The first badger emerged last night at 19:49, later than they have done on comparably warm nights recently, and they stayed close to the sett for a couple of hours. They seemed quite wary and didn't relax for some time. They did eventually however, and went exploring in the wood, found and ate all of their food (apparently), brought in another bit of hay, and were back underground at 1:40AM, which is the earliest they've been below ground for a while.
When I say that they "apparently" ate all their food I mean that the dishes were empty, but that they may not necessarily have been emptied by badgers. Now that the dishes are out in the woods badger leftovers are fair game for anything that passes, so it's hard to be sure without video evidence who did the eating.
Last night's videos showed:
- A cat trying and failing to remove the cover on the dish (held on with a rock) -- before the badgers were out
- Badgers eating
- A cat having a snack -- between badger visits
- Another badger eating
Followed by a cat eating leftovers (almost nothing left) first thing the following morning (6AM).Now you see it, now you don't. One of the badgers decides (between video clips) to take the egg back to the sett even though it's a long way away--the dish is further into the woods.
Benji is quite deferential when it comes to food. He waited--he actually lay down and had a good scratch--for Róisín for knock the top off the dish. She only did so the second time she passed it. He then waited until she'd eaten most of the food before starting to eat. Previously I thought that it was the less confident Benji who hurried away with food. This time it was almost certainly Róisín, who is noticeably keener on her food.