30 October 2019

Monday 28th

Roger appeared at the rear entrance close to the fence at 6:25pm just as I was turning on the camera. The sudden appearance of black and white stripes in the corner of one's eye in the fading light always gives a jolt (not as much as the day, a few years back, when I was on the other side of the fence and the stripes were at my feet). With a wild badger that feeling is evidently mutual if one's presence is detected, and is followed by disappearance, possibly for a long time, even for the rest of the evening. I held my breath for a moment, but Roger seemed unperturbed and studied me with no sign of apprehension. I slipped away.

He dug a 2nd, larger, latrine overnight and took in the bundle of straw left for him, but it was too cold for either of the cameras to work.

Tuesday 29th

The first task every morning is to check the electric fence, principally to ensure that it's not shorting to ground via sticks or windblown leaves, but also to ensure that it's still secure – that all of the stakes (one every 30cm) are still in place.

Today I found a bit of fence completely lifted off the stake that I'd had to put it at an angle (because of stones). Yikes. Has he gone? A determined badger, or a sufficiently frightened one, is easily physically capable of escape. The fence is just to discourage premature departure, much as one shuts up a new cat for a while until it's got its bearings.

If he stayed in for a night if wouldn't be the first time the escaped or sleeping? question had arisen (one of the last two found a way, somehow, without leaving any clues, or a note).

Again it was too cold for the cameras or, rather, for the batteries. However, the food left out disappeared and the new latrine was enlarged, and the roof repair was investigated.

I fixed the stake and put in another.

Wednesday 30th

Roger is still here. His food was eaten, new bedding was taken in, and the roof repair was further investigated – he'd even bitten off a bit of the plastic sack – risking having a leaky skylight.

It was less cold overnight (7C) and the camera close to the sett recorded a few clips of Roger bringing in some straw. Instead of bringing in each of four small bundles that had been left for him, he decided to bundle them up together and try to bring them all in at once. Some got left in the entrance, but he's got enough fresh dry bedding now – if the roof doesn't leak. Then again, he may have a choice of bedrooms; it's impossible to know for sure.

Winter duvet time.