3 July, 2020

It all started with an invitation from a friend to view a Red Kite’s nest in her garden. (This, hopefully will be the subject of another ‘Sights’ in the not too distant future.) As we threaded our way through a wooded area (it is a big garden) my attention was caught by an earth spoil and tunnel entrance. ‘Fox?’ I remarked, to which our host responded,’ Yes, and there she is!’ And sure enough, a Red Fox appeared trotting leisurely across the path ahead of us from left to right. It was early evening and so the light was good and viewing clear. She seemed pale to me and slight. There was no fear in our presence, merely curiosity. A few trots, pause, look back at us.  A few trots more, pause. By the time I realized the opportunity and pulled out my phone she was some way distant. But then to my luck a final pause and glance, and ‘click’ – gotcha! After cropping and enlargement I was quite pleased with the result. 

 Hemingford Fox

Photographs by Ian Jackson

Where on earth .... ?

Hemingford Fox

There! Just goes to show what you can do with the humble phone.

So, what do we know about foxes in the Ouse Valley? You tell me! Please write with your sightings, observations, experiences – good or bad. This individual is lucky. She is living undisturbed among large houses and indifferent to the neighbour’s dog apparently. I know of another one on Holt Island Nature Reserve in St Ives that trots over the bridge entrance as if he owns the place. We have footage of him catching a rat on the website. Check out ‘Nature in the Raw’ and compare size and colour of this individual and the Hemingford one (Hidden Secrets of Holt Island).

The clue may be the time of year. I checked the Discover Wildlife website and found this for July by Sarah McPherson: ‘Adults are by now very thin after provisioning for three months; they also look very tatty because they are moulting. So they stop feeding the cubs and start competing with them for food, often driving them off and forcing them to explore.’ So the Hemingford garden might be worth keeping an eye on for cubs!

Trustee Ian Jackson