Wednesday 16/6/10 - A exciting forty five minutes

It was a glorious evening in Gloucester, clear skies, slight breeze and the setting sun shedding that gorgeous richness across the landscape. I initially set off towards the orchard near the sett to see if there was any activity there, collecting bedding or feeding, which I have witnessed here lately. It was still quite light and no activity here. I watched for five or ten minutes then headed off down to the hide. As I was walking along one of the mowed pathways which wind around the farm, a sudden movement caught my eye. On one of the grass piles, where the cuttings go when Vince mows the pathways, a vixen and her cub who were resting on one of the piles jumped up and the vixen disappeared. I just stood still and the cub who had its back to me just stood and watched where his mum had gone. He was no more than thirty feet from me and was tilting his head from one side to the other as though saying "come on, mum, stop playing around". He obviously hadn't seen me. After a good thirty or forty seconds, he started sniffing around and that was when he turned, saw me and vanished into the long grass. I was really pleased to see at least one cub around. I'd seen foxes from time to time, but no cubs so far this year.

I wandered over to the area the cub had disappeared, which was right next to one of the dry ditches that run around and through the farm. I could hear movement in the ditch so lowered myself behind the long grass a little and waited for the cub to appear. What actually appeared was a badger! Now this area in early spring looked like badgers were using it as an additional sett, but I hadn't seen, or heard any activity for a couple of months. Well the badger moved up the opposite bank of the ditch and started collecting bedding by clawing at the grass and gathering it into a ball and walking backwards, rolling it along, and disappeared back towards what must be an active sett! He repeated this three times, which is great news as this sett is only about forty metres from the hide.

I then wandered onto the hide and put nuts out as usual, waited for a few mminutes, but had to get back so didn't stay long. I thought I'd check out the orchard on my way back. En route I heard something in the wild flower meadow, so crept closer. The grass and flowers are quite tall here and although I got quite close to what was obviously a badger from the noises it was making, maybe four feet, I couldn't actually see it. It was sniffing loudly, then a pause as it noisily ate something, then more sniffing. I left it alone and carried onto the orchard, but still nothing there. Although it was getting dark now, a cuckoo was still calling and the light was fantastic. All in all, a great way to spend 45 minutes!

No comments:

Post a Comment