Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Badger Watch At Skegness

Last time we were at 'the manor' the grumpy old man looked through the one of the lounge windows at 12.20am and was astonished to see a badger. I - being me - went out for a close up view of them, fortunately they didn't see me because of their poor eyesight and twinkle-toes that I am, they didn't hear me. But I have to ask myself why I did this barefoot considering how many slugs were in the vicinity - ugh, the thought of it now makes me shudder but at the time I just didn't notice.

Of course my camera which has always completely baffled me with it's various settings, ensured that I didn't manage to get any photos that night - unless you count the fuzzy grey and black blobs. I should really have been ready for this event after an owl posed nicely a couple of years ago for five whole minutes with not one recognisable photograph to show for it.

Anyway, I stayed up until 1.00am for the next two nights - yawn - armed with my now tweaked and beaten into submission Samsung L830 - and yes, I read a few instructions after downloading the manual [this has to be a first, I don't do instructions] - no badgers, but the fox made an appearance each time.

Oooer, I've just put the news on to see that they've stopped the badger cull in Wales [I'm waiting for the Asda traffic bit in Langley Mill]. I can hardly believe the coincidence, I've been going to write this for weeks and finally got around to it today - spooky, but I mean ... well bugger! that was to be one of my grumpy bits.

I'm a bit sort of deflated now albeit extremely happy for the badgers. Sorry farmers, there must be another way of controlling bovine TB rather than killing our indigenous wildlife. It's not like they're premeditatedly schmoozing up to cows and deliberately infecting them now is it?

I'd read about the proposed badger cull when I was searching on-line for what to feed them [apparently they like honey sandwiches and peanuts], and decided there and then that this was something I could and would be grumpy about in my badger post, I mean it's not even been proved that culling badgers significantly decreases the cases of bovine TB.

Even worse, I also read about badger baiting - against my own advice [because I know I won't sleep thinking about it] - where supposed human beings [trash] find bizarre entertainment in setting dogs onto badgers, not once but twice, first they drag them out in the day to thoroughly traumatize them with a good shaking, then again later to be ripped apart - all good fun isn't it? SICK BASTARDS! - and I make no apologies for swearing.

Right back to my badger watch - on the third night we were treated to not one but two badgers, who obligingly posed for my camera. Although their eyesight is poor, the same can't be said for their hearing, it's very sharp which is a bit of a bugger because the grumpy old man doesn't know how to whisper, sending them dashing off as soon as he opens his mouth.

I tapped on the window of the caravan next door every time the badgers had settled down to eat [they were still up, we don't do early to bed around here], but even that gentle tapping sent the badgers running so our neighbours didn't get to see them in the flesh until the fourth night.

The badgers came every night after that munching on a handful of peanuts that we'd spread out, it was probably dropped bird seed next to the fence that had attracted them in the first place. One night alas, I missed a potentially fantastic photo of a fox and badger face to face. But my nosy cat sitting on the windowsill, started an odd growling and the fox turned back the way it came, funnily enough she sits quietly for ages watching the badgers but has a hissy fit whenever the fox passes by.

We consider ourselves very privileged to have seen - and heard - the badgers and hope they come often to give us more late night viewing. We're lucky to have the many birds, ducks, rabbits and squirrels visiting during the days, and now the badgers at night. Our family and friends have suggested that we keep feeding them to make sure they get to see them when they stay at 'the manor' with us.

Hmm, In view of all this 'free' entertainment, I may have to start charging more board for our select lodgings [yeah, yeah, we've already done the tin shack in an old turnip field bit] in a wildlife reserve. So, may I suggest that as well as the customary charge of a box of teabags and bag of sugar - you bring your own nuts ...

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.