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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Attitude, Commitment and Respect, all in black and white.

I've seen it on the way to and from the high seat and I've sat in the high seat in awe of the industrious and slightly bumbling black and white bandit, who is our beloved Badger! Not everyone shares that view of course, perhaps foremost the dairy farmer but if there are no cattle around, as is our situation, they do little harm, apart from blocking the occasional ditch.

Badgers caught on a Bushnell Trophy Camera on 'our patch'

The industrious badger is a committed and capable excavator and in the soft fen soil of our region they can move a massive amount of it in a very short space of time. Overnight, they can fill a ditch with spoil from an excavation, certainly three or four hundred pounds of soil, which is quite an achievement for such little legs! Their determination is commendable, not just in building their home but also keeping it clean. A trail of clean bedding material from the site of collection to the mouth of the set is a clear sign that Brock is at home.

The badgers attitude toward food is also one of extreme commitment, a favourite food is wasp grubs straight from the nest and that takes some commitment if any meal ever did. In this world of fast food and ready meals, just imagine the process which the badger has to follow to get his favourite meal. First he (or she presumably) has to dig a fair sized hole, I've seen several that would have been easily big enough to bury our microwave and maybe even the dish washer. Then he has to rip the front out of the wasp nest and stick his face in it to get the grubs out! Now just imagine the combined fury and fire power of a thousand wasps defending their home! Holy cow, 'ready steady cook' and the 'Great British Bake Off' now look like a walk in the park! If you ever walk past a freshly 'Badgered' wasp nest, the air will be thick with really really upset wasps, likely to sting anything that moves close by, including you. I have been in that situation and I have a lot of respect for anything that determined, I really like Badgers and really hate wasps!

You can in the picture above a wasp nest that has been 'Badgered' it's not a great picture but I wasn't about to stand there and get stung for the sake of a piece of pristine photography, if you can't make out the cluster of wasps still in conference in the nest, you'll have to take my word for it that there was a bunch of them in there.

Keep your eyes out for the black and white bandit and his yellow and black enemy, I know which I'd rather watch at close quarters!


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