Saturday 22/8/09 - Barbeque and badger watching, or not.

It's the barbeque tonight, which should be good. It's a pleasant evening and salmon, salad and beer have been purchased. When we get there, there are lots of new faces and Vince does some introductions. I'm starting to be called lots of things now from "Badgerman" (sorry Badgerman, if you read this. I have told them!) to "The Nutter", which is in reference to the feeding of nuts, I hope! There is a good cross section of people there from the farmer who helps out with things like planting the wild flower meadow (which looks great at the moment). He's been developing his farm with conservation at the fore and has a good number of Barn Owls on his land which Vince has helped develop over a number of years. We have the bookeeper here, the guy who produces a number of the marketing items and signs as well as the normal staff at the centre; Vince, Juliette, Carl and Rob, who fly and look after the birds, and Dee who works the front office. There are a few others here too, but I didn't manage to speak with these.

Anyway, the inevitable happens. I have three people who would like to see the badgers and Beth, plus me makes five. We set off to the hide just after nine and it's surprising how dark it now is. No sightings on the way down, which is a good sign as hopefully they aren't here just yet. Food out and we wait for half an hour, but no sign. One of the party has to leave as he has a lift waiting so he walks back up to the farm the back way and we carry on waiting. Eventually someone needs the loo and we feel a bit anti-social, so we come out of the hide and begin our way back up. We see some eyeshine on the way back up, but it looks like foxes as they are in long grass and we can still see them. No badgers. Typical! The first time we have some people down there, apart from friends and family and a complete no show. I have got to accept this as badgers don't follow a timetable and must treat it as the norm with a sighting as a bonus.

Back to the barbeque and another beer. A bit later I decide to go for another wander around the farm, but with plenty of food, drink and conversation, no takers this time. Which is unfortunate as when I get back to the hide, two badgers are feeding in front of it. I also see another two on the way back up, but I don't get closer than about five meters. One badger I follow up the path as it sniffs and snuffles looking for food for a good forty yards. It eventually goes into the hedge. Oh well, at least I saw some!

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