EXCITING NEWS!!!! Mystery ‘Visitors’

I have been a bit fed up in the garden recently…. I have been blaming my ‘free range’ hens who are allowed out in the garden during the day. At the far end of my garden, I have a run for my dog when I am out at work. The area just in front is my compost, general garden debris area and the shed is up that end. It is not a particularly tidy end of the garden, and when I clean out my hens, I wheel barrow all the muck up and dump it up there. It all rots down and makes really good compost. I try to keep it relatively tidy and it should look something like this…..

Recently, however, it has been looking more like this……

All the piles either side are all over the place…. so much so that I can’t see the path at all! My hens are very good at kicking stuff all over the place, so I presumed it must be them. Then, ;ast week my small border had been pulled out……

I fenced off the end of the garden to stop them coming through, but when I went up this weekend, it was a mess again.  The hens have hardly been out this week, as I have been out at work.

I had to go up the lane to get some hay for my goats and as I went up there, just level with this part of the garden, there is a very distinct path , up the bank on the opposite side of the lane. I looked more closely. It looks really well used and there were faint claw marks in the rock hard bank….

 I then looked on the other side of the lane… the side of my garden.A couple of metres down the lane was a similar path…. quite steep and up to the end part of my garden, by my shed… something was definitely coming across the lane and up into my garden on a fairly regular basis…

This view shows the lane, looking down towards my house…. you can just see it on the right.  The left hand path is by the drain.

What could be making these tracks. I looked really closely at the paths, trying to see if there were any hairs or tracks close. Caught on a piece of holly, were a couple of hairs, some long whitish ones and then this one……

This is the one that got me excited….. the white middle with a dark tip could only be one animal…… a badger!! Yes, could I actually be having badgers visiting in my garden? The weather recently has left the ground extremely hard to forage in. This end of my garden is loose, compost soil, full of invertebrates and I would imagine, a pretty rich foraging ground. The other side of the lane belongs to my neighbour. We went up onto his ground to see if we could see any tracks that side. There were not any particularly clear ones, but something had been through the grass. This land leads back onto the bridle path, opposite my house. Last year a wasp’s nest had been dug out of the bank by what could only have been a badger. Huge claw marks were clear, and a great hole dug into the bank. A walk up there provided us with the final confirmation……

…. badger poo?!!!???

Looking up on the internet, this looks very likely to be badger. Their stools are black in colour and this badger has been eating lots of berries, as there were loads of fruit stones within it, as well as a few beetle husks.

As you can imagine, I am pretty excited by now….. but how am I going to confirm it? I considered cutting a hole in the shed and camping up there for the night…. but settled on an easier option…. a new camera! A visit to Maplin, and an extra 20m of cable means that hedgehog cam is now out of action and the cable runs right up to the end of the garden where I have installed a new camera!!  You can just see it mounted towards the bottom of the tree, on the right hand side. I put a couple of bricks there to create a small ‘feeding station’.

You can just see it on the tree on the left in the picture above… and then below is a picture taken showing the camera’s view.

I have put some peanuts and sunflower hearts out and hope that I manage to catch this special visitor on camera. I am off on holiday for a few days tomorrow, so I hope something comes tonight….. I will leave the motion detection on if nothing has appeared before I go to bed.

 Watch this space for badger news!!