Waiting for a badger to pass by.
1st October 2012: I am busily mapping the nighttime movements of badgers at the moment, or should I say that I am hoping to map the nighttime movements of badgers. My camera traps haven’t caught any badgers yet. I’ve initially restricted my monitoring to one particular place on the marsh: an animal crossroad, if you like. In an attempt to avoid attracting every animal living on the marsh to my camera traps, I am not baiting the area. I have a feeling I’m in for the long haul with this project, and I am not at all certain that it won’t eventually defeat me. I’m giving it a go anyway! I have allowed myself a month to get workable results, but it will most likely take longer; it always does: two months, perhaps.
My time of the year is fast approaching. When summertime ends and the leaves fall from the trees, I begin watching animals in the dark. It’s a more productive time to watch; the animals and their tracks become more easily visible. I don’t have super nighttime eyesight, and I don’t eat lots of carrots. What I do have is a 5X night-vision scope to make this nighttime animal watching malarkey possible. My camera traps give me a good indication of where and when I am likely to find the animals, and my night scope is my enabler.
I suppose someone will ask why I am mapping the badgers nighttime movements. Well, I would like to understand their feeding and foraging routines and patterns. This is not a practical daytime task; I’ve done as much as I can do in daylight. After all, badgers are nocturnal! I don’t expect that this will be an easy project, far from it, but all journeys begin with a single step.
The fox is the first marsh animal caught by my crossroad camera trap. The foxes are the most frequent visitors to my camera traps, no matter where I place them on the marsh. Soon it will be the badgers turn – I hope!