Sep 112016

Known more for filming nocturnal activities at music festivals and concerts, Dod Morrison turns his lens from the jet set to the badger sett. Photos and story by Dod Morrison. 

021-badgers-4-9-16-by-dod-morrison-photography-2-use-thisThe word Badger is said to derive from the French word Becheur meaning digger. Badgers have been present in the British Isles for at least 300,000 – 400,000 years.

Badgers live in complex underground burrow systems called setts, which can accomodate a group of six to ten individuals.

They are nocturnal animals, emerging from their setts soon after dusk and sniffing the air for danger before going about their activities.

This much loved animal is subject to persecution which stems back to the 70s when some badgers were found to be infected with TB. Some people thought that this could be passed on to cattle, and to combat this they starting gassing setts to keep the population of badgers down.

Even though there is no hard evidence that this is true, culling is still going on in some counties in England in 2016.

007-badgers-12-7-16-by-dod-morrsion-photography-2Road traffic is another problem for these creatures with as much as 40,000 being killed every year.

This is partly because badgers tend to habitually follow the same paths. So, if a road is built near a sett, the badgers just do as they normally do, placing them at the mercy of traffic.

On some new roads, however, badger tunnels are built underneath.

Imagine my delight when I was told where there was a sett and a good chance to see some of them up close and personal.

On arrival at this location, I put out some peanuts near where I thought they might appear.

011-badgers-16-7-16-by-dod-morrison-photography-2After sitting for about a hour, we could see something moving about in the gorse and then slowly we could see the familiar black and white stripes appearing over the ridge.

My heart skipped a beat and I started snapping away.

It looked up and I stopped and waited a few minutes until it got used to me, and then took more pics. I couldn’t believe how big it actually was.

Another smaller one appeared further down the gorse from a different hole and came out into the open and was even closer. Wow! I was hooked. We watched them for about 20 minutes.

004-badgers-august-2016-by-dod-morrison-photography-2Over the next few months I visited them on several occasions.

It is such a buzz when you see a head popping out of the sett and especially when it is one of the little cubs who are still quite shy and not as bold as the older ones.

When you see them out in the open away from the sett just milling about in the grass, it is joy to behold and fascinating to watch.

010-badgers-28-8-16-by-dod-morrison-photography-2They just wander around sniffing the air and then, noses to the ground, sniffing out earthworms.

Sometimes they just run around enjoying themselves.





Near badgers setts there is often have a tree they scratch.

To see them this near is great – especially when one of them plays peek-a-boo with you.

Not many people will see these wonderful animals in their natural habitat so it was pleasure and a privilege to see them.

016-badgers-4-9-16-by-dod-morrison-photography-2bMy first visit in September proved to be my most fruitful and exciting yet.

They were on top form, climbing up the small tree stems, coming real close for the next two hours and general just larking about.

There is one young cub who is very shy.

I have caught sight of his head, but he rarely ventures out.

However, tonight I believe I finally captured him.

This was a magical moment as were all the sightings of these wonderful animals.

All photography © Dod Morrison – all rights reserved.

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Jan 092015

Bad Manners at the Lemon Tree?  It would be rude not to go.  By Rock Chick and photos by Dod Morrison

What better way to end the festive season and start 2015 than with a bit of Ska with Bad Manners at the sold out Lemon Tree on 2nd January.

The band was formed in 1976 and spent 111 weeks in the UK singles chart between 1980-1983. Buster Bloodvessel is the only original member left in the current line up.

max_splodge_Aberdeen_Jan_2015_by_Dod_Morrison_photographyMax Splodge came on as support and was well received by the sell out crowd. During the set he did covers of old favourites including “Nellie the Elephant”,” Swords of a thousand men”, “2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps please” and Sham 69’s “Hurry Up Harry”.

The very bouncy crowd lapped it up and were in high spirits waiting for Buster and the band to come on stage. They arrived to chants of “you fat bastard “and went right into the first song, “This is Ska”.

The set list was quite extensive with loads of songs from their back catalogue – “My girl lollipop” “Lorraine”, “Ne ne na na na na nu nu” and “Special Brew” to name a few.


Bad_Manners_Aberdeen_-_Jan_2015_by_Dod_Morrison_photography_122 (2)The tempo slowed down a bit with “Can’t take my eyes off you” which was a cover of an old Frankie Valli song. With over 500 people in the venue, it had turned into a sweatbox, but this didn’t stop everyone dancing away.

There was a short instrumental at the start of the encore then Buster came back on to do “Lip up Fatty” and “The Can Can”. He’s still as energetic as ever and bounced around all night and he more than deserved the few pints I’m sure were waiting for him as he left the stage!

He announced they’d be back later in the year so I’m sure we’ll see quite a few familiar faces then as well.

Definitely a “must see” gig for anyone’s to do list. See you down the front!