Castle Hill Walk (and foxes)

I was out at Castle Hill, a local nature reserve, early this morning. I was killing a little bit of time before going to fix a friend’s computer, but the early start was more than a little rewarding. It was cold, but sunny and I had only gone a short way along the path when I noticed a familiar shape sitting out by the edge of the gorse.

fox at castle hill

I managed to get a little closer, but not much. This is the best of the shots.

fox at castle hill

I’ve seen numerous raptors along the path on previous visits, but had no luck with them today. The smaller birds were busy though including this unidentified bird with a beak-full of insects. I’d welcome a suggested i.d.

small brown bird

Whitethroats I can recognize, though this is the first time I’ve managed to photograph one in flight.

whitethroat in flight

And here’s a more conventional shot of one perched in an adjoining rape field.


Next up (literally) is a bird I can identify as easily by its song as by sight. It’s a skylark.


Down at ground level a small flock of starlings were feasting on worms and grubs.

starling with worm

Two more photos to close today’s blog. Both are foxes, both were taken in the garden. They’re both exceptionally badly composed as well! The first one was taken through the window this afternoon. I think it may well be the male fox I’ve photographed several times at night recently.


This is definitely the vixen, taken tonight.


And in case you’re interested, I did manage to fix the computer. All in all a successful day.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens with the exception of the final photo of the vixen which was with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

This entry was posted in Birds, Foxes and tagged , , , .


  1. Darko May 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    It’s the same fox from your garden, on a first photo. It is stalking you 😀

    What was wrong with the computer? dW is also having troubles with his, hopefully he will be back online in a couple of days. It is kind of slow on WP these days, not many people around…

    • Words May 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      Darko, I wouldn’t mind if they were stalking me!

      The computer problem was a corrupted user profile on Vista which completely prevented logging in (and there was only one user account). I eventually got in via safe mode and created a hidden super-admin account which allowed me to create a new account and move everything from the old one into the new (working) account). I’ve skipped a few steps here! Moving the data takes forever.

      • Darko May 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

        Couldn’t you just reset the password on the old account? Anyway, try to switch to something newer, Win7 or even 8, Vista is no better that old Windows ME, if you remember that one 😀

        • Words May 8, 2014 at 12:12 am #

          Darko, unfortunately no. It wouldn’t load the profile at all so you couldn’t get to the password controls. It’s the second time I’ve come across this (both on Vista). I think there may have been a corrupted update at some point.

          I’m on Windows 7 Ultimate, which is fine. I skipped ME and flirted briefly with Vista.

  2. Adele May 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Lovely shots. It seems the spring this year has been extra wildlife-rich to make up for our winter!

    Not sure what that bird is, or even if it’s a British species rather than something exotic blown off course during the spring migration.

    Darko, I haven’t been on WP much but I miss the days of blogging on Opera. I’m in the process of building a new blog but I’m not sure where to host it. I might put it on my own site.

    • Words May 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      Adele, the nearest I could come up with with the small bird was ‘nightingale’, but I’m not sufficiently familiar with them to be sure.

      It’s a shame My Opera disappeared. WP is too large to have a sense of community, though it’s a generally good system (I’m using it at work quite a lot). Self-hosting works well. The main concern is making sure that your security is good, and that you take backups. So slightly more work, but also more flexibility.

    • Darko May 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

      Yeah, nothing is like Opera…

  3. derwandersmann May 23, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    Damned right … except that it didn’t work terribly well, and when they’d break down and fix it, they’d make it worse. But the system was very congenial.
    Vista is possibly the worst thing that M’soft ever did. I had it literally destroy a computer.

    • Words May 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      dW, I only used Vista for a short while when my previous PC had burnout and W7 was a few months from release. I suffered for about 2 years before I upgraded.