8 December 2013

Last night was quite a short night for the badgers, though the weather continues to be mild and dry. They were out at 22:25 and back underground at 1:57. One load of bedding was brought in (the biggest yet). One game of pat-you-on-the-head was attempted. One badger got some supper. One badger got none.

It's been noticeable that one badger is getting a bit bossy and last night ate the entire contents of the dish of food. A very polite companion sat nearby and waited, in vain.

The sentinel dish with some peanuts, farther along the path, wasn't disturbed. These badgers can well afford the odd evening with no food at this time of the year; though there were a few fresh signs of foraging in the woods.

A staple of the Irish badger at this time of year is the larvae of noctuid moths. These larvae, or cutworms, live in the soil and are a serious agricultural pest. Wild badgers slow down and don't need so much food in the winter months--they burn some of their accumulated reserves. If it gets too cold and miserable they're quite happy to stay in (bed) for days -- or even weeks -- at a time.

The cat reappeared overnight and then again first thing in the morning. He was out of luck too.