I’ve been in Scotland for a few days, but today I was most definitely back in England. As I walked through the village there was a game of cricket being played on the village green, while the church bells rang out in the summer evening air. It was the quintessential English scene. If I was John Betjeman I would have written a gentle poem about it.
But I’m not. Just a simple (very) amateur naturalist. I was on my way up to the wood to see how the badgers at the main sett were getting on. It’s been a while since I looked in on them, having been spending time at the Pine Tree sett.
As it turned out it was a frustrating evening. At 8.53 a badger emerged from the west end of the sett and promptly trotted off into the impenetrable jungle at the east end. Another badger emerged and did the same, then another.
I waited for another half an hour but nothing else happened. The badgers did not come back and no more emerged. I could hear nothing from the eastern part of the sett – normally if the badgers are congregating there you’ll hear rustling or whickering noises.
Perhaps the recent dry weather has got the badgers more preoccupied with food than with sitting around or playing. They have to work harder and longer for worms in these dry spells, which means they tend to start foraging earlier.
One point to note is that all three badgers were quite small. I can’t confidently say they were cubs because I didn’t see them for that long, but they had that look about them. The third badger also had a noticeably long tail, which I can’t remember seeing before. If this is a distinguishing feature I’ll have to look out for it in the future.