Sunday 6 September 2015

Midnight visitors - Badger and Hedgehog.

Something was helping itself to hay from the feeder in the hill park this week, there were trails of flattened grass up to and through the fence Sue thought it was badgers, perhaps stealing hay to line a sett. I borrowed Jon's trail cam yesterday to find out what was going on and it worked.

Half an hour after midnight a badger turned up snuffling around a trap set for mink (see video still). Ten minutes later a hedgehog followed.

When we lived below the N. Downs our parish in Kent was estimated to have the highest density of badgers in Europe, you almost tripped over them on evening walks, it was relatively easy for them to excavate setts in the soft chalk. Here in Ardnamurchan there is only a thin scrape of soil overlying boulders and bedrock so finding a home must be difficult for them.

If you haven't read Roger McGough's poem , "The Badgers and the Goodgers" find a copy. Once upon a time there were two species; the goodgers were sweet natured and nibbled moon beams while the badgers swore and fought all the time, they drove the goodgers to extinction.

In England the UK government is killing badgers again in a misguided and unscientific attempt to control TB in cattle. Its a political move to please their farmer voters Each year a dairy cow produces roughly seven tonnes of faeces and urine (slurry) which is then spread on grassland the nocturnal feeding ground of badgers.Could the cows be infecting the badgers ?

Hedgehogs eat worms, I wonder if they follow badgers around to pick up any worms that the badgers have unearthed and not eaten?

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