Swallows and Badgers

I’m back on my own ‘local patch’ in East Yorkshire now, after a superb holiday in Shetland. Since I left, the swallows have built a nest in my porch. I put up an artificial nest to help them out. In the past they have nested in it, but this time they’ve just used it as a support and built their own complete nest on top.

The swallows' nest

On Monday, when I got home, the nest looked finished, but there were no eggs in it. Now there are two eggs. But where are the birds? They don’t seem to be spending much time on the nest and I fear the eggs may be getting chilled. I’m doing my best to avoid disturbing them.

Just two eggs so far

When I went away, there was still no sign of any badger cubs at the sett in badger wood. They are usually above ground at the end of April, but a week into May there were none. When I got back, I put a camera trap outside the sett. Yesterday I went back to check it at about 6:30pm and was disappointed to find no pictures at all. I was just resetting the camera when I noticed a movement in the brambles – probably a rabbit, I thought. I looked … and saw a badger! Then another. And another! An adult and two cubs in fact.

A muddy cub in the nettles

Rummaging in the leaf litter

They went into dense undergrowth, so I walked around to the other side of the sett, where I might get a better view from the lane. I was conscious of the noise of my wellies on the tarmac as I approached, but was then amazed to see the two cubs on my side of the fence, rummaging in the leaf litter amongst the nettles. I stood still as they approached to within a metre of me. I watched them for a couple of minutes before a car came along and they ran off into the undergrowth again.

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