Author Archives: Words

First Fox Cub of 2018

The annual wait for a first fox cub sighting has come early this year. The cubs haven’t yet ventured into our garden, but our neighbour mentioned that he had seen them at the rear of his garden so I’ve been keeping an eye open. Very little activity, but this afternoon one youngster did poke its head out for a few moments.

My line of sight is partly obscured by garden furniture, fencing and branches; but only partly. And it is very cute 🙂

First fox cub of the year

First fox cub of the year

First fox cub of the year

It may be a week or so before they venture as far as our garden, but you can be absolutely sure that I’ll be quietly watching! There are at least three adults in the vicinity (Pretty, Mama Vixen and another). Here’s a short video clip of them being very noisy at the end of March.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Mama Vixen

A month or so ago I posted that we thought Pretty Vixen was pregnant… but that proved to be a false alarm. She isn’t. What’s been noticeable though over the past three weeks or so is that her behaviour has changed. She visits less frequently and either takes any scraps away or caches them. She’s what is known as a ‘helper vixen’, a young female who assists in the raising of another vixen’s cubs.

Last night she was in the garden again, but Mama was lurking in the background.

Pretty Vixen and lactating vixen

Pretty Vixen and lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

For the mother to be venturing out so soon, the cubs must be very close so there’s a good chance (but not guaranteed) that we’ll see them while they are quite young. We’ll be watching!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

Brent Geese and Fulmars at Rottingdean

These are a few shots taken at Rottingdean cliffs this morning. The weather was threatening – but never delivering – some sunshine, so the light was imperfect. There are still some fulmars nesting in the cliffs. I’ve not been there frequently enough to judge whether the small numbers are a real reduction on previous years as the time of day and weather (and sea) can make a difference to how many hug the cliffs.

fulmar

Fulmar nesting at Rottingdean Cliffs, East Sussex

fulmar and jackdaws

Fulmar with two jackdaws in the background. Jackdaws are possibly the most dominant cliff dwellers.

fulmar

Fulmar in flight

The tide was out so I kept my eye open for waders (we see lots of oystercatchers along the coast). I was out of luck with them, but a very distant flock caught my eye as it skimmed the sea between Brighton Marina and Saltdean. I think these are Brent Geese. They are winter visitors and probably just beginning their summer migration away from the UK.

Brent geese

Flock of Brent Geese off the coastline at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.