Monday 28/9/09 - A quieter night (for my heart!)

After the excitement of last night with a badger in the hide, I'm eager to get down and see the badgers again this evening. When I arrive at the Barn Owl Centre, I can already hear wild Tawny Owls calling to each other. They are not year near the compound, but that may happen later if they come over "for a chat" with some of the rescue birds.

As I approach the hide I notice a dark blob on the grass in front of it. A badger is already there. It is 7.40pm and still only dusk, but one animal is already there. As I approach, he makes good his escape and disappears into the hedge. If past experience is anything to go by, he'll be back soon. I quickly put the nuts and dog food out, put up a small LED torch to illuminate an area about a metre from the hide and get on my little chair. The badger I spooked on my way down is back out already. He reappears from the right of the hide and is soon feeding in the pool of light. About ten minutes goes by and a second badger appears from the main path and soon joins his colleague. Again tonight, I've not put the net down so have uninterupted views of the two animals feeding. They work their way closer to the hide and I begin feeding nuts to them by throwing them out after a whistle to alert them something is happening. When I whistle, the badgers look at me with their ears up and seem to be waiting for the nuts to fall. As soon as they do they are on to them and a bit of push and shove normally takes place. As mentioned before, these two animals seem of equal stature in the clan as both can win these pushing fights.

When I decide to stop feeding any more nuts, the badgers begin looking around and generally find the nuts on the doorstep. The image above shows a badger just finishing off the nuts on the doorstep and he certainly looks like he's enjoying them! After about ten minutes, the badgers realise there will be no more food tonight and disappear on their natural feeding routine. I don't want to overfeed them on peanuts and dogfood, or make them reliant on a non natural food supply.

I make my way back up to the farm and the wild Tawny Owls are about. They are calling to some of the owls which are residents here at the centre. I just love the Tawny's call and could stand and listen all night. However, with blogs to update and sleep to be had, I head off for home.

Badger Fact
A badger belongs to a family of animals called the Mustelidae (which means they have a musk gland) which contains animals such as the weasel, otter and mink.

No comments:

Post a Comment