Tonight quite late, around 11.00 pm, I heard a noise somewhere outside and fairly near to the backdoor. The sky was cloudy and so it was very, very dark. I opened the door but in the pitch darkness I couldn’t see anything. I waited and strained my eyes but still nothing was visible. My fingers moved up and down the wall trying to locate the outside light switch as my eyes glued to the darkness tried to see what it was making the noise. Then as the light was turned on I saw the round shape towards the end of the house – it was the first hedgehog of Spring. It was a fair size but still a little dozy after its very long Winter nap. It has been such a long and cold Winter this year that whereas normally hedgehogs will awake from hibernation when the temperature lifts a little, this year they have not had the chance to take in a few extra nibbles here and there throughout the long Winter spell. It is most probably that only the very fittest and fattest have survived so it is important to help to build them back up again.
This one was munching on some cat food that I had placed down in anticipation of their arrival. It was most probably a he by its size and he was so drowsy that he continued to eat his supper even though I was standing near enough to take a picture or two. After I had taken the photographs, I went back inside and found him a handful of large soft white Marcona almonds as payment for his patience with me.