Badgers Meles meles are often thought to be woodland animals but they survive very well in more open habitats. There are several Badger setts in the dunes at Sheskinmore. The exact number of family groups is difficult to determine as Badgers often have a number of outlying setts separate from the main territory. Both the “snuffle-holes” made by foraging Badgers and their communal latrines are obvious on the reserve.
Although they are wary when first emerging from a sett, foraging Badgers at Sheskinmore can be approached quite closely by a careful observer. They are sometimes active in daylight. Their main foods (as elsewhere) are thought to be worms and other invertebrates but at Sandfield in June 2005 one was seen to dig an almost fully grown Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus from its burrow and eat it.
In an interesting habit, the Sheskinmore Badgers will occasionally sleep above ground in makeshift “nests” of dry grass. This behaviour has also been recorded in other Badger populations (Roper, 2010). The nests can be found under some of the reserve’s rocky outcrops. In August 2001 a young Badger was found sleeping in one during the day.
Roper, T.J. 2010. The New Naturalist Library, Badger. Harper Collins, London.