There is still a hedgehog in the house and I think, but I’m not 100% sure, that it is still the same one. And again I’m not sure but I do tend to think that it is a female.
I’ve been keeping a log of all the comings and goings in the hedgehog house, which is a little laborious but it’s all part of the record keeping mantra.
What the records show is that after a few days break at the start of the week the hedgehog has been spending every day in the house since Wednesday 7th. Assuming that it’s the same hedgehog, more on that below, it has been occupying the house since the 2nd April. The first tenant, which was a male, only stayed for 5 days between the first and last visit. This tenant is much more loyal to the house.
I’ve also seen the current occupant on the other garden cameras during the night, and on some nights it is barely leaving the garden. It has not been roaming far. On several nights, which have been admittedly very cold and sometimes wet, it has come back to the house frequently for a quick rest, spending quite a bit of time hunched down in the entrance chamber rather than the main part of the nest.
As mentioned before I believe it is the same hedgehog but I do have a doubt. This is because during the week its appearance has changed, with several black spots suddenly appearing on the skin. This happened very quickly, in the video below they are not present when the hedgehog left the house in the evening but they are when it came back in the early hours of the following morning.
It’s quite a dramatic change but as the facial markings are identical, the moustache, I think it’s the same hedgehog.
I’ve seen in the past that the skin markings on a hedgehog will vary quite often. This is why the recommended identification method is by facial rather than skin markings, the facial areas tend to be constant.
What I conclude is that a hedgehog which stays loyal to its nest and doesn’t roam far is more than likely a female. Hence I’m staying with the guess that it’s the same hedgehog that moved into the house on the 2nd April and that it’s a young(ish) female.
Away from the nest I’m still often seeing two hedgehogs together in the garden but no longer three or four, but there is still lots of activity every night.
The graph shows the number of sightings during the night, which I don’t manage to record every night but enough to get some useful results. The Blue line is last year starting from around September and the red line is the start of this year. It’s clear that there has been much more activity in the first months of this year compared to the end of last year.
I don’t want to jump to any premature conclusions based on this information, it may be normal that the start of the year is busier than the end of the year. I need to have the data for the same periods across different years, more laborious record keeping is required, but I will hopefully have a better idea towards the end of the year.
But right now I’ll keep watching and filming the nest in the hedgehog house, I’d just be happy for now to see it stay in use.