Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Badger and Fox Videos

I thought you might like to see what I've been up to the past few nights. Each video is only 10 seconds long, but hopefully enough to give you a flavour of these wonderful creatures in their natural environment.

Badgers, I am learning, are very characterful. It is impossible not to fall in love with them when you spend time watching them regularly at close quarters as I have been doing. Over time you get to know them and you begin to learn their differences in behaviour even if you haven't yet been able to distinguish them by their markings (those stripey faces are different, believe it or not). There is one (not pictured here) who likes to sit down while eating the peanuts; another who always retreats to a safe distance, peanut in mouth, to eat it, and another who must be the dominant boar because everyone else defers to him. I think he is the one in the video pushing the other badger off the nuts and telling him off in no uncertain terms. The Badger who's been pushed off then scent marks the dominant one on the bottom. This is submissive behaviour in this context rather than dominant. They are very territorial and have strong family bonds so everyone smelling the same is an important tool in defending the patch from interlopers. Similarly, they scent mark the extents of their territories and finding a badger latrine will often tell you you've reached the border of one group's territory.

Last night, the camera picked up a fox and a badger eating beside each other, no fuss, no bother, no arguing. I was amazed. And last night's shots contained more fox than badger. I saw a fox in daylight last Friday. He was running on three legs. He went straight past me only a few metres away and didn't notice me frozen by a tree. They are fantastic creatures. It's years since I've seen one so close in the wild and I haven't stopped smiling since.

It's the time of year when fox cubs start to emerge from the den. I was reading that they are vulnerable to predation from cats at this stage, because the vixen will now leave them for short periods of time to hunt. So if you see a cat being chased by a fox during April and May it may not be the fox being aggressive. Similarly, now is the time baby badgers also venture forth from the sett. By June they will have learnt the extent of their family's territory - I will be ecstatic if I manage to photograph young badgers :o)

So, apart from telling you that I watched three male cuckoos displaying for territory this morning (amazing and I wished I'd had the camera with me) and that the sharp decline in cuckoo numbers in the South is thought to be connected to the decrease in moths - the young cuckoos feed on moth and flutter caterpillars - so there's even more reason to create a patch in your garden to support all life stages of moths and flutters (and that usually means allowing plants we consider to be weeds- willowherb, nettles, docks, thistles etc - to grow for the larvae), and to let you know that the Canada geese on the lake have hatched 6 goslings this morning, that's it from here. Oh, and Ted wants you all to know that he's been to see Mrs Danning today and is as shiny as a new pin and several pounds lighter for lack of hair as a result, and also that Poppy has done two poos and one wee in the house this week AND escaped through a hole she'd dug under the hedge that she was pretending the hedgehog had made....

I'll leave you with the badgers and the fox and wish you all a pleasant evening (or day, depending on where you are).

CT :o)




 

24 comments:

  1. Those are wonderful to see , thank you so much for sharing! Last year a badger crossed the path straight in front of us in the dusk they were so close to us it was amazing to see, We once watched lots of fox cubs playing when we were on holiday in Switzerland. These views of animals in their natural habitat are so special. Sarah x

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    1. Hi Sarah, apologies for not replying to your previous comment, am still keeping computer exposure to a minimum. Your badger and fox sightings sound wonderful. I feel unbelievably spoilt to be seeing them everyday here at present. Hope all's well with you both and Tavi of course :o) XX

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  2. Fantastic video, it really incredibly clear. Glad you've had so much success watching and filming the badgers. I was just talking to someone the other day and we were saying we'd never actually seen a badger. Although I know they are regular visitors to the allotment. No doubt if I visited at night I would get to see them. We saw some little coot chicks at Slimbridge at the weekend. Absolutely adorable. No doubt there will be ducklings as well before long. A kestrel landed on the roof of the house opposite today. I almost got a photo! Nice to hear that Ted is all neat and trimmed ready for spring. And that Poppy is still keeping you all on your toes. We are all in love with a French bulldog puppy at the moment. The ears! The wrinkly face! CJ xx

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  3. Wonderful videos! I never thought about badgers being so cute. I'd like to have a camera like that. We live in the suburbs, but I have seen all types of wildlife passing by, just in the times I am out in the evening, so I am sure there would be plenty to see on videos.

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  4. Wonderful footage. So lovely to see them and lucky you to be able to watch and film them.
    Poppy is naughty but funny too.
    We have a family of kookaburras taken up residence in a tree outside our house...so its true...Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree...
    Lovely birds and just love it when they laugh.
    Also a butcher bird in the back garden, actually a pair..they are related to the kookaburra - a smaller more refined version. Distant cousins me thinks.
    Enjoy your filming and watching and love to you xxxx

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  5. Wonderful video; you're so lucky to have seen them. Sadly, I've only ever seen badgers by the side of the road but I did come face to face with a fox in our garden who was checking out the chickens. He was so beautiful. Hugs to Ted and Poppy. xx

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  6. Both fantastic videos. We do have badgers locally but I've never seen a live one. We have foxes too which I adore but I've not seen my little foxy friend for a while now. Gosh all of those cuckoos by you, you must feel very blessed. Hope you are keeping well xx

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  7. Thanks for that, great to see the videos. x

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  8. As you know, the patch I keep in my garden to encourage wildlife is my vegetable patch!!! Actually my house backs onto a ginnel - the old cinder path and its lines with nettles, thistles, brambles and wild flowers, all untouched near my property, for the bees! And birds!
    Naughty naughty Poppy!
    And you are the second person in my life lately to wow me with a wildlife camera! My friend's is set up on his allotment. We had hedgehog sumo wrestling last night!!
    Hope you are keeping well my chum xx

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  9. great to hear all the up date about the animals around you and to see both vidoes. Wonderful to have seen 3 Cuckoos. I will be very fortunate if I heard one at all.

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  10. Thankyou for sharing the videos xx

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  11. Great shots. We have plenty of foxes around here, but have never seen a badger, although we did find a dead one in the barn once, which suggests they are around. Sadly they are very unpopular where there are dairy herds and we have plenty of those around here.

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  12. Great videos CT, you have been having fun! I see badgers when I'm cycling home off-road in the evening and we have a badger sett in the high bank surrounding the cottage. The run is clearly visible and the entrance hole is huge. The local badgers have been digging for grubs and earthworms in the churchyard but not in our garden. I think in the autumn and winter they amble across our garden in order to get into next door's orchard to eat the windfalls. No cuckoo yet but last week a Tawny owl flew low over my head at about six o'clock in the evening and right now there are two frogs mating in my pond, the first mating frogs I've seen this year. Lots of nettles etc here, on my allotment and at the cottage you'll be pleased to know. There was a squabble in the sky between a Kite and a Kestrel above the cottage garden the other day. The kestrel is often around but I've never seen Red Kites in Sussex before, although wooded hilly country is their natural territory. They are the most acrobatic birds for their size and certainly it was hard to see who won.

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  13. Lovely to watch, a Badger is something I would love to see in the wild. Had one mammal this week, a rat at the park... not quite the same though. I will add the Cuckoo too, not see one of those either.
    Old man needs a cut to, not sure he's up to the trama of having it done though.
    Glad you are having some fun in the wild, take care.
    Amanda xx

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  14. Super post. I've been looking for the first cubs among my local badgers, too. It is wonderful to watch them. I didn't know about the cats going after the fox cubs. We do have a large stray cat around here that hunts in the fields so I wonder if it goes to the fox dens. That was a wonderful sighting of the cuckoos - I still haven't heard one yet.

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  15. Hey CT,
    Oh how lovely. I chuckled at the badger. I remember driving on the back roads between Penzance and St Ives a couple of years ago with Samuel. It was about 9.30, and we saw what looked like a dog ambling up the hill close to the hedgerow. I slowed down to look, and it was a badger. I couldn't get over how big it was, and how fast it was gambolling!
    Leanne xx

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  16. Fabulous! Thank you for sharing such special moments. I would love to see living badgers, sadly see all too many dead on the roads.

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  17. Brilliant to see what you've been up to. We once stayed in a holiday house in the Lake District where there was a note recommended we put any leftover buns just outside the big lounge window and turn the lights off after dusk. We did just that and a (rather roly-poly) badger came bustling into the garden to enjoy a feast. He/she even put paws up onto the windowsill to have a look at us. It was one of those magic moments. I'd love to see badger or fox cubs. Hope Poppy is ok? Sam x

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  18. I had a earlier comment about your wonderful videos and my son loves badgers so much his sister named him Adam Badger.
    But I think I hit the exit tab instead of the publish one. I seem to do that too much.

    cheers, parsnip

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  19. I love the Badger "body barge". They are so powerful!

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  20. Great videos of the fox and badgers and of course Ted and Poppy going bonkers! If you are planning to go out tonight, it's meant to be veeeery cold (round here anyway).

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  21. Last night a fox smashed its way through one of our garden fence panels and dug a large hole in the lawn. We think it was probably after a bees nest.... but how could it smell the bees so far away. If not bees, what else was it after?

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    1. Badgers and foxes will both dig up bee nests. Their sense of smell is extraordinarily acute compared to humans. Are you sure it was a fox? Around here badgers are more usually responsible for digging up bees.

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    2. Badgers and foxes will both dig up bee nests. Their sense of smell is extraordinarily acute compared to humans. Are you sure it was a fox? Around here badgers are more usually responsible for digging up bees.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x