I can't really think of anyone or anything I'd love to see more of in my garden than hedgehogs. When I was a kid, there were two families living in the far back of the garden and they used to come and help themselves with all the cat food, milk and dog food leftovers we have 'accidentally' been hiding away from cats and dogs ;-). Even though they are nocturnal animals, they would come during the day, and you could hear them munching away in the little 'take away' we made for them in the bushes. A few years ago, after house restoration and army of workers storming through the garden and with all the waste thrown about, they have found a safer home somewhere in the neighborhood. Many roads and many new buildings have been built since then, and their habitat has become significantly smaller. And their life significantly more dangerous, especially with the roads and all. Apart from our property and the neighbors, there's not much around us other than concrete and more concrete. It's sad really, without thinking about how much it affects wildlife, I still felt sad to see all that wonderful greenery and old cottage gardens turn into concrete monsters. Thinking about all the little creatures that lost their homes, it's even more dispiriting. I don't even know why I wonder how all the moles and company mess up my lawn...there's not many more lawns to choose from.
Last couple of years they have returned, bit by bit, especially with cat food being left outside for Kristy & Krusty's friends. The other night they were really noisy (it could be that they prefer Whiskas to Kitekat so they made all the noise in protest), actually I think it was a ma or pa and a young one and they were showing him where to find food for free. And then the next day I spotted this young dude or dudette while watering the veg garden. They usually roll up into a ball, but this one seemed quite naive. I went back in for a better camera, but obviously when I came back, the lil bugger was gone, nowhere to be seen. All in all, made my day.
One of the rare guests in the garden was this Pine marten last summer; a lightning smashed down a massive old tree in the neighborhood, where this brave animal used to live so it just showed up in our garden, jumping from trees to trees, like Tarzan himself, eating pears along the way. I wasn't sure what it was at first, until I took a good shot of it.
Pine Marten(Martes martes) : habitat: mostly forests, but has lost a part of the living space due to decreasement of forestry areas. Present all over Croatia, but is most frequent in forests of the mountain areas. Neck and chest are of yellow/white coloured hair, while the top of the snout is black. Active day and night in forestry areas, a good climber and jumper and stays in the holes. Feeds on small mammals, rodents, birds (young ones and eggs), insects, but various vegetable fruits too. Often killed for it's beautiful fur; its population is decreasing rapidly and is now locally protected.