WILDEN MARSH NATURE RESERVE’S NEWEST BADGER SETT

This is Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve’s newest badger sett. It is not the most salubrious of setts and is likely the home of a low-status bachelor badger. Dug in the open under low trees and surrounded by copious amounts of cow dung, the attraction must be ultra reasonable ground rent. I can’t see a self-respecting female badger being interested in nursing her cubs here. No warm sunsets for this sett’s occupier; it’s a dark, dismal place devoid of direct sunlight throughout the day and year. I have to say that it’s a busy, rowdy, and somewhat shabby area. All the best badger sett locations are taken and have sitting tenants in residence, so I expect it is a matter of “beggars can’t be choosers”.

(Please click on image to view video)

We are the badgers living in the big hole in the ground that Mike found.

Sunrise 06.00 am   Sunset: 08.16 pm

When I found the freshly dug hole on Wednesday, I knew it had been dug by a badger, or badgers, and I knew it was needed to accommodate a growing badger colony. However, I have a thing about holes in the ground. I can’t accept that it’s just a hole in the ground; I have to know what dug it, when it was dug, and why it is needed. Why do I need this information? Well, just for peace of mind really; so that I can move on to the next item on my agenda.

It’s now the beginning of the busy season for the marsh and for me: the foxes, badgers, various other animals, insects, and plants are, or will soon be, busy producing new life. I can sympathise with the dog fox running himself ragged, hunting food for the vixen and her cubs. I can’t be everywhere at once; on the other hand, I want to miss as little of the action as possible. This is where my camera traps earn their keep. I think camera traps are pretty uninteresting pieces of photographic equipment in the general scheme of things: you have no control over the images they capture, and it’s very easy to put them on a shelf and forget you have them. However, camera traps do have their uses, and it’s at this time of the year that I am glad I have them: they get quick results and help maintain my sanity.

In this case, even though I know the hole is a badger sett; I feel the need to put a face to the occupant, or occupants that live there, which is exactly what the camera trap is designed to do. I don’t know why I have the urge to do this, as all badgers look the same to me. The camera traps I use won’t win me any photography prizes, but they are small and light, simple to set up, easily camouflaged, and a set of eight AA batteries usually lasts a year – cheap to run! I wouldn’t want to be without my camera trap; that’s for sure.

Below is one of a number of nighttime images of the new hole occupants, snapped by my camera trap. I can move on now.

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