After quite some time watching and recording videos of the hedgehogs in the garden I really wanted to make some more specific records of the activity. However determining a suitable method was quite tricky.
Firstly I permanently set-up a trail camera in a spot pointing towards the cedar tree in the corner of the garden. It covers the tree, the hedgehog passage into the neighbours garden, the water dish and the hedgehog feeding station. It is also a good spot to keep an eye on the Beech Marten activity.
Selecting the data to record was much more difficult. I started in September 2020 with quite a comprehensive set of data to try and record every night.
I soon found this data set to be too ambitious and I became unsure of the relevance of some elements. For example the times of the first and last records started to seem a little irrelevant. They were entirely dependent on the time stamp of my rather cheap trail camera, in which I became less than 100% confident.
Therefore I’m now trying to record a less ambitious data set which simply records the activity compared to the time of year, the night time temperature and whether I had left any food out. This will help show when the hedgehogs are most active and any variations during the year or over years in the level of activity. I should also be able to more or less log the start and end of hibernation. The idea of recording the nightime temperature, obviously the hedgehogs are more active at night, is to see if it provides any links to the level of activity, including hibernation. The same for the presence of food, something which perhaps would stimulate greater activity.
The reduced data set is:
I’m taking the records every date and will update the variations of activity over time onto the graph below. It does not include for the time being the data of the temperature or the presence food. For the time being when I look at the data there appears no obvious relationship, also it is quite complicated to map this onto the graph, however I will keep it under review.
The gaps are the nights when I was not able to take any records. I will try and minimise this but of course there will be some.
What the initial results do show is that the hibernation in 2020 started on 15th November and the little peak in December is the Hedgehog breaking out of hibernation for a short period, I think provoked by a winter storm which coincided with this burst of activity. The storm brought high winds and rain.