Friday, May 20, 2011

Delight at dusk

A few Friends of ARUK in the North West met together to view badgers. We shared transport and as we approached the farm on the river bank, scores of sand martins were feeding close-by. We paid the farmer for parking and then made our way up the hill in anticipation of a good evening. Swallows gave us an aerial display and we all started to speak in hushed tones. Once everyone was in the small hide, I scattered some peanuts around the sett entrances, retreated to be with all the others and waited. The quiet glade, illuminated by four lamps and surrounded by huge trees had the appearance of a small cathedral. The woodland choir of chaffinch, song thrush, chiffchaff, blackbird and the occasional tawny owl added to the atmosphere. We did not have to wait for too long as our first badger appeared, shortly followed by a second. We could hear them chomping on the peanuts just in front of us. After about twenty minutes they disappeared but soon returned with two smaller badgers following. The way these were jumping around and generally having a good time made us decide they were juveniles. We had just as much delight watching them, as they obviously did playing. We managed to see three adults and these two young all together. Suddenly a pheasant started calling very loudly which made the cubs shoot back in the sett. It did not take long for the others to join them. By this time it was 2150 and since some had to get up for work the following morning we decided to call it a day. Everyone was thrilled at the good views they had, and I look forward to our next visit in July

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