Wednesday 17 October 2007


I'm back from a fortnight's holiday and fully expecting the Autumn Vanish, as we call it. Normally sightings at this time of year are few and far between, as young foxes disperse to find territories and mates for themselves. The seniors may be left on the home turf but they will have to fight for it against ambitious immigrants. And there is a mortality rate, from traffic accidents mainly, as young or old foxes travel afield. And it's often a wet or windy season; and if there's one thing foxes detest, it's rain!
So I was pleasantly surprised to see, on a fine sunny afternoon last week, (11 Oct) the familiar two mounds of amber fur curled up in Mary's garden. Couldn't see which ones, but later saw Broadhead stretching comfortably. How they do love a sunny spot.

Today's sighting was even better. (17 Oct)

The spell of fine, dry weather continues, a nice change after the wet cold summer we endured this year.

About 3 in the afternoon, I glanced out my bedroom window and saw a thickly-furred fox arrive on a favourite sunbathing spot, look around leisurely, and lie down in a comfortable coil. The fur is healthy and it gets thicker as the weather cools, so I wasn't sure at first but thought it was Broadhead. I eagerly snatched up my binocs, and confirmed that it was him, looking very well. Evidently the good feeding has gone down a treat. Then as I admired him, there was a small flurry in the big macrocarpa tree, (at the back, an area I've never seen them use,) and out crawled, one sleepy leg at a time, Tipless, unmistakeably. He yawned and shifted, then sat down.

The behaviour of the first fox was interesting - he immediately got up and trotted away down the garden path towards the "den area" - a hidden corner where cubs have been raised in other years. Neither fox made any greeting or acknowledgement of the other, and no hostility was shown; but Broadhead left the premises without delay, though also without undignified haste.
I think this illustrates the changing dynamics in a fox family group very neatly.

No, I haven't forgotten that I promised to pursue the topic of fox diet: next was to be birds: I'll see to it next time!