21 November 2013
Yesterday, for the first time, I threw away some soggy dried catfood that the badgers had left behind. Previously, when they'd left a bit and it hadn't rained, I just mixed in with the next night's rations, splitting it between the dishes. This time it was too far gone and there was too much to disguise, so into the compost it went.
Overnight, it seemed Ireland's best fed badgers celebrated their freedom, i.e., the removal of the fence, by eating nothing at all. Their dishes were untouched. Both had been placed slightly outside the perimeter of the enclosure, one not far from the rear entrance to the sett and one by a path into the wood (a better direction to go than away from it, toward a road). Hadn't they found the food? Were they so alarmed at the fence being removed that they'd stayed in for the night?
Wait, they must have found the food... a bundle of hay dropped a few feet further away was gone.
Then the cameras revealed: Yes, they found the food--both dishes. No, they didn't stay in.
They came out at 21:49 and were in evidence until just before 1AM. As they did on their first day in their enclosure, they did a lot of nose-down exploring (no games at all). This time it was noticeable that one or other went back to the sett every so often, and then set out again for another bit of exploration. When they met back at the sett at one point there was a cute bit of nosey-nosey. Their curiosity evidently overwhelmed their appetites for the evening. And yes, that bundle of hay was taken in.Exploring.