The Path

Jul 9th, 2017

The Path

For a long time, R and I have believed that our local badger sett must be down by the river. We’ve had a good look for it on a number of occasions now, and have never seen any sign of it. However it now occurs to me that it may be elsewhere. We’ve a number of animal paths in our garden – they are particularly obvious when the grass has just been cut as in the picture. I always thought this particular one was a deer track, as we often see the deer coming and going in this direction.

However, when I was putting the compost waste out the other day, I noticed that part of the track disappears into the bushes leaving a low hole at ground level. I don’t think deer would leave this kind of trail and it actually could be badgers. This would also tie in with the fact that I read somewhere that badgers don’t like to be too close to water in case their sett floods.

This was all partially confirmed in my mind when I had a rather nice experience yesterday. I went for a walk on my own very early in the morning, and when I got near our gates I saw a large badger hurrying towards me. He obviously didn’t see me with his poor sight – but he smelled something because he paused. For about two minutes I just stood looking at him while he sniffed the air; Suddenly he sprinted off in the direction of the hole near the compost bins, then after about 50m, changed his mind and ran back, only missing me by a few inches before disappearing under the hedge. I noticed in particular his scarred muzzle and remarkably short legs!

So I will do further investigation of the area once the worst of the midgies have gone.

We saw the roe doe with her twin fawns the other night as well. We have actually come to the conclusion that there are at least two adult does living in the wild part of our land – one with a single fawn, and one with two. The roe stag is also frequently in the vicinity. I’m glad they live here where they are safe – though I wish they didn’t drop the ticks the cats pick up.

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