Today was the day of the long-awaited first England game of the World Cup. All over the country, people have been putting flags on their cars, buying HD televisions and stocking up with crates of lager. After weeks of anticipation, England faced the US this evening and everything else came to a standstill.
I’ve never much cared about football myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like England to win – I’m as patriotic as the next chap – I just have other things to do instead. Most people think I’m mad for doing what I do. Fair enough. I think they’re mad for getting so worked up over a game. Let’s just agree to disagree.
The weather was warm and clear, so while everyone else was glued to their TV sets, I walked through our eerily deserted village for an evening of lurking in the woods. My badger watching has not been very successful this season, so I was pleased when a badger came out of one of the middle holes at 8.02pm. It disappeared underground fairly soon after though.
At 8.16 another badger came out of one of the western holes, and again went back fairly quickly. I don’t think I disturbed them. There was very little wind, and what there was, was in the right direction. The badgers were just not interested in hanging around.
At 8.45 I saw the elder bushes in the centre part of the eastern end of the sett shaking and rustling. Through the binoculars I could see another badger ambling around in the cover of the undergrowth. Shortly after 9.00, the badger from the middle hole came out and headed off eastwards, followed a few minutes later by the one from the western hole.
It wasn’t a totally wasted evening. I saw the badgers (or some of them, at least) and I know that they’re active in all parts of the sett. But I still haven’t seen any cubs yet, and I haven’t seen any real social behaviour from the badgers this year. In previous years they would sit around and play and groom together, up to twelve badgers in a big group. This year I’ve only seen individual badgers with very little interaction. They may be doing it out of sight, or there may be something odd going on. I don’t know. I’m still trying to get to grips with the badgers. In football terms, let’s call the evening a draw. Badgers 1 – BWM 1.