Taking a Friend Badger Watching

30 Days Wild, day 28: I'm never really sure just how aware the badgers are of me when I'm watching them and to what degree they are accepting my presence, so it's interesting to take a friend along occasionally, so see how the badgers react. I installed my friend in a canvas dome hide, which had been in place for the previous two nights so the badgers would get used to it, and then went up my ladder as I normally do. I had my camera on and he had a connected monitor, so he got the view that I had as well as what was in front of him. He'd never seen badgers before, apart from a brief glimpse of one crossing the road.

 The cubs like honey on their peanuts

There was a light westerly breeze, which worked in our favour, but in spite of that the badger cubs knew immediately that something was going on. They emerged about 10 minutes after we arrived, but just would not come out to the food I'd put down for them. Maybe they'd got a whiff of his insect repellent, which wasn't the same as mine! After half an hour of messing around, they disappeared into the brambles and mother badger appeared. She sniffed the air suspiciously, then snorted and galloped off down the nearest sett entrance. This wasn't going well.

After an hour, it was getting very dark and I was on the point of calling it a day when one cub appeared again. He now decided all was OK and came out to the peanuts. After five minutes of watching from the sett entrance, the second cub came out too. They ate for about 20 minutes and then suddenly rushed back to the sett, though what spooked them I've no idea. We quietly left at that point, but I turned on my camera trap before departing to see what happened next. The cubs came back to finish their peanuts fifteen minutes later.

Nervous badger cubs


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