Enjoying the continuing mild and (still!) dry weather that will end shortly the badgers were above ground for quite a long time last night, about six hours or so (from 18:44 to 3:07), and once again in a slightly frolicsome mood.
I moved a camera into the woods and hoped to record them following a trail of peanuts, above ground this time. Alas, I aimed it slightly too high and ended up hearing lots and seeing nothing. Still, the peanuts disappeared and they're now no more than 10m from the field at the edge of the woods.
Overnight the sett entrances seem larger and almost funnel like. The camera on the main entrance revealed some further digging, more this time from around the entrance than from underground. The digger wasn't just reversing out with soil from underground, but standing and sending it backwards, first with front feet and then kicking it away with a hind foot. First one, then the other--very jaunty.
After some days in which they seemed a bit subdued they recovered a spring in their step and noticeably weren't at all bothered by gusts of wind; previously they'd been a bit timid when it was windy -- jumpy, sniffing the air and staying close to the sett. There was a little chasing and one forced the other underground at one point. In addition, something happened that I have never seen when watching badgers and which happend so fast I didn't notice at first: one somersaulting into the sett! A roll? A push? Both? Hard to say, but amusing anyway.
The funnel-like entrance to the sett makes it possible now to roll home!