It’s been a beautiful spring day – warm and sunny. It’s a great feeling after the cold winter we’ve had. The daffodils and the blackthorn are blooming, the hazels and hawthorns are in bud, and the first butterflies are up and about. There was even a skylark up in the clear blue sky, giving a wonderful summer feel to the day.
I decided that today would be the perfect day for my first badger watching session of the year. It is still a little early, as the badgers will only be emerging just as it is getting dark, but I thought I’d give it a go and see.
It was good to be back in the wood again. A small herd of fallow deer crossed the path a hundred yards or so ahead of me, and the buzzard was flying round the trees. I can never tire of watching the buzzard when it does this; there is is something truly wild about seeing and hearing such an impressive bird of prey at close quarters.
The wind was blowing from the right direction for me to sit in my favourite tree. The good thing about watching badgers at this time of year is that the undergrowth has not yet grown up to block the view, so I could see the whole sett from my perch. It looked like a number of sett entrances were in regular use, and the paths and play areas looked well trodden. The badgers have obviously been busy.
I sat in the tree from 6.30pm until just after 8.00, but sadly the badgers did not oblige. I did not see so much as a whisker on a stripey nose. I guess they are still emerging after dusk.
By 8.10pm it was getting too dark to see, even with binoculars, so I called it a night. Even without the badgers it was good to get out again, to just sit in a tree in a wood and do nothing. And besides, it shows that even after four years of watching badgers I still can’t guarantee anything. I’ll try again in a week or so.
Note to self: even though it’s a warm day, and you’re too hot when walking, after the sun has gone down and you’ve been sitting still for an hour it gets bloody freezing. Wear your waistcoat or an extra jumper next time!