A Kestrel at Breakfast

This is a bit of an unscheduled break in the relentless fox cub posts (I have so many photos that I’m not even trying to keep up). I got these shots on my way to work this morning, at around 8.00am. I drive past Sheepcote Valley by Brighton racecourse every morning. It’s a good spot for kestrels and this morning one was hovering right over the entrance to the car park. Too good an opportunity not to stop. By the time I had parked and got the camera ready the kestrel had moved about 20 yards… The light wasn’t great and I thought shots like this were all I was going to get.

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Kestrel (female) hovering at Sheepcote Valley, near Brighton, East Sussex

But then the kestrel dropped into the grass… and I go this short sequence.

kestrel and prey

Kestrel pinning down its prey (a vole)

kestrel and prey

A quick nibble…

kestrel and prey

And up and away…

kestrel and prey

A good start to my day, and the kestrel’s. Less good for the vole, but this is the harsher side of wildlife watching.

It’s too wet tonight to watch out for the fox cubs, but they’ve been on great form over the weekend. This was last night’s Fox of the Day… worth a reprise over here as well.

fox cubs fighting

Fox cubs fighting at night

Camera note: all kestrel photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Fox cubs photographed with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.

More Fox Cub Portraits

The fox cubs are becoming more adventurous which means I hope to be getting a few more ‘action’ shots of them in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking some portraits of them. These are generally posed at the top of some low steps so that I can angle the camera slightly upward. This makes the cub appear larger but also helps kill the background shrubs and trees.

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Portrait of an 11-12 week old fox cub, taken 21st May 2017.

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Fox cub taken on 27th May 2017.

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Two cubs, taken on 27th May

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Fox cub with just a little more background detail to give some idea of context.

fox cub running

The final shot is a cub running across the garden, also taken on 27th May.

Camera note: firts four photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. The final shot was taken with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM which gives me more room to capture action and behaviour.

Fox Cubs in the Sunshine

A beautiful sunny weekend has brought the young fox cubs (now 11-12 weeks old) out to play. I spotted them early Saturday evening (photographs taken through a window), and then again this evening (where I managed to get outside to join them). Their mother, the vixen, was lurking on both occasions; and both times called the cubs to retreat with her. Luckily, a couple of them returned shortly afterwards. Naughty cubs 😉

Enough preamble… here is a small taste of the fox cubs in sunshine…

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Two of the cubs at the top of the steps at the rear of the garden

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Young fox cub bird watching (a magpie had just flown overhead).

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Stalking…

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Greeting

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Relaxing

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Lounging…

Got some great night portraits tonight. Will share those soon!

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