Wednesday, 18 February 2015


It is a bright, sunny day here in Canterbury.

Last night was very cold and caused a heavy frost, but the sun is warm and soon cleared it.

Mr Chuffington the hedgehog also seems to think that Spring is near.  Over the last few weeks he went into semi hibernation, sleeping for a few days and then coming out to eat a few tasty meal worms before retiring again.  But yesterday morning, he did something that he has not done since autumn.  He started calling to other hedgehogs.  The sound is wonderful.  Imagine a large dog with a very sore throat trying to bark.  The pitch is surprisingly low, almost like the chuffing sound of a steam train - hence Mrs RC's choice of name for him!

The fish have been a lot more visible in the last few days too, no longer hugging the bottom of the pond, out if sight in the weed.

The bird table is as busy as ever, and each day we are visited by a mass of startlings and sparrows.  Mixed in with these we have a robin, occasional black birds and the regular groups of wood pigeons and doves.  They eat vast amounts between them, and scatter the rest over the front garden.  The fact that the stuff that falls on the floor tends to get left indicates to me that we don't need to put out more - surely they would pick the place clean if they were really hungry?

Oh, and the road works are still in progress.  Either they have changed the sign or I misread it at the beginning, but they are there until the end of the month.  I have to pick my way through sometimes (they do not leave a clear footpath like I think they are supposed to) but sending the cars on a long diversion does make my journey nice and peaceful.  It will be a shock when the road finally reopens!


Shammickite said...

How will you reindroduce the hedgie to the wild? Does he know how to find his own food? He can be very beneficial to your garden by eating up all the bugs if he stays in your area.
No use me putting food out for the birds, the damned tree rats get it all. I really must invest in a squirrel proof bird feeder.

Rock Chef said...

Shammickite - We are going to encourage him to stay in our front garden - put his house under the hedge, supply him with food and make sure it is not too easy for him to wander off. Has a truly squirrel proof feeder actually been designed???
I like squirrels, but a recent Jaimie Oliver prog had him making squirrel pie...

ShadowRun300 said...

Ooooh! Maybe we'll get to see pics of Mr. Chuffington sometime soon?
If there are signs of spring around here, they're covered in snow. Or being blown away by bitter cold winds.
But I'm happy to hear you're seeing them. That means it's close for everyone!
Enjoy your lonely bike journey while you can!

Abby said...

So Mr. Chuffington is feeling frisky? He sounds very alluring. We've noticed Reese the snake coming out a bit more lately too after a deep brumation.
I'm trying to send road work delay vibes your way!

agg79 said...

So ole Chuff's feeling his oats, eh? Good show! Will be interesting to see if any ladies are drawn to his amorous call.

And no, there is no such thing as a squirrel proof feeder. Those little tree rats are pretty crafty at getting into the feeders, no matter what you do.

CiCi said...

Would love to hear the call of Mr Chuffington. Your surroundings seem peaceful and idyllic. I used to put out food for birds every day when I lived here previously. But this time I am not doing that; being away for long periods of time would not be fair to the birds and critters.

Riot Kitty said...

Mr. Chuffington! I love it. I had no idea they called to other hedgehogs...probably since I know nothing about hedgehogs.

terri said...

It seems apparent that you're on the far side of winter and spring is just around the corner.

I'm not very familiar with hedgehogs. I don't think I've ever seen one up close. I've only seen pictures of the ones my daughter's friend purchased as pets. I'd love to hear the sound they make that you've described.

The birds keep us busy filling our feeders over the winter too. We see a small variety of birds, but it's the squirrels that seem to eat the largest share of food!