Acorns, squirrels and badgers

At the moment, I am using my camera trap to try to find out how many badgers are in each of my local setts, what holes they are using, and where they socialise (mutual grooming and suchlike). For the last couple of days, I have put it on a tree, watching the exit path from a sett that is not easy to watch without being detected.

When I looked at the results from the first session (just 24 hours), I was surprised to see that I had over 60 video clips – I was expecting to just be able to count the badgers going off hunting, and then returning. However, a lot of the clips were daytime, and here’s a typical one :

Apart from the farm cat and a group of pigeons, all of the daytime clips were of a squirrel, sometimes a pair, foraging in this area and burying acorns. That night, out come the badgers :

The badgers – 4 or 5 of them in the sett – spent a lot of time in this area, seeming mostly to be just snuffling amongst the leaves. They did not dig up any acorns – there were plenty lying around on the surface – but certainly seemed curious about the activities of the squirrels. On the other hand, they showed no response at all to the scent of the farm cat who passed along the badger path at a time when there were no badgers in sight.

Lovely piece of kit, this camera trap. Adds another dimension to badger-watching!

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