Sunday, January 16, 2011

Badger Group Survey

Yesterday morning, the Bedfordshire Badger Group conducted a survey of some woodland in the west of the County in order to establish whether Badgers are present. We split up into 3 teams and fanned out into the surrounding area.

Barbed wire fences are always worth a look to see what’s been passing underneath. This fence was between the woodland area and an old pasture…so I wasn’t surprised to come across this Badger hair on one of the lower strands.

As I was examining the hair, the other members of the team searching the woodland directly behind me came across a well-established sett with at least 7 entrances in use….result!

This is my favourite photograph of the day – the white object is a golf ball, just to the left of a several latrines. Badgers will bring objects back to the sett – I can just imagine last year’s cubs having fun playing with this!

The state of this log is most likely the result of Badgers ripping it apart in their search for grubs and other invertebrates. Another fallen log close by had a number of scratch marks on its surface.

Rabbits and Grey Squirrels were also seen during the survey, together with several Red Fox scats. And here’s something to look out for – a small, almost square leafless area amongst the leaves where a Muntjac has been scent-marking. It’s difficult to see in the photograph, but two trails could be made out leading from this patch to either side of the silver birch tree and through the wire fence to the deep cover on the other side.

1 comment:

  1. I was on the survey too, but our group didn't find any trace of badgers. I think that you must have been looking in the right place, or (more likely) we were having too much fun trying to navigate our way around the woods whilst you were keeping your eyes open!

    The golf ball is great - I too can imagine the cubs having fun with it.