Saturday, 14 May 2016

Badgers, love 'em or hate 'em

Badger adults and three month old cub foraging in leaf litterFirst of all I must thank Jack A Bailey for this pic I found on a site about badgers (and there are many others so, if you are interested......). 
I just wanted a good pic of badgers because there are still folk out there who don't know much about them, apart from what's in the news from time to time about Badger culls, TB etc.    Certainly they are rather handsome beasts.  Wikipedia  has a good page about them.

So why am I posting?  I got up yesterday morning, and noticed some divots pulled up from my grass (it would be foolish to call it a lawn as it's not posh enough for that).  Whilst hanging out the washing, I glanced at all those misplaced lumps of grass and thought to myself "that blackbird had a good worm harvest this morning".  Finished hanging the washing up and then went to look closer.  The holes left behind were certainly bigger than the beak of a blackbird, but it still didn't register.  It was half way through breakfast that I had a lightbulb moment - B A D G E R S ! ! ! ! 

I went back out into the garden to make a closer inspection, and yes the holes were very big, and had been made with something very sharp.  Their claws are awsome!  I thought about this a lot, because in 14 years I have never seen badger damage here, even though we are right on the end of the town - 50 yards and it's fields.  My late (deceased)  neighbours, who moved into the house next door around 30 years ago when the housing estate behind us was a field with walnut trees and horses,  had seen badgers in that field when they first arrived but this was a new one on me.  I think it was a solitary badger, possibly strayed from it's usual run, because there was certainly not enough damage for a family and I have never found badger droppings in the garden.  Whilst nature and wildlife can be thrilling, I don't really want them to come again.  Because I get a visit from a hedgehog from time to time, and each of my boundaries has hedgehog spaces, so that they can travel through to the next bit of their territory - and they are a badger delicacy. Badgers are are meat eaters - they were certainly looking for worms under my grass.

I don't ever see the hedgehog(s), only their droppings, and I never saw the badger either - although had I known he was out there I would have switched on our outside light and observed him.