Wild life in the garden, or around!

When looking through old infrared videos of mine, made when such infrared cameras were first available but of awful quality, came across one very short but amusing video, involving ratty and toerag, my cat.
Ratty I think was an escaped tame rat, who came to no harm.

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It looks like our squirrel has taken up residence. I got some hazelnuts and we made a little cache to see if he would find them. He has… he comes, takes one at a time in his mouth, scampers off, digs a little in the grass and buries it. He’s utterly cute !

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I was mowing at the campsite the other day, when I saw a hedgehog on the road outside.
I stopped & scooped him up in my fleece & stuck him in the pile of collected leaves


Unhappily it isn’t always good news.

While driving into a small village at noon a few years ago I saw a very young hedgehog running down the middle of the road. A cause for concern. I stopped and put him into my car.

When I got home, I couldn’t find him. I searched and finally located him inside the plastic bulkhead of the car where my knees would be while driving. He’d found a tiny gap.

I had to dismantle the whole of those plastic panels to get him out.

I said not good news because hedgehogs don’t usually go wondering around in broad daylight unless sick.

He was, and despite me doing my best with TLC, and some vet attention, he died a few days later.

There are some useful resources around…

Hedgehog Street

British Hedgehog Preservation society Found a hedgehog? - The British Hedgehog Preservation Society


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Who likes rats? Not many I suppose, but they have their place in this world.

Not hot and dry anymore, and very few birds come to the birdbath now, so I put down some birdseed food stuff. During that night a newcomer came to the birdbath.

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I love rats❤


I love hedgehogs but my elderly girl has always insisted on picking them up and bringing them into the lounge where I wrap them in a towel and take them back outside and place them beyond my boundary…she does the same with toads and frogs…

In U.K. rats were dispatched immediately if one ever dared to encroach on her territory…there are no doubt rats round here but I’ve not seen one…

She has a very specific bark that tells me there’s a hedgehog close by…also if there’s a pigeon in a tree….my boys also have a very specific sound and demeanour if there is a hornet or a bumble-bee or wasp in the house and will leave me to deal with them….She doesn’t she just catches them and dispatches them if she gets to them before I do…I have soft cloths and a mug and cardboard on hand to catch bumble bees and baby birds….

She’s a terror and keeps me busy in my “rescue work” but I love her :grinning:

None of them are bothered by or try to catch butterflies

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I believe Ratty is moving in to make a home under one of the birdbaths, and I wondered if he had ousted little Mousey who was there first.

They are both there and tolerate each other – sweet to see. They live there now side by side as two close neighbours. I shall have to get some suitable foodstuffs to get some winter action videos.

Birds can feed during the day while Mousey, Ratty and a new young HedgyWog can eat at night.

Watch this space!

ps - at least 6 cats drink at night so they will keep Mousey and Ratty on their toes!


I shall be keeping my eye on these three little guys, especially the young hedgehog.


I’m hoping one of you wildlife experts can help me identify a little chap that I just spotted in a nice damp patch inside the garage door. By the time I’d got back with my camera he’d gone. I first thought he must be a type of salamander as we do get quite a few round here but apart from the general shape, he was not really like one. He was perhaps nearly 15cm long, black but matt, not slightly shiny like a salamander. The skin appeared not to be smooth and the only markings were a narrow orange stripe most of the length of his back.

Best I can do for a description but has anyone any suggestions? Mr Google isn’t helping…

Could have been a newt maybe?

I did wonder but he seemed quite big for the newts I’ve seen around here and also he was resoundingly black…

And a word of warning to those of us that like to use “humane” traps to catch mice, dormice (loir/lérot, etc) using rectangular cages.

We set a couple of these humane traps around the house, and were quite successful in catching a variety of mice (house, wood, harvest), but to our horror we also managed to trap a hedgehog, which managed to get in, but of course could not get out…

I ended up having to cut the cage apart with wire cutters in order to free the hedgehog from its plight. Had we not been checking the traps regularly, it might well have died of cold and starvation. Fortunately, after managing to remove it, we placed it in some leaves under the creeping juniper, and a few hours later, it had moved on.

We think it was this one, which has become a regular visitor/resident since last spring:

Couldn’t resist this, Junior hedgehog 1 seen here with Mum. Junior 2 is elsewhere, probably filling up with catfood.

Junior 1 is stealing dry straw from two hedgehog homes and taking it to his own adopted home. It’s brief, so I’ve slowed it down a little - you can just see some trailing straw. He’s clearly caught in the act at the end.

The dark looking boxes with curved tops in the video are hedgehog homes, as is the cat box.

Don’t know how young they are when they start making nests or whether they share nests.

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Putting birdseed & hedgehog food around the birdbath seems to have attracted more rats! They are very cautious and amazingly fast, but nothing dramatic to see.

There are three young rats, certainly, but there’s a fourth pair of eyes. Maybe they belong to the mouse who lived there before the rats.