31 October 2019

Fresh batteries in the cameras and a warmer night resulted in good collection of video clips overnight. Roger was out and about from 17:30 to 02:12.

Naturally, one question for anyone keeping a social animal in, in effect, solitary confinement, is whether its behaviour is normal.

Badgers can live alone but they prefer company and, above all, they enjoy playing and a little social interaction (mutual grooming, scent marking etc.) before going about the business of looking for food and establishing and maintaining their territory. So far there were no clips of any exuberance – running, "ninja" moves – or even just relaxing. Until now.

As can be seen here, Roger hasn't lost the joie de vivre a young adult badger ought to have. All he needs is a companion to play tag and roughhouse with (the game of I'll bite your ears).

At one point here he seems to react to something outside his enclosure. It could have been a passing badger. Or a deer, a fox, a hedgehog, or a pine marten, all of which live in or pass through the wood and are active at night. Or even a passing cat.

A passing pine marten a couple of nights ago, about 50m from the sett

Some former residents of the sett pass nearby regularly, lured by dish of peanuts which only they know how to access. I've never yet recorded any interaction between wild and soon-to-be wild badgers or even seen any evidence of awareness of each other's existence.

Roger, meanwhile, is settling in. He's not done much in the way of excavation but the sett's number of entrances has grown by 1, to 7. At least a couple of which are accidental (that's not counting the bedroom "skylight"). The new one is a side entrance off the original main entrance.