3 November 2013

It was a bit of a wild night last night and quite cold again. The badgers didn’t emerge from the main entrance until 22:55, though there was single flash of light from the back of an eye at 20:08 for a fraction of a second, like the wink of a lighthouse in the wind and rain. Very little action was recorded by the camera outside the main entrance – a few clips in 5 minutes of badgers feeding and then nothing after 23:00. One notable thing was a quail being taken underground again (by Benji I think, in hurry away before anyone sees mode). Some acorns, served up with their food, were left behind. So, whatever they were eating earlier that I thought might have been acorns probably wasn’t.

The least amount of badger you can see

Did they spend the night in? No! It was a very different story at the new entrance. One of the badgers, after some hesitation about coming out, spent from 9:04PM to 1:45AM digging -- reversing out backwards mostly, with the odd backward kick with a rear foot. The spoil heap featured bits of newspaper that had been taken in via the other entrance along with straw from their box, so it looks as if the entrances join up underground (I wasn’t sure of that earlier; the new one is a good few feet away—6 or 8). There was further confirmation in the form of a small squadron of large bluebottles making sorties down the new entrance this morning.

There were no new signs of digging elsewhere in the enclosure and the latrine doesn’t seem to have been used again since the first night. Overnight quite a few twigs and leaves had fallen and were touching the fence. We cleared it first thing this morning and again at dusk. As I was doing so at 16:45, thinking it would be a while before the badgers were awake, I heard unmistakeable and surprisingly loud thunk thunk thunk sounds of a badger having a scratch underground. Their sleeping quarters can’t be very deep yet. They should, however, be dry. We left some extra straw out this evening.

Badger at work (out head first for once)

First time both badgers appear at the new entrance