I’ve been busy again. A few weekends ago I went down to Avebury in Wiltshire for the solstice (it was rubbish – the National Trust closed all the car parks and effectively killed any celebrations). The weekend after that we had friends round (very nice) and I spent last weekend digging and levelling the foundations of a play area for Scarlett (seemed to consist mostly of shovelling two tonnes of sand from one place to another), picking fruit and making jam (seedless raspberry, for Mrs BWM’s famous home-made jammie dodgers). Add to that the usual demands of being a pater familias and holding down a responsible job as the Senior Consultant in a firm of business psychologists in the City of London, well, it’s been busy.
I managed to see one badger last week. I had a late night at the HR Excellence Awards in London. I didn’t win an award, but driving home at 1.00am I did have a badger cross the road in front of me, on a small lane about half a mile from my house. I’ve seen paths on the roadside verges here, but this is the first time I’ve seen a badger on them. Only a brief sighting, but it adds another detail to my badger map of the area.
Anyway, one quick glimpse of a badger doesn’t make me a badger watcher. I made time on Sunday to get outside and see what the badgers were doing, without great results. I still haven’t got to grips with the badgers at the Hawthorn Sett, so that was where I headed.
I arrived at 7.30pm and left at 9.30pm, but without so much as a peep of a badger. My fieldcraft was sound. I was joined by a rabbit that sat for half an hour between me and the sett. Rabbits are, in my experience, more sensitive than badgers. If the rabbit wasn’t disturbed by my presence then the badgers wouldn’t be either. The sett is plainly in use – there are at least four active holes here. But there were no badgers in evidence.
Perhaps this is an odd sett, where the badgers don’t play by the rules. It is quite close to the road, so maybe they’ve adapted to disturbance by coming out late. Who knows?
As a consolation I stopped to watch some deer on the way home. The wheat is ripening in the fields, and the muntjac and chinese water deer are almost hidden, which means you can almost walk past without seeing them. I really must get out more often. Perhaps I’ll make time one of these evenings to see how the barn owls are doing, or maybe check out some of the new setts I’ve found.