MY TRAIL camera has been monitoring a badger sett in Clackmannanshire, revealing some most interesting behaviour.

This sett is an elaborate home for the badgers, consisting of many inter-linking tunnels and entrance holes, created by generations of badger digging. I enjoy visiting this sett – it is a place to look and wonder; a breath-taking engineered environment of real endeavour.

So, it was with much anticipation that I retrieved my trail-cam the other week to see what badger action had been videoed.

The biggest surprise was catching a pair of mating badgers on film. Female badgers will be giving birth about now, so I was somewhat taken aback by recording this pair being so intimate. My guess is that this was a young female who has never had cubs before.

Badgers exhibit delayed implantation of their eggs once mated, which means that the embryos won’t start to develop until December, with the young been born the following February or March. In other words, this young sow already has the 2019 generation of cubs ticking away inside her.

The remote sensor-operated camera has revealed badgers to be quite noisy creatures, with grunts and high-pitched chatters being common.

They also like a good scratch after emerging from underground and I have one film clip of a badger lying on its back and giving its chest and belly a long scratch with its front paws. I imagine that fleas are a perennial irritant for badgers.

It has been fascinating to observe these badgers, and that whilst we sleep in our beds at night, there is a different world out there, living their own secret lives in our fields and woods.