Despite the doom and gloom dished out by much of the media, there are actually species which are doing very well thank you.
An obvious example would be the buzzard, as it sits on roadside fence posts looking enormous.
A much less obvious example would be the nocturnal and secretive badger.
Despite live ones being rarely seen, many of you will have noticed badgers fearturing ever more regularly as road casualties. Distressing though roadkill is to witness, it is in fact a sign that badgers are becoming more common and widespread in our area.
This picture was captured by one of my remote cameras recently and shows the instantly recogniseable black and white facial stripes. Both black and white are very visible colours in the dark, and I am sure this pied pattern is to allow badgers to see one another, especially in the depths of their sett.
I have never been in favour of using flash photography on nocturnal animals, so have never photographed badgers by night before.
However, the new infra red “black flash” is not even noticed by wildlife, allowing very natural poses and behaviour to be recorded.
No doubt you have read of the debate raging concerning whether we should cull badgers to prevent TB in cattle. There can be no denying the scale and impact of bovine TB, with devastating losses to our country’s farmers. But there are many who question our right to cull any species, especially one as big and iconic as the badger.