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)
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.