I am still buzzing from the most special moments I have just shared with my beautiful fox family. Tiny Tess appeared quite early, just as dusk was falling and I managed to get a couple of shots of her peeping out of the hedge before she disappeared. Then, one of the larger cubs appeared and sniffed around where I have been ‘spreading’ dog food on the grass. In this way, the corvids can’t steal it all. He stayed for a little while and I was able to get a few photos (at ISO 3200!) and a bit of video.
Just as the light was almost gone, Fern appeared in the field, as did all three of the cubs! They all greeted each other and then raced around leaping onto each other, biting, rolling around and chasing. I upped the exposure compensation on the camera and there was just enough light to film their antics…. they were so funny… so full of beans and playful… it was a very special moment. This was the moment I had hoped I would see when I first had Fern visit all those months ago, when I hoped she had got cubs. I will process the video tomorrow and put it on.
What was really useful was to be able to watch the film back to try and distinguish the two larger cubs from each other. You really need to see both at the same time to do this and watching the footage back, I think I am beginning to be able to tell them apart. The cub I have been seeing recently, who I thought was the middle-sized cub is, in fact the largest one, Bill. He is very orange in colour, with a bushy tail, very black front legs, up above his knees. On his muzzle, he has two distinctive black marks, which I am hoping will help me recognise him in future. Marvin, however, is not as red in colour. His tail is really thin, ending in black, with a tiny piece of white, right at the tip. I haven’t been able to look closely enough, but I think he also has small black marking on his muzzle, but not as distinctive as Bill’s. Tiny Tess is easy to spot. She is so small and is more silver grey in colour, also with a thin tail.
Here are a couple of shots I took last night of Bill. You can clearly see the black markings on his muzzle. These were shot ay 500mm, ISO 3200, so a bit grainy as the light was getting low.
I also created a little video of some footage taken earlier in the week. The light is very low, so it’s a bit dark! You can just about see them though!