18 November 2019
We had no visits to our end of the wood from wild badgers for several days (since the night of the dog on the loose). Naturally, whenever badgers don't visit one hopes it's just bad weather or random factors at work, not a cull or road deaths. I was glad to see the top knocked off the peanut dish overnight. That was a cue to go check on another camera I had put up a few days ago to check on one of the possible routes the visitors may be taking.
Sure enough, I had a video of a badger with a muddy nose but it was 2 nights ago and it appeared to go off in a different direction, away from us. Of course, badgers visit our end of the wood and don't always take peanuts.
One morning recently I found some deep scratch marks beside the dish and the top still firmly on. The camera revealed a young badger had sat in front of it and dragged his paws in the ground on each side apparently in frustration. He could smell something tasty but hadn't yet discovered or seen what needed to be done. I saved the video clip with the title "dummy badger" – a first.
This year a fox watched badgers getting peanuts on a few occasions and subsequently pulled the board off with this teeth one night and scoffed their nuts. Switching from a board plus rock to a concrete roof tile foiled him immediately: easy for a badger to knock off, but too heavy and impossible for a fox to get his teeth into.
The badger clip was followed by one of a fox. And that was followed by two of a pine marten. Here's one:
Time to report the pine marten to the All-Ireland Squirrel and Pine Marten Survey.
Interestingly, it appears from the reported sightings that can be inspected online that there are no grey squirrels anywhere near us, though I see one very occasionally, but red squirrels were recorded in an adjacent wood as recently as September.
The recovery of the native red squirrel is supposedly associated with the come-back of the pine marten, both of which are now protected species. With luck we'll soon see red squirrels around us.
Roger doesn't need to worry yet about foxes stealing his lunch. He gets a board on top of his dish to keep the rain off, but no rock or roof tile yet.
I didn't put up any cameras to record Roger last night. Here's a clip of him taking some straw bedding underground in his mouth, more like a dog than badger – at least compared to badgers I have known!
It was warm and dry last night, for a change. The temperature didn't drop below 6 Centigrade, but it didn't induce Roger to start on any home improvements.