ONE of my local Wee County badger clans has enjoyed a good breeding season, with there being four cubs scampering about during the evening and night.

My trail-camera has been recording their antics over the last few weeks as they boisterously play by the underground entrances of their home (sett).

I had set two trail cameras, but one of them quickly got knocked over by their rough and tumble. Curiosity aroused, they also frequently examined the other camera, but it managed to withstand to their attentions.

Having four cubs is a good-sized litter, and the youngsters will grow quickly.

By 12 weeks old, they are being weaned and start learning to forage for themselves alongside their mother.

By the time they are 15 weeks old, the cubs are quite happy to go foraging alone. By the autumn, badger cubs are nearly as big as adult badgers.

This Clackmannanshire family will have several challenges ahead, most notably if there is a prolonged period of dry weather, which will reduce the availability of earthworms, one of their favoured foods. At such times, mortality increases, especially among the young.

Many young badgers also become road casualties.

However, this family live adjacent to a damp bog, so hopefully that will boost their chances for survival with there being plenty of worms about, no matter how dry the weather is.

Whilst using trail cameras is a great way to record badger behaviour, nothing beats seeing the animals in the flesh, and over the coming weeks, I intend to make some evening visits, where from a secluded spot and at a safe distance, I will be able to watch these wonderful animals go about their business without disturbing them.