Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Left on the Shelf

After yesterdays marathon, I decided on a change of tack. After 'only' an hour and a halfs walk, I crept down to a shelf of rock that overlooks a face that foxes favour.
I lay there quietly for an hour, then rolled a couple of rocks down to see if that would move anything. Nothing.
So it was back to waiting.
About an hour after that, when I'd just about matched the temperature of the rock shelf I was lying on, I suddenly picked up a fox. Right in the middle of the whole face I'd been watching. Where the hell did that come from?
Not from these parts if its behaviour was anything to go by; it slowly worked its way along the face then stood broadside 80yards below me. They dont do that often.
The steep angle of the shot (and the fact I was holding on with my toenails) made it a bit tricky but I dropped it in its tracks.
At this time of year you often get them in pairs so I reloaded immediately and remained stock still while trying to look everywhere at once. Ninety minutes later I decided that it probably wasn't going to appear (or had already disappeared)and pulled the plug.
On retrieving the fox I found she was a young vixen. It never fails to strike me just how bonny these animals are- all the more so when they're in their winter coat like this one. Unfortunately their beauty is matched only by their voracity.
That's saved me one den come spring- and saved countless nesting birds to boot. But without the focal point of a den, a dog fox is all the more difficult to fall in with. Time will tell....

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