Tuesday 29 January 2008

Just three screams

Last night I was lying wakeful and heard a fox's scream, then some high-pitched yelping. Then a triple scream, like a triple bark but very yelpy.
I looked out window, nothing to see. Sigh.
If I was a fox I wouldn't den in any of the surrounding gardens because of the noise and drilling. Big sigh. I hope we don't have another year without cubs!

Saturday 26 January 2008

Slim Pickings

Landscape gardeners and builders have been busy at a neighbours house. In the garden just two houses away a large concrete outbuilding was being demolished last week and the air echoed with drilling as barrowloads of rubble were trundled out to a huge skip. Large bushes and small trees were piled on too.

Foxes must have used that garden because it is the next one after my next-door-neighbour: but they made themselves very scarce while the disturbance went on. Once we heard a loud screaming at night, but saw nothing. Just tonight, about 10 o'clock, a fox ran across our path as we drove in, just the other end of this road. It was quite short-legged, plenty of white on front legs, and a big white snowball of a tail tip. I did not recognise this individual animal.

At least something or someone is still eating the occasional dinner leftovers that I put out at night. Last night's offering was bits and ends of raw offal, liver and kidney, from making the haggis for Burns Night celebrations. A nice feast for a wild dog!

The building work seems to be over for the moment so maybe we will see some action one of these days.

Tuesday 8 January 2008

A little night music.

I guess things are hotting up on the mating scene. About five nights ago we were woken up by a fox's scream about 5 a.m. I ran to the window but could only see a neighbour's motion-sensor lights coming on. Nothing very unusual about any of that.

Two nights later, one of my sons was woken by screaming and scuffling. Fox courtship seems to include a lot of chasing, I've seen them race pell-mell through bushes and around streets. Never could figure out who was chasing who, or why. Pursuing a coy female? seeing off a rival?

Lastly, night before last, my husband heard "yikkering", a sort of clicking or tapping noise that foxes make. It's more typically a cubs, or talking-to-cubs, sound, but you can hear it any time. There are no cubs yet of course, this is mating season. If the vixen gets pregnant now, she will give birth in the spring, say late March or April.

So there, our nights are musical with foxes again after the long silence.