Fox Fest ....

April 07, 2014  •  7 Comments

Pauline say's .... 'so you go out to photograph something - well with a certain something, a target in mind (doesn't mean you will get it - no not by any stretch of the imagination!) but there you are ... set up ... camera on tripod ... target species has been seen or I could really pull a pun and say 'spotted' as in lesser and woodpecker in the same sentence ... when something out of the blue, unexpected, not even on the edge of consciousness, it never crossed your mind - happens and what follows is so magical and delicious you can hardly believe it when you look back ... Well thats what happened to us a few weeks ago now before our Scotland hols' ... 

There I was concentrating on listening for the approach of the lesser spot with one ear and the on going conversations round and about me there being several photographers and birders all lined up on the path, patiently waiting to see the woodpecker and passing the time in chat ... I looked down - I don;t know why I looked down - whether I sensed something or colour had flashed on the periphery of my eye but I looked at this little red 'dog' with the flopped over ear and thought 'wonder who that little red terrier belongs to' ... wait a minute - grief! - blimy! (youngsters might be reading this!) blimy! thats not a terrier thats a fox - stood beside me looking expectantly up at me. I looked round as you do thinking is anyone else seeing this and no-one was so I whispered to the person stood beside me 'don;t make any quick movements but theres a fox here!' 

Ian had appeared by this time from his wander on down the path to see if the lesser spot was in the vicinity and never one;s to miss a photographic opportunity he changed lenses and we both got down to snapping away - I had taken grab shots with my phone initially just to prove to Ian, had he not returned, that the fox had been where I said! Closer inspection revealed not a dog but a vixen with teats so obviously she had young of milk drinking age back in the den. There was a couple there with their grandson who's only two years old but already he knew the names of the more common birds and he was fascinated by the fox! He wasn;t a bit frightened and come to that neither was the vixen. The grandparents of the little lad took his sandwich back from him and fed it to the vixen and the lad never 'muffed' he didn;t cry or get upset in any way, just watched the fox mesmorised! Finally they fed her all the sandwiches and the chocolate muffins - we joked that the cubs would be getting chocolate milk later! When the vixen finally left the little lad wanted to know where the 'Wow-wow' had gone?!

We went back a day or so later armed with a box of pre cooked cocktail sausages but had to wait awhile as another photographer was taking the opportunity and feeding her bits of broken up bacon! Eventually his food ran out and she left but soon returned to see what the rest of us might have! We threw food to her for a while. Then I made the decision to try hand feeding this vixen - it wasn't lightly taken as a wild animal bite can be a very serious matter - but I somehow felt that she would be gentle and I was right - she had the lightest take and no snatching - very cat like - many dogs snatch at the last minute as the food smell going up their noses proves overpowering - but this girl was dainty and careful.

Foxy Fun!Foxy Fun!

She made one mistake and tried my thumb when I didn;t take my hand away quickly enough - but as soon as her teeth touched she let go and backed up a bit - like she thought I was pulling a stunt on her! She quickly came back and we went on with the here's half a sausage - please pose while Ian takes a few shots! 

Sausages - love 'em ...Sausages - love 'em ...

Oh and the woodpecker?! Oh well yes we did get a few pics of him - too high up in the trees, too far away, too many branches in the way - all the usual clutter and hinderences! As far as he's concerned its a case of better luck next time. In the meanwhile I shall remember this vixen and her soft and gentle touch for quite some time ....

 


Comments

7.Pauline and Ian Wildlife Images
Thank you David - love you too my mate!
6.www.shallcross-images.co.uk
The experience was a wonderful moment in life, with nature, with friends, and thanking GOD for my life, my love, and these friends .

Magnifico Pauline and Ian. i will love you always. True nature lovers.
5.Pauline and Ian Wildlife Images
Thanks for comments guys! I must admit it doesn;t happen to us all that often and its the very first time that I have ever hand fed a fox and it was a lovely experience ...
4.Nadja Wendt(non-registered)
What a treat - not just for the vixen, but also for you lucky ones. I'd love to have an experience like this. When I meet a fox in the fields, I mostly see their tails, lol.
3.www.shallcross-images.co.uk
Super pics Pauline and Ian especially the little tubby bloke with the grey hair !
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