Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Badgers Run in Broxham?

I think I would be safe in saying that a lot of folk will have a holiday destination, either area or town, that they  like to revisit and for me and my family that's Brixham in Devon.

The lure of this coastal harbour town has proved too much this year and we looked at a cottage during the period that produced this medical blog entry and found that it was only free during the time we wanted to go, we took that as a sign!

I associate Brixham with many things, but crabbing and fisherman landing copious amounts of Mackerel from the harbour wall are two sort of bushcrafty things that come to mind (as well as chips). I was hopeful of landing a few prawns with my made for purpose plastic bottle trap and I bought along my smoker to do justice to the couple of tiger striped torpedoes but that is another blog entry. 

View out of our window.

The rented house that we booked is called The Badgers Run, and whilst the location is enough to want to hire the place, the other main reason was the visitors to the garden, hence the blog title, you won't be surprised to hear that the garden gets visited by Meles meles or badgers to give them their everyday name, and brox is an old English word for a badger hence Broxham in the blog title. 

The wife of the couple who rent the place out is actively involved with the Badger Trust so it will come as no surprise that the owners positively encourage those staying to leave a tasty trail up to the patio near the house to encourage them close, even suggesting that some treats are placed in the flower pots.We therefore came down armed with a seriously large bag of peanuts and some small dog biscuits and the trick is to put down the food early enough to get out the way, but not too soon as to see the gulls make off with it. Literally a difference of five minutes can see the gulls swooping or not.

We had assumed that the property's close location to  Berry Head nature reserve was why it got it's nocturnal guests but apparently there are setts all around the property and foxes will often visit too. No surprises there then! 


They approach along a thin section of lawn from the right hand side of the property and along to the patio steps on the left hand side.We came down during the Torbay Regatta and the first night saw limited truncated action because just as the badgers started to make an appearance a massive firework display kicked off across the bay and it sent them scuttling.



These are two of their party tricks namely eating out of the flower pots and licking and nibbling peanut butter off the terracotta pot stand. The butter proved a useful tool to extend their appearances because they couldn't just eat it and move off.  

You can see above that I captured one of the badgers having a dig in the lawn below and one having a feast on an egg in a bowl. As well as peanut butter and eggs they've had any meat scraps from our tea, uneaten sandwiches, bits of caught mackerel and so on.


We have had an opportunistic fox show up too but he stayed on the lawn ready to bolt. He was super skittish and actually dared to venture onto the patio after the outside floodlight went out. The maximum I've seen at any one time is four on the patio with no floodlight on but only a maximum of three during the earlier floodlit hours. Frustratingly most visits only saw one come on the patio each time.

With watching them every night we've got to recognise some of them. The one pictured above is the one that shows first. It comes and vacuums up the juiciest morsels and splits soon after only to return later. It was raining when I took this bedraggled shot...

...And soon after I took the picture the early bird badger squeezed through these railings and jumped down from the patio to the lawn below, dislodging the tile section in the process. We saw this several times but it happened so quickly I didn't manage to capture a picture of it.

This is usually the second badger and it's very twitchy so taking pictures of it takes a little more patience, this one has also squeezed through the railings.

There's also one with a bad rear foot who we saw on and off, he looked quite old and a bit moth eaten but had the most impressive claws out of all our gluttonous visitors. I can't recommend this place for badger 'tourism' enough and have unashamedly made the last part of the blog a mini gallery.





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