Quite a long time has passed and only raccoon dogs and other visitors come to the bog-side burrows of the Soosaare badger sett where we started monitoring this sett. The badgers that initially were in a playful mood and felt secure at home no longer do so. Their tracks and activities lately are at the rear side burrows only. Two weeks ago we installed a camera there too and the first batch of video clips is here.
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 02.10.2016
The new camera caught one badger to start with, the familiar slimmer adult who we believe is the female out of the three seen at the sett. In the video we also see raccoon dogs who seem to like the badgers in action. On comparing the records from the three trail cameras it turned out that the raccoon dog pair mostly visited the burrows at the rear which the badgers now actively use and tidy up. And they did not come just to look for news, on several occasions they entered the burrow. They can be quite annoying to the sett owners if such behaviour turns out to become the rule and acquaintance is pushed on them.
It is necessary to prepare for winter despite the irritating raccoon dogs, particularly when storm winds tear golden leaves from trees and a weather change is forecast. The largest creature in the sett, a similarly familiar male badger, worked hard with raking leaves. Amazing where this pile of leaves carried into the burrow might fit because there seem to be no traces of old nest material having been carried outside. In the video at 0.25 it can be seen that someone came to disturb the badger. The master judged it wiser to disappear quickly into the burrow but was out again surprisingly quickly. In the background we can hear a blackbird calling agitatedly. The disturber may well have been a ferret. The badger has no reason to fear him, sleeping birds however certainly have.
In the first Soosaare camera we saw a hazel grouse. The springtime chick has grown into a young bird almost of the size of the adults. The hazel grouse is already the second hen family bird noted. Earlier we have seen a capercaillie. It is handy for the birds to pick pebbles for their craw from the gravel scratched out from the burrows. It would not be easy to find pebbles in the bog if the badgers were not helping.
The hunting ferret also made a couple of rounds of the sett. At the end of the video we see a robin landing quite near the ferret’s tail. Audacious bird!