I commute into work on the train so I drive to the station each morning. Instead of driving the quick way on the main roads I get up a little earlier and drive a longer route along the country lanes. I like this – there’s always a chance of coming across the local wildlife on the quieter roads and in the woods and I feel that I get out into the proper countryside every day, even on workdays. On most journeys I’ll see something – a muntjac, a chinese water deer or a hare.
But this morning, after a year and a half of driving this route, I added a new species to the list. As I drove up the lane about a mile from home, there was a badger, trotting along happily at the side of the road. This was at 6.30 this morning, so it was late for a badger to be out foraging, but it had been a mild, damp night so it was perfect conditions for catching worms. Maybe it stayed out to make the most of it.
I’ve never seen a badger around here before, but it was next to a large patch of (unfortunately private) woodland, so I guess it lives close. Apart from adding a little to my badger map of the area it was good to see one of the beasts again. It’s the first live badger I’ve seen since September. I feel like a proper Badger Watching Man again.