Tag Archives: Meles meles

News from the Farm

There isn’t a lot of news. It has been quite dry the last few days but bitterly cold.

Yesterday we had a clear blue sky so Fizz and I went off to count the sheep. They were in the top field and the wind was whipping across that field. I had to retreat, I was almost crying it was so cold.

It’s been cold, that’s what I am trying to tell you 🙂

So.. Fizz and I went down Badger Alley to look for plant life, it is quite sheltered there.

Badger AlleyPrimroses would have been nice.

PrimrosesPrimroses will be nice but just not yet.

PrimrosesThis is just the way that it is this year, it is cold. The Primroses were in flower here and I was photographing them on the third of February last year and the Red Dead-nettle. We are running a little late this year because of the crisp winter days but I probably prefer this to the rain.

No I don’t, I am just not big on winter, whatever it is like 🙂

One reason for going up there was to find Wood Spurge. When I wrote about it the other day I didn’t have pictures of the milky irritant sap and they should be quite easy to get.

Wood SpurgeI found the Spurge easily enough but I couldn’t get much sap out of it, I maybe need to try this on a warmer day. This will have to do for now.

Wood SpurgeOh yes, and we looked at the catkins again.

Just for the record here is a photograph taken yesterday on the farm. This is what a Hazel tree’s man bits look like when it is bitterly cold. (Poor thing)

Hazel CatkinsIt is much more sheltered down here and they are beginning to open.

Hazel Catkins

Hazel CatkinsThe most interesting thing that we found was signs that the Badgers were getting active.

Nature Detective DogNature Detective Dog at work.

Nature Detective DogBadgers don’t hibernate but they usually spend December and January underground, living off their fat, all cuddled up together, warm and cosy.

We saw quite a lot of fresh snuffle holes and evidence of straw gathering and some fresh digging.

Badger SettSo if these babies are active then maybe it is time to go and look for our own Badgers.

This is the main sett. It isn’t the best place to try and film Badgers, it is on public land and it is quite confined. I would prefer to film the Badgers on the farm.

Patch was beaten up and kicked out of this sett last year because he wanted to have a go at making baby Badgers. He was joined by two other Badgers and I am hoping that at least one of those was female and that we will have cubs on the farm.

But I don’t know where they are!

Come on Puppy, let’s go Badger hunting.

FizzHave I mentioned that it is cold on the farm? At least the mud is clean 🙂

Cold FizzThe hedges have all been trimmed. It is a job done by machine and it looks pretty brutal but the wounds will heal quickly in the spring.

Hedge trimmingThis hedgerow is a good mix of Hazel, Willow, Holly, Blackthorn and Hawthorn. It is not particularly unique but I am concerned for the Elm trees as I survey the wreckage.

It is necessary work to protect the sheep who were getting caught up in the brambles.

SheepStop following me!


Fizz and I searched all around the hedgerow looking for signs of Badger activity. There are three setts on the farm that they used last year, the first two were obviously empty.

The third one is a possibility, can you see what I see.

Badger SettWhy is this broken grass outside of the entrance? Because Badgers collect straw for bedding? It is a possibility.

It’s okay, I am a Big Game Hunter, I’m supposed to see these things.

Broken GrassCome on Puppy.

strawSo we went off and found a nice patch of dried grass, gathered some up and put it outside of the sett.

strawI am  not nuts, I have done this before 🙂

I have left the camera watching the sett. I would be so pleased to find them here. Badger cubs are born in February (they won’t come out of the sett until May) wherever the Badgers are now, that is probably where any cubs will be born. Be here.

Now I suppose that you would like to play ball?


FizzGood Girl!

FizzMight as well look for fleas while I’m here.



Fizz would like everyone to know that she hasn’t got fleas.FizzToday’s flower is Elder because there is an association with Badger Setts and Elder, The Badgers like the berries and you will often find it growing around old setts.

OH! I nearly forgot to tell you that the Elm trees were all right, the maniac hedge trimmer didn’t go up that far 🙂

Elm Trees

Sambucus nigra, The Elder Tree

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)Sambucus nigra, the European Elder also known as the Black Elder or Elderberry. This small tree is as well known for it’s purple/black fruit as for it’s froth of white flowers.

Elder fruit (Sambucus nigra)It is one of the first trees to come into leaf with new leaves appearing in early March.

Elder leaf (Sambucus nigra)The leaves are made up of five and sometimes seven leaflets on a central stem, with opposite pairs and one at the tip of the stem. The leaflets are longer than they are wide and have a toothed edge.

Elder leaf (Sambucus nigra)

Elder leaf (Sambucus nigra)This next picture is of one leaf, comprising and showing the arrangement of five leaflets. That is important to understand because a single leaflet or leaf, that is this shape would not indicate an Elder, each leaf is composed of five leaflets, sometimes seven and rarely nine.

Elder leaf (Sambucus nigra)

Elder leaf (Sambucus nigra)The woody stem of Elder is also quite distinctive.

A fresh stem is usually covered in small pale warts, these are called lenticels. They are sometimes described as breathing pores and allow the tree to exchange gasses.

Elder stem (Sambucus nigra)You will pretty much always see some branches marked with these distinctive lenticels on a live Elder.

Elder stem (Sambucus nigra)

Elder stem (Sambucus nigra)Older bark becomes furrowed and the breathing pores are not noticeable then.

Elder stem (Sambucus nigra)

Elder (Sambucus nigra)The Elder is a short lived tree, not more than about 60 years. It is also quite small and shrub like. I have read that it can attain a height of twenty feet or more but it is usually smaller than that.

Legend has it that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from an Elder tree. I think that this is unlikely, for hanging you really need a tree that is taller than you with sturdy horizontal branches, like an Oak or a Chestnut. It is more likely that this defamation by association is the work of the Christian Church in the battle against Paganism because the Elder once held great spiritual importance.

You wouldn’t have much luck, hanging yourself in one of these.

Elder (Sambucus nigra)However the association stuck and the small jelly fungus that grows on the Elder became known as Judas’s Ear and later just Jew’s Ear.

Jelly Ear Fungus Jelly Ear Fungus   Jelly Ear Fungus   Jelly Ear Fungus It is now more often referred to as Jelly Ear or Wood Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae.

Jelly Ear FungusThe flowers arrive in May.

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)A flower head may consist of several hundred small flowers. The flowers are hermaphrodite. Each flower has five white petals, five stamens tipped with yellow anthers and a style with three stigmas.

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)

Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra)The flowers produce nectar and pollen and are much loved by Bumble Bees.

White-tailed Bumblebee White-tailed Bumblebee   White-tailed Bumblebee   White-tailed Bumblebee  Too much sometimes….. (It is not dead, just too drunk to stand up)

White-tailed BumblebeeThe fruit ripens in August.

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)When it is ripe the birds eat it.

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)The Elder is a valuable wildlife plant. It provides shelter for birds and forage for deer. Many small mammals (including Dormice) eat both the flowers and the fruit. It is a larval food plant for several British moths including the White Spotted Pug, Swallowtail, Dot Moth and Buff Ermine. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for many insects and birds also eat the fruit.

Despite it’s reputation for Elderflower tea and fritters and Elderberry wine all of the green parts and the fruit are mildly poisonous to us. The fruit needs to be cooked before eating.

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)This tree is a member of the same family as the diminutive, green wildflower, Town Hall Clock (The Adoxaceae)

Town Hall Clock

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Dipsacales

Family: Adoxaceae

Genus: Sambucus

Species: Sambucus Nigra

Elderberry fruit (Sambucus nigra)Wildflowers in winter.

Wild Animals and Wild Flowers

…and oh, so many Veronicas.

Animals first.

Fizz and I went out to look for signs of spring, it’s a bit early but what else are we going to do? It was nice yesterday and about time too, I had almost given up on 2015.

Elm TreesThese are Elm Trees. We missed them flowering last year, they flower in early spring and then go on to develop these winged seeds called samaras.

SamarasThis was the state of these trees when we discovered them in April so there is probably a month or two to go before we see any flowers but you can’t be too careful.

SamarasIn the corner beneath these trees there is a Badger Sett. This is where our three Badgers spent most of the summer and I am hoping that they are here now. Badgers spend most of December and January under ground. This doesn’t look very active today.

Badger SettI am hoping that our Badgers will raise cubs this year and this sett would be a pretty private and easy location to film them.

Why cubs? Patch turned up in these fields in March, that is the peak breeding season for Badgers. He was badly wounded and I am pretty sure that he had been fighting with another Badger over a female.

This video from late June shows the bite marks to his rump healing now but that is a sign of Badger on Badger aggression. He had been kicked out of the main sett for being too interested in the opposite sex..

This video is from the beginning of June and this was the first time that I realised that there were three of them. I don’t know the sexes Patch is almost certainly male because he has had his head kicked in. Generally males are more likely to get kicked out than females for obvious reasons but one of these animals could be female.

and Patch is ready to have a go at making Badger Cubs for me.

That would be nice.

So leaving our Badgers we headed out to the woods.

Chestnut woodWe are looking for shoots, Bluebells, this is where we found the Early Crocus and also this one.

Lent LilyNarcissus pseudonarcissus, I haven’t shown you this one before. This is a Lent Lily or Wild Daffodil. It is our only native daffodil and beautiful and special.

Lent LilyNo sign of them today though, so we were just messing about..

Fizz wanted a go on the tree that I was sitting on.

FizzIt is like wanting to get on the furniture if she sees a tree she has to get on it.

FizzSuddenly there was loud grunting from just behind Fizz. We were annoying a Boar. I slipped a lead on her and stood silent waiting for the animal to move but it didn’t.

I waited quite a while but it obviously didn’t have any intention of stirring, it was just telling us to clear off.

I wondered if it could be a female with a litter who couldn’t move. It is really too early in the year for that but,,,, Global warming and all that. Anyway I wasn’t going to stress her. She could stay put and Fizz and I would retreat.

The next day….

The next day was horrible and wet.

Horrible and wetWe headed back to the woods with a trail camera and bait.

Trail cameraI have had several reports of people seeing Boar in these woods but haven’t seen any evidence myself, that noise yesterday was definitely a pig or more exactly a Boar so it is worth a try.

I have filmed a few times in these woods without success so I am not holding my breath. Still, nothing adventured, nothing gained.

Flowers now, I have been holding back from doing this one. It is not difficult in itself but…..

Supposing that you had a sweetheart called Veronica and that she was very lovely. Okay now supposing Veronica had a whole bunch of sisters and they were all called Veronica and looked just as lovely. We have to be very careful how we approach this problem.

Which one are you going to kiss?

Germander SpeedwellNo! That’s a sister.

Thyme -leaved SpeedwellNo Stop! That’s another sister.

Wood SpeedwellEEEK! Sister!

I am going to have to be very clear when I describe these flowers.

Veronica persica, The Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)Veronica persica, also called the Bird’s-eye Speedwell or Persian Speedwell is one of our earliest spring flowers.

This flower is also sometimes known as Winter Speedwell and given as flowering all year round but locally it was absent until the beginning of March. I took my first picture of 2014 on March 6th.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)The Flower has two stamens and one style, it is self fertile. It has four petals, the topmost one being the most intensely coloured and the bottom one being smaller and paler.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)Of course the flower doesn’t always align itself the right way up.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)This flower shape is typical of Speedwells. Worldwide there are about 500 different species but in the UK there are only about two dozen and half of them are quite rare.

Veronica persica has a single flower (8-12 mm) to a stem. Many of the other species have more. The length of the stem is significant, It will be longer than the leaves but not more than twice as long, there is another species that carries single flowers on much longer stems (four times as long)

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)The leaves are pale green, oval to triangular and not more than about 2 cm long, coarsely toothed, they have a short stalk and they are arranged alternately at the top of the plant and in pairs at the base.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica) Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)   Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)   Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica) The plant often sprawls along the ground before rising to flower.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)Common Field-speedwell is not native to the UK, it was first recorded here around 1825 and it came from South East Asia. It is commonly regarded as a weed in the UK with no horticultural value.

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica) Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)   Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)   Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica) Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Veronica

Species: Veronica persica

Common Field-speedwell (Veronica persica)

Wildflowers in winter.

The Private Life of Sheep

Sheep can sometimes be a little bit annoying and so I have decided to move the Badger Cam.

Just like any other animal they quickly learned where to find the food (but you eat grass!) When I picked the camera up today I had sixty sheep videos before dark and another forty  in the morning. Amazingly I also had forty Fox/Badger videos from the night. Watching these sheep eating my bait for two hours before nightfall it is hard to believe that there was anything left for the wild animals.

I have condensed my one hundred videos into three short clips. You don’t have to watch them but you will understand sheep better if you do.

Little Darlings. This next one is getting over familiar with my camera.

They do give the impression that they might be smarter than badgers, perhaps they are just more curious, less cautious.

So I am going to leave those Badgers alone for a bit and go and look at something else. Fizz and I went out for a walk yesterday and we found an amazing nest,

Starting from the beginning, it was an overcast day and we decided to go and look at  the main sett. We haven’t been up there for some time because the path became seriously overgrown in the summer and it was unpleasant to try and beat a path up there, It has died back a bit now.

This is what it looks like today, it is still quite difficult to pass in places. There are parts where I have to carry Fizz because she can’t get over the thistles and brambles.

Jungle TrackIt is not the growth that is the real problem, it is the insects that swarm and buzz around us. After a time of swatting when they are really close and getting them out of my hair and off the inside of my glasses it begins to feel like a war zone.

Jungle TrackSo forging through brush that we haven’t seen for a while the first thing that we noticed were large areas that had been flattened.

Resting place

Resting placeBig animals have been resting here or hiding out. Wild Boar or Deer perhaps. I don’t suppose that any people have been up this track for quite a while. This isn’t a pleasant country stroll, you would have to have a reason to walk this path. Perfect for wild animals.

We checked out the Badger sett and everything seemed fine here, plenty of signs of activity.

Badger Sett

Badger Sett

Badger SettThen about fifty yards beyond the Badger sett we came across this nest.

Mystery Nest

Mystery NestWhat sort of an animal makes a nest like this?

A Mountain Gorilla maybe or an Emu? We don’t get a lot of them around here. I really don’t know and so if anybody does then please tell me.

Mystery NestMy stick is about three and a half feet long, I just put it there to get an idea of scale. I could not see any fur, feather or eggshell or anything like that but I didn’t want to mess around and leave scent there in case it is still in use.

Mystery NestSome effort has gone into making this nest. The straw has been brought here from nearby farmland, there is no material like this naturally here.

The nest is out in the open and offers zero protection from Fox or Badger of which there are a lot around here, so it is not for raising young.

Mystery NestSo guess where the camera is. It is watching the nest plus also watching the track to see what might walk past.

Mystery NestI think that this is a day nest of a Wild Boar. They do make nests to lie up in, especially at this time of year but I have never seen them do anything like this.

Here is another of life’s little mysteries.

We know that it is a Fox it’s all the other animals that we can’t identify. This video was from early evening, the clock was not set on the camera just ignore that. The picture is so bright because it is still daylight and the infra red has kicked in.

Finally a last look at my own wild animals. There still was food for them after all that sheepishness.

Last of the Summer Whine?

Don’t worry this isn’t another post about a Dog. Today we have got wildflowers, fruits, butterflies, wild animals and some pretty tame ones but before I can get started…..

My day always begins with a plaintive whine. She hears me moving around in the kitchen and positions herself under my window and cries.

The Plaintif“Hurry up! I want to explore nature and discover wonderful new things.”

Shut up! I am making my breakfast.

Today we are going to climb over the fence and look for the new Badger sett in the next field along. My camera is currently tied to the other side of this tree looking out on a field full of sheep.

CornfieldTry and guess what it is filming….

You don’t have to watch all of this video (unless you are looking for a date) . Having a field full of sheep hasn’t given me too many problems so far  but it was pretty obvious that I would get some of this.

The next field along is a corn field.

CornfieldI know that there is going to be some confusion about this so let me take a moment to set the record straight.

In England when we talk about cornfields we usually picture (quite correctly) fields of wheat. In Scotland they often see oats. Corn is a word derived from the Latin granum and it means grain.

When Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba the natives there presented him with a grain that they called mahiz and Columbus promptly corrupted that to maize but the name corn also stuck.

To most of the world the words corn and maize are interchangeable and mean the same thing but in the UK we still think of corn as meaning grain, any grain.

Either way this is a corn field.

CornfieldThis abundance of food might be the reason that the Badgers switched fields. Some animals have been helping themselves.



CornfieldWhile some animals are obviously eating the corn I don’t think that they are having a major impact on the value of the crop, It is just a little bit here and there.

CornfieldI had noticed that my Badgers were looking particularly well fed, portly even.

Did you notice the little blue flowers?


They are Common Field-speedwell, Veronica persica.

I started photographing these at the beginning of March, long before the traditional Spring flowers like Wood Anemones and Bluebells and they have flowered everyday since.

They are very good value for money, especially if like me you don’t actually have to pay for them 🙂

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwellSo I am bumbling about looking for a Badger sett. I never did find it, there is at least forty acres of maize here and most of the hedgerow is inaccessible to me. I kept bumping into other things.

This little Comma. At this time of year we can’t afford to pass on any butterflies, they won’t be around for very much longer.

Comma ButterflyThis is a young butterfly and it is fresh and beautiful. The Comma is one of the butterflies that overwinters here as an adult. This delicate little animal will spend the whole winter sleeping outside, through all of the terrible weather and it will survive the frosts. It will take flight again around the second week in March, that for me is the end of winter, when the butterflies return.

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma ButterflyWinter is still a way of yet and the  hedgerow is full of autumn fruit.




BrambleOn a bramble leaf I see another butterfly. This one is a Speckled Wood. These butterflies are unique amongst British species because they can overwinter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis. Those that reach the chrysalis stage will be amongst the first butterflies that we see next year and they will be newly emerged and beautiful.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Speckled WoodWell that is about it for today. Did you have a nice walk?



FizzOh I nearly forgot Foggy,

Foggy was a character from the British sitcom “Last of the summer wine” and also something that happened to my Badger and Fox last night.

So that is it. Sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite.


Badgers, Foxes and Haircuts

Yes Fizz has been to the beauty parlour again. I am just using her pictures to accompany my videos because I didn’t get any stills of Badgers or Foxes yesterday.

FizzSo on with the serious stuff.

When my cameras are out in the field then I watch hundreds of these videos every week and they do get a bit samey but I thought that I should post a few so that they are available if you want to see them. I get a lot of pleasure from watching these wild animals.

The Foxes that I video are not your Urban Fox. People who live in the countryside never see Foxes, it is only townies who know these animals well but 80% of our Fox population lives out of town, in the wild. They are just very secretive animals.

As to the Badgers, just think if we could follow these animals through the year and maybe in springtime see them produce cubs. I missed out on cubs this year but I didn’t know the animals very well, I had only just met them. Well, it could happen.

My first video is of Patch two nights ago, I haven’t picked up last nights action yet. Notable because he is out here at half past eight. (the first vid was at 20:28) I haven’t found the new sett yet but I think that I am very close because this is early for a badger to be about.

Patch stayed in front of the camera for nearly an hour, searching diligently for every last raisin. I am amazed that there was any food left when the Fox turned up, two hours later.

This Fox doesn’t look very  happy in the rain but there is work to be done.

I have been trying to get an idea of which Fox is which. The Foxes had cubs this year and I have seen three of them together. I don’t know how many there are but one seems to have a very distinctive dark tail.

Well I could watch these animals all night so I am going to post two more of the Badgers just being Badgers. The first is not Patch and this is from a few nights ago.

This is beautiful Patch the following night.

That is more than enough videos back to Haircut…

Fizzand that is more than enough of her.

Badgers (British Wildlife)

My latest round of Badger watching has not been quite as successful as I hoped.

The Badgers have moved to a new sett and that is not on the farm. No worries, they still forage here and I can still watch them. Fizz and I set up a camera in a likely spot (Strapped to an Ash tree) and baited the area with a few handfuls of scattered raisins.

Stop eating the bait!

Little PiggyWhen I talk about baiting an area, I don’t use very much bait. I don’t want people to be able to see it, I have lost two cameras advertising their presence that way and I don’t believe in significantly feeding wild animals. I want them to search for my bait, it keeps them in the area and is cheaper that way. 🙂

Yesterday I went up to retrieve the memory card. The good news was that it had recorded twenty four videos and the bad news was that by the time I got home I had lost it.

After I picked up the card I wandered all over that field playing ball with Fizz because the grass was short and it was a good place to play. My card is out here somewhere.

FieldToday I set out to revisit the area and amazingly I did find it…

Sd CardBut something else had found it first, chewed it up and spat it out again. (pesky animals)

SD CardWhat the hey, we had a good game of ball.

BallThere was a new card to pick up today.

Back in March I saw that one of the Badgers that I am following had been in a scrap and his right eye was closed. That never healed and since then I have been confidently identifying this animal and calling him Patch.

In this first video two Badgers meet and greet each other. The one looking at us has his right eye closed (Hi Patch) When the other one turns around he also has his right eye closed. (Doh!)

This next video shows a meeting between Fox and Badger. This is the first time that I have seen a Badger run from a Fox but I think that it was just surprise.

My next video shows how close the animals can get and still feel comfortable at the end of the video the Fox sits down beside the Badger.

Did you enjoy those videos?

FizzDid you enjoy playing ball and eating raisins?

A few people have asked in the comments section, “Why are they culling Badgers?” I sometimes forget that the internet extends outside of the UK.

They are culling Badgers in an effort to control the spread of bovine TB.

Bovine TB is a disease of Cattle that our wild life can catch from contact with the cows. It is typically spread through contact with urine. Scientists say that 94% of bTB is spread from herd to herd, Cows give it to each other but because Badgers can move freely from field to field if a Badger catches it and goes into another field it can pass the disease on to  uninfected cattle. The same goes for Deer and other wild life.

Nobody is claiming that killing Badgers would eradicate bTB but DEFRA do claim that if they can successfully kill 70% of the Badgers in an area then it might reduce incidences of bTB by between  6 -12% but they also say that figure may be more or less.

If they killed every wild animal in England there would still be bTB in our Cattle herds. It is a disease of Cattle that wild life can catch.

Like any highly contagious disease TB is spread rapidly by overcrowding and poor sanitation, that applies as much to people as it does to livestock and the real answer to the problem lies in taking better care of our animals and keeping them in better conditions.

Many people would prefer to believe that it has nothing to do with the way that we treat our livestock and prefer to believe that if they shoot the Badgers the problem will go away. That can not possibly happen.

Last year DEFRA conducted two pilot culls to determine two things. Was free shooting an effective way to cull Badgers and could it be done humanely? They appointed an Independent Expert Panel to look at these results and their conclusion was that no, the pilot culls had been both ineffective and inhumane. However the Government have decided to repeat the culls without the help of expert monitoring and in that way hope to achieve better results.

The Government’s own scientific advisors have told the Government repeatedly that Badger Culling will not work.

There are effective vaccines against bovine TB for both Badgers and Cattle. European laws prevent us from vaccinating cattle because it interferes with the standard tests for the presence of bTB.

The Badger is a protected species in the UK it is illegal to harm a Badger or to interfere with it’s sett, unless you work for the Government.

For me there is no big debate…

Nasty people do nasty things, that is why they are called nasty and regardless of how many Badgers they kill there will still be TB in our cattle.

Hello little fellas.

My opinions are biased, I like and respect our native wildlife. (But I am also right 🙂 )

A Badger Update

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.”

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.

Old settI 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.

FarmlandThey 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)

New site

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 🙂


I have only really spread this over two posts so that I could get two header pics of Fizz in. She seems to me to embody the lazy, playing games in the wet grass, childlike days of summer.

I might just do a post about her. She is a trained nature detective dog and a great help to me in my search for Moles.

Meanwhile the days just stretch on….

(The video is not playing backwards,  the Badger is going backwards, collecting bedding)

Peace and Love

I post a lot about the little conflicts that occur between the animals up at the sett. Most of the time it is not like that and summer evenings stretch on forever…

I suppose you think that was a moth, well it could have been. It is hard to tell moths from faeries in the glare of the light 🙂


This little Badger obviously isn’t happy when a second Fox shows up.

The Badger in question isn’t Timid, that is Brave and Brave doesn’t like Foxes…

The Badger won the day.

A couple of nights earlier Laser actually turned up with two other Foxes, so I am guessing that he has a mate and cubs somewhere quite nearby.