Having been out at the sett the other night I’ve got a rough idea of the time when the badgers come out. This made it easy this evening to pop down for a quick look just at the time of dusk. Of course, it is always a good idea when badger watching to arrive early. It gives you a chance to arrive and get settled without disturbing the badgers, and if you arrive too late there’s always the danger of bumping into an early riser.
This evening was perfect, and the badgers emerged on cue at 8.15pm. Three badgers came out of the tangle of bushes in the middle of the sett area and disappeared into a hole at the west end. This hole has been enlarged in the last two days, and now has a very impressive spoil heap outside. Busy badgers!
Then another badger appeared in the central area, followed quickly by another. The second badger was undoubtedly a cub on one of its first trips outside.
I assume it was with its mother (I tend to regard all fairly slim badgers as female, on the flimsiest of evidence – nevertheless this one acted like a parent). The cub was small, but not as small as some I’ve seen, and it was still unsteady on its feet. It stayed very close to the sett entrance, with the mother keeping a close watch until she too wandered over to the other sett entrance, leaving the cub alone. Thanks mum! The cub took the hint and disappeared underground.
With all the badgers out of sight I took my chance and left. I had no desire tonight to spend hours up a tree, nor to thrash my way home through a pitch-dark wood. Not tonight, anyway.
So there we are. The first cub of the year. It is out quite early – last year I saw the first cub on April 21st. I wonder how many brothers and sisters it has? I wonder too what is happening at the sett, with at least two holes in very active use? There’s only one way to find out…keep watching!