OK. I’m back from holiday. It’s been a warm evening, although a little windy, so I took a quick trip up to the main badger sett in the hope of seeing more badgers and hopefully some cubs. I arrived a little late – 8.05pm – and luckily I sneaked into the area of the sett quietly because only 5 minutes later a pair of badgers emerged at the east end of the sett. They snuffled and foraged around the sett and slowly wandered away.
I sat and watched for another 45 minutes but no other badgers emerged. The sett looks active, with fresh spoil visible outside at least half a dozen holes, but I still haven’t seen evidence of more than three badgers this year.
Two years ago I sat at this sett and watched groups of up to ten badgers engaging in all sorts of social behaviour. For the last couple of years though it’s been just a few individuals and much less social interaction. And no cubs. I’m not sure what has happened.
I write this blog mostly as a diary of my experiences so that I can keep track and look for patterns. In this respect, it is just as valid to record only a few badgers (or even none at all) as it is to record a big group. It may turn out to be more interesting in the long term. But I have to say, on a personal level it would be good to see some more badgers. I enjoy being outdoors in the evening, but the badgers definitely make it special. It would be very nice to come back one of these days and say “look everyone, here’s some pictures and video of a whole bunch of badgers!”
And here’s the dilemma. Do I persist in watching at the main sett to see if I can figure out what’s happened? Or do I swap and spend more of my time at another sett in the hope of seeing more (and more interesting) badger behaviour? In an ideal world I’d do both, but my time is limited at the moment. I must confess, I’m getting tempted to move my attentions to another sett for a little while. I think I’ll learn more that way, as well as it being more enjoyable.