Badgers

I’ve been trying to get a picture of my local badgers for ages without any great success.  Last night, the cows removed themselves to higher pastures and allowed me to set up near a scrape in the ground, which the badgers use to come through the fence.  I’ve never seen these animals in daylight so I was prepared for a longish wait after darkness fell.  That was no problem because I’m happy enough sitting around in the isolation, listening to the sounds of the night.  The tawny owls were particularly noisy, calling to each other across the valley.  Above my head was a pair of bats and various rustlings in the wood suggested small animals doing their nightly rounds.

It was about 11.30pm when the first badger emerged and I could just make out its shape as it began to hoover up my peanuts.  I was about 30 yards away with a 300mm lens and flash was my only option.  I waited until it was settled into its feeding and was joined by another before I chanced a shot.  Strangely enough, the light didn’t bother them one bit so I chanced a half a dozen, hoping that one might be useable.  Then, there was one of those moments which I will treasure for a long time.  I could just make out a tiny shape coming towards me along the fence side.  I dropped a few peanuts at my feet and sat very still as the youngster kept coming.  Then another.  Finally, I had two young badgers feeding at my feet and sniffing the tripod.  It was a magical moment, particularly since my forages into badger world have been, largely, unsuccessful to date.  Cows permitting, I’ll get back there soon and see what other opportunities present themselves.

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