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A South East garden

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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: 15 May 2018 at 12:40am
To me it looks more like semolina than rice pudding, so will just concur with what Ben has said. Fascination observation regarding the slowy caught in a web. Wonder if the spider just reacted to there being something caught? Would think it unlikely a small spider's fangs would penetrate a slow worm's skin, though the young are probably more vulnerable than the adults which develop osteoderms which a like flat plates in the dermis which I would guess act as pretty good armour plating.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 11:12am
Lovely slow-worms, can't believe I have so many so quickly! What are the chances they are carrying eggs, it looks pretty fat to me but I don't have much experience with them...





And the slime mould is looking even more unappetising after a couple of days... (thanks for the id!)


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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 8:21pm
Ah yeah - it's False Puffball. I've read these are considered a delicacy in some countries - don't fancy it much myself tho'.

Well done with the slow worms. Beauties!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 9:58pm
they are females although slowworms give birth to live young. they look in lovely condition. how awesome to have them in your garden!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2018 at 10:27am
Things are moving along nicely, summer has definitely arrived and we haven't had any rain in about a month - nice for me but I guess not very nice for the wildlife who must be struggling terribly.

It is a year since I saw my first slow-worm in the garden and the population is booming, I regularly see 4 or 5 when I lift the covers, they certainly seem fat and healthy looking.





It is nice to see a baby too, hopefully as the years go on I will get more and more. I have put aside a pretty big area which is covered in hedge clippings, branches and grass clippings, with logs and corrugated metal sheeting too, the slow worms, wood mice and hogs all seem to like it.

I still get plenty of hedgehogs each night, at least 7 which I have tagged so can identify easily, and a few that I think are regular but who seem to be more intermittent with their visits, as far as I can tell most of the 'residents' are female so I guess they don't range as much. A couple of the females are visiting the feeder up to 5 or 6 times a night so I guess they have hoglets nearby, fortunately I haven't seen any at all so the mums must be doing a good job - the availability of water and food must give them a good chance of raising their young safely.



It can get pretty chaotic in the feeder sometimes as certain hogs will only eat from a particular bowl so there is a lot of bouncing around and snorting going on each evening, but on the grass it is quite peaceful...




Edited by chubsta - 30 Jun 2018 at 10:28am
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2018 at 11:34am
How wonderful to have so many hedgehogs! It must be very safe for them in your garden/their territory. 
I've not seen mine for several weeks, which isn't something in itself to worry about, but no droppings about seems to indicate no hedgehog visits. The nightly food is going but it could be a badger. I know badgers eat hedgehogs, but here they have  eaten side by side in the past. Maybe this time that's not the case. I don't have a night camera so I don't know what's going on. I keep up the nightly food and bowls and saucer of water. 
Also well done with the slow worms. If they like it there they will soon reach good numbers.
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2018 at 1:41pm
Badgers and hedgehogs have an 'asymmetric intraguild predatory relationship' which basically means they are competitors for the same food resources with badgers also preying upon hedgehogs (unlike a symmetric intraguild predatory relationship where both rival species also prey upon each other). The two species evolved together and so in the past this didn't matter, but since hedgehog numbers have already declined so much owing to changes in farming practices, increased road-building, pesticide usage and habitat loss/splintering, badger predation has become more of a problem in recent times. Particularly in areas of medium to high badger density.
However, the 3rd Badger Survey of England and Wales (BSEW) which took place over two winters (2012-13 and 2013-14) showed that despite many a farmer's claim of ongoing population explosions, although they have moved into a few new areas in central England, badger numbers are now largely at carrying capacity.

Edited by Liz Heard - 30 Jun 2018 at 1:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2018 at 8:29am
I remember this being covered on Countryfile. The farmer interviewed was convinced the badgers should be culled to increase hedgehog numbers and the ecologist pointed out that the hedgehog decline is because of loss of suitable habitat, due to farming practice. If hedgehogs had more foraging habitat with suitable cover, one would assume less likely that badgers would end up predating them and the natural balance between the two species would be restored.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:33am
We have finally had some rain which I am sure will have helped the wildlife!

Things have been very slow really, although a few new juvenile hogs have turned up some of my regulars have gone missing - I was very worried they had been injured or killed but then one turned up after a few weeks absence and was really fat so I think that someone else nearby may have started feeding them too, I guess the more people that do this the better and we stand a chance of increasing the population even further.

A real bonus this morning was that when clearing out duckweed from the pond I managed to scoop up a juvenile newt! I haven't seen any newts for a while as the pond is very overgrown now but I was hoping they had bred and this is the first concrete evidence of that.

Plenty of baby frogs hopping around, but also still have plenty of tadpoles which is surprising me, the pond has never looked healthier so I presumed there would be plenty of food for them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 4:36pm
Well done with your hedgehogs! I think mine have gone. Then I found a fresh dropping last week that looked hedgehog like, but I would expect more droppings if they were about. I've not seen any squashed on the road, but there could be other reasons they're not here now. The food goes every night - possibly badgers. I've not totally given up on them yet though...
I too have young frogs hopping about the garden, so hope all my mothering of the tadpoles came to something!
Suz
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