Thursday 15/10/09 - A wet night

The weather this evening is pretty horrid. Heavy, soaking drizzle is falling with heavier rain falling every so often. Oh well, you've got to get on and do the things you enjoy. As someone once said, "It's never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes". Off down to the hide, peanuts in my coat pockets and a torch or two to hand. Due to the weather it is pretty dark already, although it's barely 7.00pm yet. The drizzle is making it quite foggy, it seems very gloomy out here, but in all honesty, I like a bit of  "weather" and this is certainly a bit of weather. Now the roof is on the hide it's a lot cosier in there now. Don't get me wrong, the front wall is still mesh with a scrim net over and as the roof hasn't been felted, water still drips in between the sheets of wood. At least the rain doesn't fall directly onto my head as it used to.

                   A rather wet badger!

Food out, some on the doorstep and a single torch on, a couple of nuts down for the mouse and I settle down, contented at being out there and not getting wet, a bit like sleeping in a tent when it's raining. About 7.20 and I hear the mouse out and about. I shine the torch down into the corner and there he is, little eyes twinkling in the light. I wonder if he appreciates the roof as much as I do? I check outside and a single badger is coming down from the main path towards the hide. As he draws closer, you can see he looks soaked. When you are only that high and walking through long, wet grass, I guess you do get rather wet. He looks quite happy feeding on nuts and dog food, though. Eventually he is right outside the hide and I whistle and throw a few extra nuts out. As he's on his own tonight he has already had a good feed, so I don't offer too many extras. Once I've stopped, his nose draws him onto the door step for the final few nuts. He moves along the doorstep getting ever closer to me and is eventually only a foot away from me. The think a wet dog smells bad, try a wet badger! He finishes off the door step nuts and then sits down and looks at me as though saying "where are the extras tonight, then?". I can't resist and whistle and throw a few more out. Now at this point, the mouse may be jealous at me feeding the extra nuts to the badger as he suddenly sprints across the hide floor scattering wood chips in all directions. This makes quite a noise and with one look the badger races off into the night. Thanks mouse!

I don't think the badger will be back so collect my things up, shut up the hide and make my way back. Whilst walking back up, I realise that I haven't seen badgers on the way back up for a little while now. It used to be a regular occurence and I wonder why? Perhaps they have changed their route to make the best of autumn foods, maybe they are learning to avoid me? Not sure which, but I did enjoy seeing them out there with no hide or anything between us and hope this will start up again at some point.

Badger Fact!
Badgers normally have two or three cubs in a litter.

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