Starting the Year with a Fox

January has generally been a fairly quiet month for our garden foxes. It’s the time of year when they are busy breeding and establishing dens in preparation for their new cubs (expected March/April, though they can be earlier). The previous season’s cubs will often have been driven away from their birth territory, and even those who remain tend to establish new, more cautious habits. Watching them becomes tricky (and has often required hours of standing out in the cold for little more than a fleeting glimpse).

That’s why the appearance of Wolfy over the past few weeks has been such a welcome surprise. He was one of the 2018 cubs. A small, grey/black young fox with a cheeky temperament but always something of an outsider from the main group.

fox cub

Wolfy at about 12 weeks old, taken back in May 2018

Over the past few weeks he has started showing up again (after a gap of a couple of months), and slowly I am regaining his confidence. At first he would retreat to the cover at the rear of garden at the slightest movement or sound. Slowly though, he has let me creep closer. 10 metres…8…6…5… And last night he was comfortable enough to explore the flower beds just alongside me (maybe 2 or 3 metres gap between us).

fox on steps

Stepping down into the garden


Pausing among the plants


Watching me watching him


He even posed for a classic portrait shot.

Pretty, the vixen, has only been by once or twice in the past few weeks, but I suspect she has other things on her mind. She’s coming up to two years’ old so this is a prime time for her to have her first litter. With luck she will find a den nearby. And with more luck we’ll have a whole new family of foxes in 2019.

Finally, just a note on the website. I’ve made a number of small adjustments the most obvious of which is the ‘cookie bar’ at the bottom of the page, but the very sharp-eyed may have noticed some small stylistic changes as well. These are simply to keep the design template ‘current’.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens.

This entry was posted in fox cub, Foxes, Wildlife and tagged .


  1. Darko January 5, 2019 at 3:24 pm #

    Wolfie is a nice looking fox, although to my eye he looks more dark grey and black than the “normal” fox, if you know what I mean. Fits his name very well 🙂

    • Words January 6, 2019 at 12:42 am #

      That dark/grey colour does sometimes occur. The previous year we had a cub like that as well (the Little Dog Fox). Possibly the same parents! Be interesting to see if we get yet another with that dark coat. I really like the look!

  2. Aurora Stone January 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm #

    Wolfie is a very handsome fox indeed and so obliging for the camera.

    • Words January 15, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

      Yes, he’s been great lately. It took some time to regain his confidence, but there’s no stopping him now.