Filming Badgers in Daylight

The badger cubs are a serious lot. I’m still not seeing as much play as I’d expect from them - they are more interested in food and are growing up fast. I sometimes hear whickering noises coming from the brambles, so maybe their play goes on unobserved. I’d decided that the six were made up of a pair of twins and a family of four, but now I’m not so sure. They all move around independently much of the time and now I think it more likely that they’re two sets of triplets.

Two cubs find an easy snack

Most of my badger watching is done in total darkness, using an old camcorder with a ‘nightshot’ switch that allows it to see infrared and gives me grainy green and white video. Currently the badger cubs are coming out at about 8:30, so there’s plenty of daylight left and it’s a great opportunity to get some colour video.

Filming badger cubs (in the brambles)

I’ve been trying to film them from the ground at close range, using a remote control on my SLR camera. I’ve had the gear for a year or so, but never made serious use of it before. On Tuesday evening it worked fine and I got some nice footage, but on Wednesday the same set-up just didn’t work. On Saturday evening I gave up on it and decided to sit behind the camera just a few feet from the peanuts and control it manually. Rather to my surprise, that worked. The cubs came out one by one and by 9:30 I had all six cubs and an adult in a scrum, within three metres of me. I had to sit completely still – not easy when a cloud of mosquitoes is eating your ankles.

The cubs in daylight


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