The bluebells are out early this year. We went for a walk as a family this weekend to go and see them. They’re not fully out in the wood yet, but they’re definitely there. The picture of the bluebells at the top of this page was taken a few years ago in mid-May, which means this year is very early. I read somewhere that this is due to the warm weather we’ve had lately, but I always thought flowering was controlled by the duration of daylight (or more properly, the decreased duration of darkness). Perhaps the days have been lighter as well as warmer?
Anyhow, this post isn’t really about bluebells, pretty though they are. It’s to record my first badger watching visit to the Hawthorn sett. I’d love to say that it went like a dream and I spent a lovely evening in the company of badgers as they cavorted and frolicked in front of me, but that would be too easy.
In fact, these badgers proved to be just as awkward as any others I’ve watched. They didn’t seem interested in a grand debut performance. I settled in to watch at about 7.40pm. Nothing happened. This wasn’t a problem – I can’t expect the badgers to come out at the same time as the others.
At 8.26 I heard the sound of scratching from behind a bramble patch. Definitely a badger, but one that had come out from one of the few holes not visible from my spot. At 8.30 I caught my first glimpse of a badger at this new sett – just its head peeping out over the undergrowth. And that was all, until the light faded. A single badger scratching contentedly.
The sett is big and active, so there must be more badgers in residence. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to make a better count.