Over the many years of watching wildlife I have seen the most elusive of animals such as bitterns and badgers, some of the rarest of birds such as red-breasted flycatchers and yellow-browed warblers, I have encountered porcupines in rainforests and held a leaf mimic in my hand but what had always eluded me was the good old hedgehog. I had captured these prickly characters on my camera trap but had never actually encountered one ‘in the flesh.’ Hedgehog numbers are declining dramatically and the possibility that I may never see one in my lifetime left me feeling a little sad.
After journeying ten hours to Lochaline in Scotland in hope of seeing a golden eagle, what we found instead was just as rewarding. In hope of finding a fish ‘n’ chip shop in this sleepy little village, what we found instead was a hedgehog wandering aimlessly along the roadside. It was a truly magical moment. We didn’t see the golden eagle, but for me, the hedgehog was well worth the trip! Sometimes the best wildlife moments are the ones that take you completely by surprise.