As a BTO bird ringer, you never know just when your skills will be called upon. On Tuesday evening, Mike Toms and Dave Leech were on the way back from a ringing session on The BTO's Nunnery Reserve when they spotted a Hedgehog dangling from a cricket practice net. The unfortunate animal had obviously put its head through one of the holes while foraging and, in its efforts to escape, had become ever more tangled.
Much of a ringers' training involves learning how to extract birds quickly and safely from mist nets, so Mike and Dave wasted no time in transferring these skills to a different taxon. While spines are less forgiving on the hands than feathers and warblers don't tend to hamper activities by curling up into a tight ball when touched, a combination of manual dexterity and a pair of scissors provided by Chris Wernham soon saw the hapless hog free and taken into care for observation. Reports that it was 'bowled over' by the concern displayed have yet to be confirmed.