Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 10.10.2016
More news now from the Soosaare sett. All three badgers whom we have seen here before the longish break passed in camera view last week. The large fat male badger with the bushy blunt tail, the large fat female badger with a narrower tail and now also a rather fat young badger but with a narrower tail. The younger badger differs from the female only by the proportions. Its body is smaller compared to the head.
The male badger always goes on its rounds alone. The young one and the female seem to go together. This is the daily rhythm for the Soosaare badgers: in the evening at about 8 o’clock they come out from the burrow. Mainly they use exits that are not visible for the cameras. Once, immediately in the beginning of the video, an evening exit was from the burrow facing the camera. On leaving a burrow they either head straight for the forest to eat or start finishing the nest lining. The hazels and aspens on the sett are just going bare and so leaves need not be looked for farther away. There is so much falling leaves that no traces show, and it cannot be seen if the burrow opening is in use or not. The burrow facing the camera where most leaves are carried in is not much different from the burrows where at the moment no activity goes on. When the one-hour nest care is done the badgers – who have already eaten themselves quite plump - head for the forest and the bog to eat. To get even more fat deposits under the skin. They return home in dusk in the morning between six and seven. There is a number of records in the video from these homecomings. During the day the sett is silent. Even the raccoon dogs that pottered at the sett the whole night don’t show up.
It is interesting to observe how the cranberry tussocks along the trail to the bog go more and more bare. The moss that was full of berries earlier looks as if berry-pickers had gone over it. But people don’t come here, it is no typical berry-picking area. The berry-pickers are probably mainly the black grouse who often whirrs into flight from here, and of course other birds too. In addition certainly raccoon dogs but maybe our badgers as well. Most tussocks are carefully cleared of berries. But close by a tussock there can be another full of untouched berries.
The boars happened to walk across the sett again. The Soosaare area piglets seem to be born quite early in the spring. Look much older than the Salumetsa piglets, quite the young boars already.
Bird migration is in full swing. The tits are in groups and a partial migration goes on. The northern ones come here, ours fly a little towards south. In several cameras there are now records where the whole camera view is filled with a big yellow belly. The great tit is a very curious bird. There is no food to be found here after all, no hollows either where to crawl for the night to rest. The interesting equipment simply has to be pecked and pulled at and inspected.