Usually when I capture images of badgers on my camera traps they are monochrome night shots of foraging individuals passing through, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).
Imagine my surprise, therefore, to check the card of a camera recently to find one has enlarged a rabbit hole and moved in only feet from the camera.
Having a badger in residence gifts me daytime pictures of the species for the first time.
I'm not yet sure if my visitor is male or female, either sex and any age of badger will go off on its own like this and establish a new sett or just a private lying up place.
Dispersal among badgers can be a protracted affair, with regular returns to the original sett.
Even large established setts tend to have satellite setts or even just single holes like this within or near their territory.
Exactly why and when a badger should decide to leave its usual group is open to speculation.
Overcrowding, rivalry, bullying, lack of peace lack of food, lack of mating opportunities, or just plain adventuresome spirit could all be reasons to get up and go.
Either way I am delighted this one chose to set up home within the never tiring gaze of one of my static cameras.
Whether the animal stays will depend upon whether it finds what it is looking for.
Certainly I feel there is ample food close by to support a badger.
A worm rich pasture as well as arable fields, hedgerows and woodland are all available and will provide this omnivore with all the food it requires.
If it does stay, will the rabbit warren become a full sized badger sett in time?
That would be wonderful, but it is still early days .
Meanwhile, I look forward to many more daylight photographs as well as the usual dusk, dawn and dark pictures badgers usually gift me.