Monday 03/08/09 No show, then...

After last Sunday nights disappointment, I set off for the hide hoping for a better evening. I arrive at the hide at about 21:15 and after putting the food out, settle into the hide. I've been working on the computers tonight and my mind isn't fully on the badgers. I needn't have worried as it's now 21:50 and no sign of anything. As I still have some work to do on the PCs, I decide to call it a day at about ten. I notice some movement on the path to the left of the hide and a single adult badger is sniffing out nuts. It works its way to the edge of the feeding area, but turns around and disappears. I wait a few minutes and nothing appears. It's just gone ten so I pack up the chair and roll away the scrim netting that covers the doorway into the hide. With a last glance around, I set off back up to the farm. I'm just reaching the path that leads into the feeding area when I notice a single adult badger coming around the bend ahead of me. As they've not been showing too well, I decide not to spook it and head back to the hide. I haven't time to open the door, wedge it, roll down the scrim and get inside, so I go and kneel on the right hand side of the hide. A few moments later, the badger comes around the corner.

I feel I've had a few "intense" moments since I've started to watch these animals and as the badger works it's way closer to me, I feel another coming on! This wild badger is now four meters away and working its way towards me. Another animal appears from the main path. I'm knelt down, wind in my face, holding my LCD spotlight on the badgers and they're getting closer. I watch, spellbound, as these animals come into feed, the nearest being less than ten feet from me. I've made my usual mistake of sitting on my feet and they are screaming at me to move, so I do. As carefully as I can, I stand up, slowly. Both badgers look over in my direction, but quickly resume eating. Once I can feel my feet again, I decide to try and vacate the area without disturbing them. I take a step away from them intending to work my way around the edge of the feeding area. No change, so another step. I manage to work my way round to the back of the feeding area and the wind, which was my ally earlier on, now blows my scent towards the badgers. Just when I think I've made it, both badgers trot off down the left-hand path. Phew.

I start the walk back up to the farm and it's not long before I spot a badger ahead. I put on the spotlight and the badger looks at me sniffing, then retreats, slowly. I continue the walk and it's not long before another badger is seen. On with the light and this one doesn't change it's behaviour at all. It comes trotting towards me, picking up the odd nut I dropped on the way down. I stand still, on the left of the track with the wind blowing from the badger to me. It confidently comes closer and closer and is now a meter away. I hold my breath, spotlight still on the animal. It's snuffling along, looking for peanuts and keeps coming! It closes the gap with my feet until it's about a foot away. It pauses and has a good look at my feet, but doesn't like what it sees, or smells. It turns away, but doesn't run, just trots off. What a buzz! I was getting ready to move my foot in case it thought it was food! Wow, worth coming out for!

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