Hedgehog in the Garden

There’s a Hedgehog in the Garden

So yelled the rest of the family. Now we always have a “pet” hedgehog in the garden, or two. No they are not really pets, but seem to like our garden so are always there in summer. I assume that they bury themselves in the undergrowth and hibernate in winter. And before anyone asks or comments, we don’t feed them – they seem to be able to find sufficient food on their own.

Despite many attempts I have never been able to capture an image of them. They are nocturnal. I have often stood outside and heard one or more hedgehogs moving around, tracking them with a torch but never being able to catch a decent image. A couple of time I have almost stood on one and had it curl up into a ball and freeze. So this was a first, having an apparently health hedgehog wandering around, and not at all concerned about me being a few metres away.

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Photographing the Hedgehog

These are both grab shots. Without setting out lighting and baiting the animal I suspect you haven’t a hope of a good shot. The hedgehog was moving purposefully towards some undergrowth, but stopped briefly and looked at me.

Camera details: 1/128s at f/5.6 ISO 640 on a 70-300mm lens at 300mm (Canon EOS60D). Image stabiliser was obviously working as this is about 2 stops compensation.

The important part of the camera setup was that I always keep my cameras handy, set on P mode and Auto ISO. The 60D has the ISO limiter set to 6400, and of course, autofocus is on (I normally use rear button focus) and the image stabiliser on the lens is on.

It’s nice to just grab a shot sometimes!

Interesting Update – 17 July 2016  

We  spotted the hedgehog again, this time about 6:30 p.m. This is much too early for a hedgehog to be out. We contacted the local hedgehog watch (yes there is such a thing). Andrew came around and had a look. She is actually a 1 year old, nursing her first litter. She is actually a healthy  animal, but probably very hungry. With a little bit of care an patience he was able to find her nest complete with 4 baby hedgehogs approximately 3 weeks old. We don’t normally feed the hedgehogs, as there is enough natural food out. But for a couple of weeks we will leave a bit out to support our hedgehog family.

We take the hedgehogs for granted, but they are under threat. Wander over to the Hogwatch site and have a look.

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