Badger Watching

The good thing about badger watching is that it’s different every time - there are no repeats. A few days ago I was a bit late getting down to Badger Wood and it was already getting dark when I arrived. The nights are drawing in so quickly now that it’s hard to keep up. Badger cubs were running around in the woods already, playing tag. I got to my seat as quickly and quietly as I could and before long I had two of them eating peanuts in front of me. One finished eating and wandered off, to be replaced by another cub and an adult. They finished the peanuts and went back to the sett. I was just about to pack up and leave when two cubs came rushing out of the brambles and had a scrap in the clearing in front of me. They ran off into the darkness, but a few minutes later I heard loud squealing noises coming from the other end of the wood – they were having a riot!

Badger cubs having a play fight

Two days later it was totally different. I arrived a bit earlier and got to my seat before any badgers had emerged. Before long, four cubs tunnelled through the brambles and came to investigate the peanuts. It was still light, so they decided it wasn’t safe and went back down the sett. A few weeks ago they wouldn’t have cared, but now they’re much more cautious. Half an hour later, they emerged again one by one and came to the peanuts. I eventually had up to five cubs and two adults feeding right in front of me, all pushing and shoving in their efforts to get every last peanut. Finally they finished the food and within a minute all the badgers had gone. The rooks were settling down by now and a barn owl flew over, screeching loudly. Then all was quiet.

The clan squabble over the last few peanuts

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