Badger Communication

On Friday night I got to the badger sett early and settled down for a long wait. The badgers hadn’t been fed peanuts for a couple of weeks, so I wasn’t sure if they’d find them at all. From my high seat, 10ft up, I could see badgers moving around amongst the brambles, but for a long time none came near the food.

The first two arrivals

Eventually, one came to the hole in front of me, paused for a while, and then came out to the food. Within a few seconds, another badger appeared over to my left and came straight across to the peanuts. It was quickly followed by a third badger. More appeared from different directions and within a couple of minutes I had seven badgers in front of me. I was amazed at how quickly the news had spread – it was just as if it had been announced on the Tannoy!

Feeding frenzy

They have incredibly good hearing so I suppose they just heard the chomping of teeth on peanuts and came running. They soon started squabbling over the last few peanuts. I sometimes feel guilty that I’m causing dissention in this close-knit family group, but when the peanuts are finished all rivalry is forgotten and they start to play.

Raking up mown bracken

Sunday was our regular monthly work day at North Cliffe Wood, near Market Weighton. While mowing and raking up bracken in the heathland area, we came across the shed skin of a Grass snake. It was about a metre long, but clearly had a large bit missing, so this was one huge snake. We found a separate piece of skin from its head, complete with the eyes.

Shed Grass snake skin

The head end

Last year I photographed a large Grass snake here that had 'milky' eyes, indicating that it was just about to shed its skin, eyes and all. Sure enough, a few days later, the skin was found.

Grass snake with milky eyes (June 2013)

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