J was away this weekend, which left me with some time to do something I’ve wanted to do since I got this photo on my trail camera, badger watching.
Having never done it before, I spent some time reading up on it, and settled in to wait, leaning against a comfortable looking tree around dusk. I quickly learnt that my wildfowling coat (my warmest one) makes a really loud creak whenever I moved even the smallest amount! Not something I ever noticed on the marsh.
While I knew badgers tend to come out after dusk, all my trail camera photos of them are in the early hours, so I didn’t have huge amounts of hope. I listened to the noises of owls, and the very strange bark of muntjac, and after about an hour the snuffles started. I was amazed how loud the badgers were! I had positioned myself with 3 of the 4 obviously active entrances in front of me, with the 4th about 20 yards to one side and slightly behind me. Of course, it was the 4th that I could hear the most noise from!
On the opposite side of the clearing, I could see a set of eyes, reflecting red from the red headtorch I was using. They came and went and I started doubting my eyes. However after about 15 minutes, out it came! Not close enough for me to see details, but a badger none the less. It was much smaller than the ones in my photos, so I assume the larger one had gone off earlier from the other entrance. I was so excited, and nervous, and all sorts of emotions. It puttered around for a few minutes and then wandered off. I waited for a further hour before leaving, surprised by how damp and misty it had become while I was oblivious to everything but the sounds of the woods.