On my reconnaissance of the Pine Tree sett a few weeks ago I identified three separate holes spread out a hundred or so yards apart along a line roughly north-south. I’ve watched at the southern hole a couple of times but seen no badgers, and I’ve seen a single badger both times I’ve watched at the northern hole.
Where are the other badgers? I decided to spend a couple of hours watching the middle hole.
And now it’s time for a confession. The bracken has grown up over the past couple of weeks, and although I looked for the middle hole I couldn’t find it. Some outdoorsman I am!
Rather than go back home again I settled down to watch the southern hole. This is the one with the biggest spoil heap, so it should be occupied, and the spoil showed recent tracks. Perhaps I could clear up the mystery of why I’ve never seen any badgers there.
At 9.03pm a badger appeared. But it did not emerge from the hole, it came from the woods behind and then went into the hole. After another ten minutes or so it emerged again. This hole is under the roots of a pine tree, and the badger emerged from between the roots, just like a badger in a picture book.
Unfortunately the light had faded and my camera was struggling. The only decent picture I got is the one at the top of the post, and that isn’t very good. Shame. It would have been great to get a picture of the badger emerging from beneath the tree.
After a minute or two the badger trotted off into the depths of the wood. Nothing else happened.
I’m starting to suspect that there is only one badger at the sett. When I last saw the badger at the northern hole it emerged at 8.50pm and walked towards the southern hole. This is exactly the same thing I saw tonight. I need to get a clear picture and see if I can recognise it as the same badger.
It seems odd that there should be only one though. Is it normal for one badger to have three holes? Nor does this square the evidence I got from tracking, which showed multiple tracks on this side of the pasture field, or the well-worn paths in the area. Perhaps there are more and they still haven’t shown themselves, but I don’t think so.
If nothing else, this highlights my continuing ignorance of what constitutes a main sett and what is merely a subsidiary sett, and how these relate to clan relationships between different groups. As soon as I’ve worked it out I’ll let you know.