Saturday 10/10/09 - Back over for the badgers

Tea eaten and I'm on my way back over to see if any badgers are about this evening. I load up with food and I'm off into the night. Whilst walking down, I can hear a distant Tawny calling and a little closer a heron is also saying "goodnight". A little further on and I see something fly from a tree nearby. I think it's a Tawny, but it's closely followed by another and I get a better view of this one; Little Owls. This is confirmed as they start calling from the tree they flew to. I arrive at the hide and no badgers in sight. Good. I thought I was a bit late, but obviously not. As I'm putting the food out, a strange noise comes from the tree opposite the hide. It's too dark to see anything, but a low chattering noise is coming from something in there. I guess it is another Little Owl, but I'm not sure.

I keep an eye on the tree to see if I spot anything flying out, but before long, first one badger, then a second appear from the main path. Two arriving together isn't the usual pattern, but I don't mind, the badgers are here. The net is up, I have no cameras tonight so I just settle down to watch. I've put some nuts on the doorstep as well as the ones outside on the grass. The badgers are eating nuts (I forgot the dog food) quite contentedly and continue to work their way towards the hide. Once most of the nuts have gone, I begin to feed some extra food with both badgers rushing to the sound of nuts hitting the ground. The usual pushing match ensues and then they are looking for another handout, literally sat side by side waiting for the whistle and nuts. I do oblige after a few seconds and they tuck into the new offerings with relish. I continue this for a few minutes and then stop. They wander round, nose to the ground, and eventually discover the doorstep. One badger, the smaller one, puts one paw onto the step and eases himself up and begins eating. As he moves along the step, both paws are now on it. He is about a foot from my legs and hands. Once he's finished he steps down and continues sniffing around for more, but that's it for tonight. After another ten minutes, both badgers have left the feeding area so I pack up and head back to the farm. I see another badger on the way back, but not close. A quick chat with Juliette and off home to spend the rest of my evening in a more traditional manner!

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