5 December 2013

Yet another warm dry night. The badgers were out from 19:15 to 5:20 (new record). This time they found not just the peanuts on the trail to the field, but also the buried nuts. They also ripped some bark off a fallen log; something they also did to a dead tree when in their enclosure.

It was just as well they found the buried nuts. Like an amnesiac squirrel I'd forgotten where exactly they were. I buried one more cache before sundown and marked the spot with a stick stuck in the ground, so that I could see on camera if they dug in the right place, and so I could check it the next day. I thought it would get flattened, but not a bit of it.

They nosed along, encountered the stick, stopped, sniffed it, paused, then quite comically, sniffed it all the way up, then all the way down, then carried on. Then did the same thing coming back. Only on the 2nd encounter were the buried peanuts found -- and then eaten quite daintily, sitting down. All the rest were exhumed except a few about a metre from the exit to the field.

They found and ate from their dish of food on the path to the field. Apart from the night the fence came down I think they've found their dishes (now just one) each time; if they missed a night I've already forgotten.

They returned to the sett at 4AM but didn't feel like going below ground just yet. One spent an hour clearing soil and some leaves from the entrance to the sett, pausing occasionally to look in the direction the other had gone -- it headed off for a while -- as if it could heard. At 5AM they sat outside the sett and did some affectionate mutual grooming for several minutes before first one, then the other, retired -- after a last bit of clearing away leaves. Usually badgers do their socialising before setting out in the evening. It was nice to see them relaxing above ground before down for the day.

A more extended bit of mutual grooming with a brief "by daylight" clip appended showing the main entrance to the sett.