We are slowly getting closer to our dream of getting badgers to take up residence in our artificial sett at Yew View. It is almost a year ago now that we constructed this two chamber sett on site, with an HD camera in each chamber. Over the last year, we have planted over the top of the sett, put in a screen of trees and shrubs to create a secure environment and then kept out fingers crossed!
We have had visits from rats, rabbits, foxes and a number of badgers over the last few months. One had a brief snooze a month or so ago. This week, for the first time, we had a badger spend a considerable amount of time sleeping in the chamber. This female slept for over an hour and looked extremely comfortable and relaxed… all very good signs!
Some screen captures from that hour indicate how comfortable this individual feels inside this chamber now…
It is a true privilege to be able to have a sneaky glimpse into the life of a wild badger like this. We have lots of film of them above the ground, but rarely do you get the chance to watch them underground. All the planning and hard work building the sett last year has definitely been worth it, just to get captures like this. I chose a few sections of this badger’s sleep and uploaded the following videos. She sleeps very much like my dogs…. curled up, stretching, yawning…. but with more scratching than my dogs do, thankfully!
The only thing that has spoilt the quality of this image was a large spider web and spider across the lens. The camera is very sensitive and spiders can affect the way the camera focuses and adjusts the IR. Spiders are the bane of my life in this set-up! Although I can remove the camera and clean it (which I do every week) they are soon back , building again!
Even so, I am thrilled with this week’s captures….. Make sure you select to WATCH THEM in HD!!
The camera we are using is pretty sophisticated and designed to be able to cope with the damp and humid conditions in the sett. I am able to zoom in and focus the camera… but only if I am at the computer at Yew View. If they choose to sleep there in the day, then this is a possibility. Although I am trying to not get ahead of myself and it is the most slimmest of possibilities, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like if a female gave birth in this chamber and we were able to watch that story in HD!!!!
It wasn’t only badgers at Yew View this week though. Of course, we had all the other usual creatures around and, what looks like a new kingfisher female. I do not recognise this individual, unless she is going through a moult at present and looking particularly scruffy!
We also had two otters visiting and sprainting this week. Last week, I had adjusted the camera to give a little wider field of view, but I had not got the focus quite right, so it was back for some adjustments this week. To make sure, we used a soft toy at the site… it is critical to get the focus just right and it can be a matter of moving the focusing rod a fraction of a mm… and I’m a bit of a perfectionist!
Let’s hope the otters continue to visit and that the badgers take advantage of the fresh pile of hay outside the sett and decide to spend a bit more time in this luxury pad!