11 March, 2024

No sign of the badgers overnight.

I checked the CCTV until well past the small hours. This morning revealed that their food was untouched and the rest of their used bedding straw left out for them before dark was sodden with some overnight drizzle. A trailcam I put on a nearby tree and covering the main set entrance hadn't recorded anything at all.

Could they have escaped?

Careful review of the CCTV from the night before revealed that one went underground at 5:21AM, but not via one of the main sett entrances, instead via one out of sight of the camera covering those--and not so much a sett entrance as a surely accidental hole in the roof of an underground passage.

Her companion ran around as if looking for her until 6:34AM and then suddenly disappeared. The disappearance looked like a result of her standing still long enough for the motion-activated recording to stop, after which she may have gone underground too quickly for it to resume. She was near the sett.

The fence, including the warning tape, appears perfectly unchanged. It was erected with maximum care and in the knowledge that a badger is a powerful creature potentially capable of forcing its way out, particularly if, e.g., there was a power cut (hence the inner warning tape fence using battery-powered energiser; sometimes in the past after exuberant play it has ended up knocked about and needing reinstatement).

For now I'm guessing that the badgers may have exhausted themselves the previous night and are sleeping it off. They are older than cubs we've had in the past and, well, perhaps teenage badgers need more sleep? Will they put their excess energy into some sett renovations and settle for long enough that they can find their way back for additional food before moving on?

Trailcams covering the entrance to the main part of the wood showed no badger traffic overnight and a transiting badger the night before didn't pass the enclosure, so elopements should be off the agenda–for now. Another one recorded a hedgehog moving into our wood, a more welcome visitor than the foxes and deer who like to waste my trailcam batteries.