20 November 2013
The badgers stayed below ground until 2:05 and were back underground again at 3:22. Both dishes were more or less cleaned up but food under a board was ignored again (or rather not found because they weren't out long enough--or hungry enough). It was too cold for games and there was even some hesitation about dragging in a perfectly placed bundle of hay; eventually it was irresistable. They must have half a haystack in their bed chamber now.
The soil temperature a metre below ground at a nearby weather station a couple of days ago, during the day, was 7 degrees -- several degrees above the ambient temperature outside at the time. The sett is at least that deep and must be a bit warmer as result of being insulated.
It was noticeable that one of the badgers was more in the mood for frolics. One of the dishes was placed in front of a camera for a change. One badger ate steadily while the other, who had perhaps already eaten, clearly wanted to play, and then having failed to get a chase settled down to help finish the food. Shortly afterwards they retired for their last night in captivity.
When they next emerge they'll be wild badgers -- at least, they'll be free to go if they wish. Hopefully they will take it slowly and explore on warm nights.Serious diner and would-be playmate. Taking a quail.