else gets harmed. Seems some people now are classing rats as 'wildlife' obviously never had the problems we have had with them in the past. Not a good thing around other wildlife or houses.

Edited by GemmaJF - 25 Mar 2018 at 2:53pm
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 4:46pm
I feel sorry for the rat and his prospects, I unfortunately had to use a lethal trap on one a few weeks back, he was huge, this one is much smaller and like everyone else in the garden just trying to get along and survive. If I could keep it to just him it wouldn't be a problem but I doubt it would stay as one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 5:47pm
That's the problem with them, if you see one there is a good chance there are others or soon will be. Been a lot happier without them, don't feed the birds artificially anymore and now more careful with what goes on the compost. Been a good opportunity to concentrate more on having nesting birds in the garden, just built a new robin/wren box this afternoon.
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 6:46pm
I would be interested in encouraging wrens, I often hear them but rarely see them, saw one catch a butterfly that was nearly as big as him last summer. I often hear they are our most common bird but have never thought of them as being particularly numerous, I guess they must spend mot of their lives out of sight.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 7:53pm
We see our wrens most days. On top of our log piles we put brash (younger cut tree branches). Wrens hop in and out of that most days. Think that is what they like, interesting piles of sticks and things they can hop about in while hunting for bugs which is their main diet.
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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 8:50pm
its a shame the resolution seems poor on this, don't know why as the original file is 4k...



Edited by chubsta - 25 Mar 2018 at 8:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2018 at 2:48pm
It finally seems like Spring is here - temperatures have been steadily rising and now don't go below about 6 degrees at night, with highs during the day of around 11-12degrees. Still very wet but not windy, so ideal conditions for the frogs to be moving around.

Numbers of frogs in the pond have fallen to around 10 as far as I can tell, but I see quite large numbers on the grass and borders at night - the spawn was certainly down on last year despite a bumper crop of froglets surviving through the Autumn so not sure if there will be a second wave of spawning as temperatures rise. The spawn all looks viable to my untrained eyes but is not developing very quickly, hopefully just a legacy of the cold temperatures and the water still being cold.

No sign of any newts but I guess I very rarely saw them anyway so hopefully they are on their way.

Hogs are starting to appear in greater numbers, as well as my 'pet' female littleHeidi who has been around since New Year, and who is now very fat, there are at least two very large males, and probably 3 smaller females. I am waiting a week or so for them to get some weight on and get used to the feeder before I bring them in for a quick health check and deticking - when I do this I will put a tag on each and will therefore have a better idea on numbers.

There seems a lot more fox activity, not sure how many individuals, but most nights there will be around 6 or 7 'visits' so there are probably a few different animals involved.

Woodmice are everywhere, lots of little ones too so that is sweet, I see a rat about once of twice a week but they never seem to stay around, which I find odd considering there is a ready supply of food 24 hours a day in the feeder. Something has chewed through the wires for both pond pumps so that was a little annoying but at least they weren't plugged into power at the time...

Here is a little footage of littleHeidi meeting 'Reggie' - he is a very big hog who I thought may be the top-hog in the garden this year, but a far bigger one has since turned up who tends to roll poor Reggie around the garden most nights.


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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2018 at 3:09pm
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

We see our wrens most days. On top of our log piles we put brash (younger cut tree branches). Wrens hop in and out of that most days. Think that is what they like, interesting piles of sticks and things they can hop about in while hunting for bugs which is their main diet.

Step-son is a tree surgeon so I have put in an order for logs and branches so hopefully will be able to make the 'rough areas' more attractive to the wrens, I quite like the idea have having large areas of the garden borders covered in such stuff, hopefully the hogs would find it good to nest in too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2018 at 3:29pm
Neat images. How fortunate you are with all your hedgehogs. Are roads not a problem for them? Here they all seem to end up flattened, despite the rural nature of our town in this area.
We have had cold days and heaps of rain. I've been out three times in waterproofs baling out the pond to stop the taddies washing away over the edge. 
Suz
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