A Chilly Badger Watch

It was 5° C, with an icy easterly wind in Badger Wood last night. As the sun went down, pheasants came in from the fields to roost in the trees. They spend most of the day on the ground, but it’s safer for them to spend the night up a tree.

Up my tree, I had a long wait for a badger to appear, only for it to wander off immediately. After another long wait, another badger slowly emerged from the sett and came over to the peanuts I'd left out for them. It ate for ages and then, when it was totally dark, I heard rustling in the leaf litter and another two badgers suddenly appeared – the dominant boar and sow, I think.

The first badger gave way, leaving the two newcomers to eat together. It retreated to the hole it had emerged from, lay on its back and had a good grooming session. It washed its face with its paws just like a cat, but lying on its back with its legs in the air! When the pair had finished eating, they came over to the other badger and they all greeted each other with nuzzles and scent marking. Then all three wandered off to the top end of the sett. All was quiet so it was a good time for me to depart.

What badgers do when nobody is looking


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