Having failed to see any badgers in the evening, I decided to take another approach. I was confident that the badgers feed in a large pasture field next to the wood, and it’s always been at the back of my mind to take a trip up there one night and see if I can spot them feeding. It being a damp and mild night with ideal conditions for the worms the badgers feed on, I decided to give it a go.
1.45am (way past my bedtime!) saw me walking slowly through the pasture with a dim torch. And there, snuffling around in the grass, was one of the adult badgers!
It didn’t seem too bothered by the torchlight, but carried on snuffling contentedly. I watched it for about five minutes and then left it to get on with its dinner. I was happy to have seen a badger in its own element, and proved that this method of watching them was possible. I may well stay up late on the next full moon and try this again.
Finally, an answer to those readers who think there should be more hedgehogs on this site (you know who you are!). Folk wisdom says that where there are badgers there are not usually many hedgehogs, presumably because one eats the other. I don’t know if that’s true, but I haven’t seen many hedgehogs around here.
So, especially for you, here’s a picture of an urchin that was feeding contentedly on the village green when I walked past. By the time I’d gone home and got the camera he was sitting in the middle of the road, which says a lot about hedgehogs.
I did try and pick him up and move him off the road, but I found out that the spines on a hedgehog are not just there for show – they really are sharp and spiky! This may sound obvious, but I’d never tried to pick up a hedgehog before. I did manage to move him to the side of the road, and left him there out of harm’s way, spiny and verminous, but safe.