Well we haven’t had Badgers for a while now and there is a good reason for that… I loaned my trail camera to a neighbour and he kept hold of it for quite a long time. I don’t mind, it is fun to see what goes on when you are fast asleep in bed. Anyway the Badgers are not going anywhere….. Well that is what I thought,
In fact they have moved house. They have moved twice already this year and so it is no great cause for alarm but now I have to find them again. Normally that would be easy but the fields have just been cut and the regular paths that Badgers make have pretty well been obscured.
Plus my trained tracker dog is not always as useful as I make her out to be. In fact I don’t think that she would mind if I called her a “chocolate teapot.”
“You just sit there and I will go and look for the Badgers myself then.”
So starting at the beginning, we got up to the sett and straight away I could see that it didn’t look very active.
I set the camera up to watch the entrance to the sett and filmed for two nights. The sett is no longer in use.
We did get animals just not using the sett. I baited the area with raisins (very smelly).
I will show you two short clips. The first is of a small unidentified mammal. You may have to go full screen for this one. It is in the entrance to the sett which is the dark area above the number 23 in the time. I can see it’s eyes reflecting the light back. It is taking a chance with the foxes, they are not as daft as they look but they seem to be happy with the raisins.
Next we do get to see a Badger but it has not come from this sett. It is now past two in the morning and this animal is just doing it’s rounds of the fields.
So now we have to find the little monkeys and they could be anywhere, they have quite a large territory and it goes well beyond the farm.
They may even have gone back to the main sett, which is cool. I know where that is but it is a difficult place to film and on public land.
DEFRA are not culling in this area, I know where they are doing their killing now and my animals are safe.
I am hoping that they are still on the farm but Badger setts are pretty easy to see if you know what you are looking for and we haven’t seen a new one yet.
This is a possibility. It doesn’t look like a Badger sett but these hedges are wide and there is plenty of space under here to conceal an entrance. Something has been digging here. (Foxes are usually too lazy to dig when there are Badgers to do the work for them)
If this is Badgers though then there must be a lot more to it under the hedge. In places these hedges are twelve foot wide with a ditch in the centre and bushes and small trees either side. It is an easy place to hide. I don’t really think that this is the place but I will have a word with Fizz tomorrow and if we can’t come up with anything else we will set the camera out here 🙂
11 thoughts on “A Badger Update”
I was surprised to learn that there are badgers in our area. Admittedly, they are extremely rare – less than 200 in southern Ontario.
Thanks Maggie 🙂 You have Black Bears there too, I would love to have Bears here 🙂
They are getting closer to our neck of the woods, so to speak. You need to drive about four hours north before you are sure to find a bear. That said, every now and again there are sightings thirty minutes away.
If DEFRA are culling to control TB in cattle, why don’t they try inoculation instead? Are badgers an endangered species or just a nuisance to cattle farmers?
Thanks John 🙂 I don’t really believe that this has anything to do with TB. DEFRA are just playing politics. Some people want to blame Badgers for TB, by conducting two small pilot culls DEFRA are giving them something. I don’t think that they could roll it out across the country, pretty much the whole nation is against it and it would be very unpopular. There is also a stack of scientific evidence to say that culling doesn’t work. Bovine TB is a disease of cattle that they give to our native wild life and it’s root cause lies in poor management. This farm used to be a dairy farm and they lost their herd in the big TB outbreak of 2002. In 2001 there had been a major foot and mouth outbreak, over ten million animals were slaughtered and TB testing of imported animals was halted to allow farmers to restock, shortly afterwards we had a TB outbreak, no badgers were involved. It is all just politics, give and take.
I had a sort of feeling that there might be something like that
I hope you find your badgers
Thanks Clare 🙂 Me too. I am trying to get some sort of picture of what is going on here but I will have to watch them for some time. Why for instance do they move about so much. I think that the main sett was actually abandoned in the Spring. I filmed animals there in the winter but haven’t been able to detect any activity since. The three animals that I have been following came from the main sett and have occupied two possibly three satellite setts since. I am not understanding but it is very interesting to follow them. Unfortunately their range extends for almost a mile South of the main sett and it probably goes just as far North but I don’t have access to that area so I have to hope that my animals have camped up somewhere close. They probably have because I had one on camera last night.
Fascinating! Love the video.
Sorry to hear about politics like that, we have very similar issues here in the U.S. Racoons get blamed for rabies like they invented it, mule deer and bison get blamed for the diseases they got from cattle, etc.
I hope you find your badgers too.
looks like you had bats in the first video as well.
Someone is struggling finding what is this strange creature : http://elleturner4.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/oh-but-what-is-it/
I thought about you ! 🙂