2 May 2022

Foxes

Frances, Stewart and Phoebe live a mile away from us in a rented terraced house. They have a small garden with a wall at the back. Beyond that there is a verdant slope that plunges down to the car park of the local "Home Bargains" store.  I suspect that there was a stone quarry there at some time in the past.

Recently, they spotted a fox cub in their garden and suspected it may have come from the slice of green wilderness just over the wall. Sure enough, a few minutes later, they watched a a vixen leap over the wall to retrieve her inquisitive cub.

Fast forward five days and Stewart happened to be beside the garden wall with his i-phone in hand. He snapped this amazing picture of the vixen with lunch in her mouth.  It's hard to tell what it is. Stewart and Frances think that it is an adult rat but I am not so sure.

On another occasion Stewart leaned over the wall and captured the following image of a young fox cub.
Who needs to go on an African safari or seek out penguins in Antarctica when you can watch the activities of urban foxes here in Merry Olde England? Their widespread presence in our cities is really a phenomenon of the past fifty years. Before that they were mainly country dwellers - so wary and so cunning that you hardly ever saw them.

39 comments:

  1. Those are great pictures! The vixen‘s lunch does look like a rat to me, too.
    Like so many other animals, foxes have had no real choice when humans encroached on their territory more and more. Their original habitat has become too small, not offering enough protection and food for all of them, and so they have adapted and follow humans and their rubbish which in turn attracts rats and other potential prey.
    But of course you know all that.
    Stuttgart has an estimated population of about 5,000 foxes.

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  2. The paws of the prey look like a mole. We have a fox that lives in the woods below our house but it is a rare treat to even see it much less take a photo of it. The closest photo I have was probably 50 yards away.

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    1. Urban foxes in England are a lot more brazen than our country foxes.

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  3. I am surprised he could get that close! I would be afraid. Amazing photos!

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    1. Stewart was very lucky - to get that close to the mother.

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  4. We have foxes here in Lloyd and I have seen a few on my walks and I'm always a bit confused- dog? Cat? Oh. Fox. And we have at least one that lives in the far corner of the yard. Those pictures are amazing and Stewart should be proud of them. I, too, think it looks like a rat that the vixen is carrying. What do you think it is, if not a rat?

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    1. Possibly a donkey?

      Just being silly. Maybe a mole.

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  5. It is amazing to be so close to the fox, even allowing for some zooming. What a photo! Melbourne has more foxes per square kilometre than any other city in the world. It is not really a statistic we are proud of.

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    1. Do they elect councillors and would it be possible for a fox to become The Mayor of Melbourne?

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  6. FANTASTIC PHOTOS!!! what a privilege to have them so close and be able to enjoy some encounters

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    1. I grew up in the countryside and very rarely saw foxes. If I did they were gingery specks far away.

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  7. They are adorable! It looks like a possum to me. Rats are THAT big in England. Yikes.

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    1. Oh yes! Americans think they have got the best and biggest of everything but you should see our wasps - bigger than your fist and our seagulls are like ostriches.

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    2. Cara and I were hiking in the dark to our hotel in Milton Keynes. In one of those tunnel things that go under the road, a very large rat scurried in front of us. Cara said, "Ah yes. Now you've had the full British experience." It was a big 'un.

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  8. Astounding photos! There was a person here whose newspaper went missing several days in a row, and he finally decided to wait and see what was going on. Imagine his surprise when a fox stole it! She was lining her nest in a hollow tree nearby with newsprint.

    The foxes, and more dangerously, the coyotes, are less and less afraid of people here, it worries me for both the animals and the people.

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    1. I think that Trump followers and anti-abortionists are far more dangerous Messymini.

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  9. Quite a few critters have decided to live in town. I had a mule deer in my yard 3 days ago. Tonight I saw a moss less than 1 km away. We have foxes and cayotes who find great food in our garbage.

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    1. Of course I was familiar with the word "moose" but not "moss" in this context. Are you trying to bamboozle me?

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  10. I'm not keen on foxes, they take too many chickens from people who are relying on the eggs.

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    1. They should make their fences more secure or put out fox food.

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  11. That's a great photo of vixen and lunch.
    There are no foxes here or moles but we have plenty of long-tails (not supposed to say R.A.T)

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    1. When we were on the Isle of Man we saw a great herd of wildebeest south of KIrk Michael.

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  12. Fantastic Mr and Mrs Fox. I have seen them carrying rats and worms in their mouths. Nature encroaches everywhere. Amazing photos.

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    1. Emilia Fox stars in "Prime Suspect". I wouldn't mind a night in her den.

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    2. She's a very foxy vixen.

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    3. Are we being sexist or sexy? I haven't read the rules recently.

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  13. We have loads of foxes in London and they come into my garden regularly to play or forage. When I'm driving home I often have to slow down as one runs across the road. We also have badgers round here too although I have only seen them dead in the road, never alive. For that to be in the heart of London is amazing!

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    1. I think they may be taking over. In a few years time they will be living in our houses and driving cars around.

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  14. What amazing photographs, YP. - it's rare to see a fox that close up. I'm glad she found some lunch for herself and her baby, without resorting to someone's dustbin.
    I've seen a couple of foxes here, but think they've all been pushed out of their natural habitat as the area has been developed.
    Sadly the Spanish are not sympathetic to most forms of wildlife and it's only in the past year that dogs have been proclaimed "sentient beings" and therefore worthy of protection.

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    1. Since wheelie bins became the norm, foxes have had no dustbins to raid. Frances and Stewart have been putting out cheap canned dogmeat for their vixen.

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  15. Foxes have come into the cities to escape the hunting pack;) decided there was much better food around, apart from rats, and now grace us with their presence.

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    1. Have you ever eaten rat Thelma? It's delicious. Rather like a gamey chicken.

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  16. Wow, those are some amazing photos! I think that DOES look like a rat. I don't know what else it would be. It's not spiny enough to be a hedgehog and its feet are too bald to be a squirrel.

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    1. It might be a raccoon. A photo thumbs up from The Great Reed is always precious. I will tell Stewart.

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  17. Stewart's photos are amazing, (National geographic quality!) We have a fox family living under one of my neighbours decks. I love the fact that everyone I've spoken to feels amazed by their presence. There is a pride in the fact that the foxes chose our street to raise their family . The rats on your side of the pond are huge! I hope they don't attempt to immigrate.

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  18. What fantastic shots! The summer before last we had multiple dens of foxes across the road from us, down over a old (unused) railroad grade. It was great fun to watch them grow. We set up a game camera so as not to scare them and still get pictures. The land was my brother and sister's. Whenever he saw a road killed deer, he would get the tractor and haul it up to the old railroad above their dens so that they could feast without being on the highway. We didn't want them hit. It happened to some of them anyway. We haven't seen any of the foxes denning there since, which was disappointing.

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  19. They are so beautiful!

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  20. Amazing photos, especially that first one!

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