You may recall that I dealt with a roadkill badger a couple of weeks ago. I was concerned that the badger had been killed next to a field that forms part of my usual Sunday morning tracking/ birdwatching walk, and I hoped that the dead badger wasn’t the one that I had become accustomed to tracking.
Well, I went for my usual Sunday walk this morning, and I’m pleased to say that the badger is alive and well and still making tracks.
Tracking really is a fascinating activity. I spent an hour totally absorbed by the animal tracks in a hundred yards of footpath up one single field. Over the last 24 hours a badger, a fox, several Chinese Water Deer and a small herd of fallow deer had all walked up this path. It was a tracker’s heaven!
We’ve had a combination of rain showers and sunshine recently, so the normally hard-packed clay in this field is soft in places, but still firm in others. Many of the tracks showed up only as smudges in the fine silt on top of the clay. In a strange way it is more satisfying to find and follow these faint images.
Here’s another set of badger tracks. Note the claws on the front paw on the right.
Here’s where the fox and badger walked side by side (actually, the fox was there first – on the next set of prints I found that the badger’s track overlay the fox’s)
The badger’s front paw print is on the top left, its rear paw on the bottom left and the fox on the right.
Who would have thought that a short stretch of path could prove so interesting – and so informative. If you’ve never tried tracking then give it a go next time you’re out and about. It really does add an extra dimension to your knowledge of the wildlife in your area. And it’s great fun too!