Sunday, 7 August 2016

Badger! Badger! Badger!

We've had badgers visiting our garden for at least 20 years. My Dad saw one back in the 1990s and one of our neighbours saw another (maybe a descendant) a few years ago. Our trap camera shows regular but infrequent visits.  This means it was a treat to open up the trap camera and find 3 in one shot. Two are quite a bit smaller than the third, who I'm assuming is their mother.

3 Badgers, 24th June 2016.
According to the Collins Fields Guide to Mammals "Young born mid-January usually peaking early Feb". So my young badgers were probably nearly 5 months old.

A month later the camera caught the family group again. Two of the badgers are partly obscured by vegetation but they all look roughly the same size.

Another visit, 23rd July 2016.
This little family also provide a useful pest control service. I had noticed quite a few wasps in the garden. They were not causing any problems, just going from flower-to-flower, collecting pollen. I didn't realise there was a nest until Tuesday the 28th of July. I noticed disturbed earth and went to investigate.

The remnants of the wasp nest.
Looking closer, I could see a hole about 6 inches (15cm) deep and the same across. There were fragments of greyish 'paper' in and near the hole.

A couple of the few remaining wasps (Vespula germanica).
Rather foolishly, I took a closer look. It was only when a wasp flew into my hair, I realised what was going on! It took a few moments of very nervous headshaking to extract it.  Unfortunately the camera wasn't running on the night that the badgers destroyed the nest but they are the most likely candidates when a wasp nest is dug up. They are known to destroy wasp nests so they can eat the larvae.

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