26th June, 2012: I haven’t mentioned the foxes for a while. They are thriving, healthy and very active. I see and hear them most times I’m out on the marsh. I hear the frantic squealing and shrieking of their prey as it’s caught and dispatched. Waiting patiently is usually rewarded with a glimpse of a fox or two; sometimes one will be carrying a kill in its mouth.
I captured the image below, through my macro lens, after hearing a kerfuffle and shrieking deep within bushes yesterday evening. I knew the fox would soon cross the track to take its kill into the withy wood. I didn’t have to wait long for it to run across the track. It looked straight down at me, with a magpie in its mouth.
A similar thing occurred at the weekend. I was passing North Pond when I heard an animal scream. I waited behind a bramble bush. A little later a fox walked out of the long grass with a coot in its mouth. Another time it was a rabbit’s turn to become a fox’s dinner, in the north pasture.
The grass and other vegetation are so high at the moment that the only time I am likely to see a fox is when it crosses a track. They are in their element in tall grass; creeping silently through it to surprise their prey. Sometimes they drive prey towards a fox laying in wait.
The marsh fox family has moved from the den to the withy wood. It’s extremely thick with willow trees and saplings that grow in standing water for most of the year. There are a couple of ponds and a lot of sticky, gloopy mud in there, and then there are the clouds of hungry biting flies….