I have been filming the foxes at this location for about 7 years. Some years I get loads of footage, other years hardly anything. This year, I have had between 3 and 4 individuals visiting and I knew at least one of the vixens had cubs. Depending on where she has denned.... and I have been unable to locate it, the cubs will appear anytime from the end of May onwards.
You can imagine my excitement, when working at my PC, I suddenly saw a cub on the live camera.... and it was still light! My cameras record 24-7 and, in fact, I have 2 cameras on this location, so I knew I would have the whole thing recorded.
It is so wonderful to see them visiting here and looking so healthy. They are absolutely gorgeous and still quite nervous. The magpies were giving them some serious grief, hence the nervousness at times. I am awaiting a microphone for this camera, so we can hear their interactions.
It is hard to gauge the size of these cub from the footage. I have a small siamese cat and I reckon the largest cubs are about her size and there is a much smaller one... so they are pretty tiny. They are amazingly independent, even early on, and I have filmed individual cubs out alone, from when they look way too young to be venturing into the big wide world without an adult around!
These are very much wild foxes. I want to keep them that way as it keeps them safe here. I do not go to the site other than to put the food out.
Here are a selection of videos I have lifted and saved. All are filmed with a Hikvision Bullet CCTV camera that I can zoom and focus from my PC.
The adult in these videos is actually the male and not the vixen. There is often an adult female from a previous litter that will also help with raising the cubs. It is thought that this is training for them, for when they have their own cubs.
I am hoping that these guys visit regularly now they know there is food there. In fact, one appeared at 5.30pm tonight. I had not yet put food out. If I do it too early, the magpies eat it all. At the moment, I have a live camera on this location, so you can watch at www.wildlifekate-alfrescowild.co.uk
I will be setting my DSLR there when the weather and light is better again and I can remotely fire it from my office, whilst watching the live camera to tell me when they are there... well that's the plan!