2 December 2013
A clement night -- dry and about 8 degrees. The badgers were out at 19:47 for a very routine bit of plodding around, snuffling here and there, before retiring early at 1:18. There were no high jinks on video, though the microphone of the camera with sound picked up a hint of some exuberant leaf rustling off camera -- not the sound of bedding being gathered, that's an unmistakeable noise like raking. The only interaction recorded was a brief bit of mutual grooming before they went underground.
One stash of peanuts under a board was found and another appeared to be ignored. The former was several meters further along a path I've made in what was a jungle of brambles at the edge of the wood and leading to a field, so that was good to see -- a few steps nearer the big wide world. Strangely, the other was quite close to the sett and they must have walked past it. Why? Perhaps, en route to the woods to look for the dish of food it wasn't worth stopping for (the dish was spotlessly clean in the morning, with no help from the cat). But afterwards?
Later: I discovered that there was no longer anything under the board. Mice?!
Some studies of what badgers find irresistable, done by Irish researchers interested in geting them to take oral vaccines, show that carob and cocoa powder are the business, along with honey. Honey glazed peanuts in chocolate would presumably be a badger's idea of scrumptious -- they have a very sweet tooth. As much as I'd like to butter their paws I don't think this would be a good idea, except on Christmas day perhaps, when they'll get the last of the frozen quail.