Friday, 25 July 2008

Rabbits and badgers

Here's what we saw on Tuesday before dusk - the moths will come in a later post, as I'm waiting for a list of them so I can ID all the ones I got photos of (there are a lot, and apparently 102 species were recorded that night!).

Down at the bottom of the wayleave we spied a rabbit through the brambles:
It was really not very afraid of us, perhaps it hasn't learned yet that humans might be dangerous...
As it got towards 8pm we went over to the badger sett to watch. Badgers have very poor eyesight, but a very good sense of smell, so as long as you sit downwind and keep fairly quiet you can get within 10 metres! While we were waiting I got a couple of photos of the scene, where you can see the disturbed earth around the sett:
We waited for about 15 minutes before we heard a rustling, and it got closer VERY slowly. After another 15 minutes a badger plodded into view, snuffling around in the undergrowth looking for food. We tried to get a photo, but the shutter noise made it wary, and it disappeared into the sett. We waited though, and it came out again a couple more times. After talking to David from Scrag Copse we've learned that we should wait until we've watched them a few times before trying to photograph them, so they can get used to our presence. Also, we need to go earlier, as we saw the badger coming back to the sett, not coming out!

We're going up this evening to do a bit more work on the shelter, so after that we might wander over again and see what we see...


UPDATE: we got a video of the badgers, see it here.

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