25 November 2019

19th November

A filthy wet night with continuous rain for 8 hours. I switched the camera on the sett to photos only but ... no photos. It seems Roger was in and out too quickly for the camera, but his food disappeared alright.

20th November

Another wet night, but not so cold (it rained from 2AM through to 10AM). Despite the rain Roger looked to have been active. His dish was moved a long way and the old main entrance has been dug out just enough to be used. First and last photos show he was out from 16:26 to 02:14, so he headed underground not long after the rain started.

21st November

Roger was out from 17:00 to 04:08. It rained from 5PM to 1AM. A little more digging out of the old main entrance.

23rd November

Yet another wet night with rain from 7PM to 2AM. Roger disappeared underground at 3AM. The rain resumed at 4AM for many more hours.

24th November

It was a relatively dry night, finally!

The forecast was for still more rain. Roger's fence would have to come down today or he'd have to wait who knows how much longer.

We started in mid-afternoon thinking we had until 4:30PM or so before it got dark and Roger would be awake.

Roger suddenly appeared in broad daylight at 3:30PM, while the fence was half-down.

Uh oh!

He was clearly quite excited, unafraid, and feeling a bit boisterous. I put the unstaked sections of fence back upright quickly and fetched a small camera.

The end of Roger's life in captivity comes with some excitement.

Roger's coat was quite a bit more sandy-coloured than I remembered but he looked dry and well. Happily, he didn't make an immediate dash for freedom. After some exuberant thundering around he lay down on top of the spoil heap outside the sett, almost like cat by the fire, with paws tucked up and back legs stretched out, to do a leisurely bit of people-watching.

Roger takes a break. He yawned as he relaxed.

He wandered away in a not-ideal direction (away from the wood, toward a road) as soon as the fence was being rolled up. Then he reappeared unexpectedly about 50m away in the opposite direction, exploring calmly.

He was last seen exploring the woodland paths as the light faded.

Later he set off exploring the neighbourhood.

25th November

The camera on the sett revealed that he stayed out until 05:46 (late!). Before he went below ground he half-demolished my repair of what I had assumed might be the "master bedroom". He ate only a little food – not too surprising given his long and exciting day.

There was some overnight high-jinks at the peanut dish visited by wild badgers (and perhaps in future by Roger). A passing badger nudged the top a little bit off the dish but, unusually, didn't dine out at once. Two mice took advantage of the opportunity to get into the dish and were discovered by another badger a couple of hours later. One was chased and the other made a hasty escape in the opposite direction.

Two mice have a narrow escape.

The wild badgers scent-mark the ground near the dish when they pass by. This is how Roger and other badgers will know of each other's presence.


Roger in his incubator at the Kildare Animal Foundation. Photo: Dan Donoher