30 Nights Wild, night 16

I decided on a change of tactics tonight. Instead of sitting in my high seat, three metres off the ground, I'd sit on the ground, on a small stool that I normally use on conservation volunteering days. I started off about five metres from the feeding site, just to see how the badgers would react.

Jeremy and Nicola

Nicola was nervous at first, but then she's normally very cautious when first emerging. Eventually, she came out to the food and ignored me. Jeremy was not so sure either, but even he overcame his fears and emerged. After eating peanuts for ten minutes, he stopped and stared at me, then stampeded back to the sett, with Nicola following. He evidently has a short memory, as he was back out again in less than a minute! Nicola returned too for a short while, but then wandered off into the brambles. Jeremy slurped up the honey and wandered off too.

Nigel and Nicola

It was getting dark by then, so I decided to try my luck and move in a bit closer. I moved around to the foot of my ladder, about three metres from the feeding site and put out more peanuts, with a trail of nuts coming to within half a metre of my seat. Soon, Nicola was out again, this time with the other cub Nigel, and Jeremy came back too. The cubs followed the trail of nuts and then came right up to me, sniffing my boots and nibbling at my trousers. One went around behind me, then walked under the stool and came out between my legs, to sniff at the camera tripod in front of me. How do you film a badger when it's under your tripod? Finally, curiosity satisfied, all three badgers returned to the brambles. I'd been eaten alive by mosquitos, but it was worth it!


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