I made a quick visit to the wood this evening, after work. A pleasant, dry evening, with a cuckoo calling from the fields and a light breeze stirring the leaves.
On a hunch I sat out at the east end of the sett. This is the less visible side of the sett, which is on a low rise in the ground so it is impossible to see right across it from this end, while the jungle of nettles and elder bushes obscures the centre of the sett. The badgers could hardly have chosen a more private spot if they tried. Nevertheless, there are a couple of active holes that are visible on the edge of the hill, plus a well-used ‘play area’, where the badgers have worn the ground smooth and bare of leaf litter. I particular, they seem to like to run round and round one of the trees, judging from the polished soil.
At 8.35 an adult badger emerged from one of the holes and trotted off into the nettles in the centre of the sett. It didn’t reappear, nor did any others. After half an hour I called it a day and crept slowly off. I didn’t see any cubs but at least I saw a badger – it’s been a while. As a consolation I sat at the bottom of the pasture field and watched a fox wandering backwards and forwards hunting insects. It was a particularly mangy individual, which is unusual around here. I wonder if it is one of the cubs I watched last year?
Altogether a slightly frustrating evening, but enjoyable nonetheless. There is something strangely pleasant about sitting quietly in a wood or in a field, even if you don’t see much. I’ll go back to my usual spot at the west end of the sett as soon as I can and see if I can get a better view of things.