(Click on images to enlarge)
Wednesday May 4th 2011: This evening I decided to try my luck at shooting a few decent images of the north marsh foxes. I photographed them yesterday, but the shots were opportunistic. I am not happy with them. So at 6:30 this evening I pulled on a pair of brown trousers, slung my Ghillie jacket and camera bag over my shoulder and walked down to the marsh determined to hone my tree mimicking skills.
The coots, and the female mallard with her eight ducklings, were swimming on the North Pond. I stood watching the ducks, when a vixen appeared on the opposite bank: looking for something tasty to eat, no doubt. The mallard, being far too smart for this fox, moved her ducklings to the safety of the reeds. I was a tree, so the fox didn’t pay me any attention – for a while at least. She looked up, down and across the pond and sniffed the air. She must have seen a glint from my camera lens, or heard the clicking of the shutter. Perhaps my tree mimicking was not quite slick enough. She stared at me for around 15 to 20 seconds, from a few different angles, trying to work out what she was looking at. My tree impression had not fooled her after all. She quickly turned away and ran back into the wood.
I settled down in the north pasture to wait for the foxes to appear. Twenty minutes later the vixen squeezed through the pasture fence. She sniffed the air and began working an area of grass in front of me. With her nose close to the ground, I could see her eyes glinting. I stood exposed in the middle of the pasture; she was unaware that I was watching her. After a while, perhaps 4-5 minutes, I noticed that her eyes had zeroed in on my boots. She trotted towards me. Her nose continuously sniffed the air. Her eyes were completely fixed on my boots. I was a little concerned that my boots might be about to get a good old gnawing. As her head filled my viewfinder she hesitated, stopped, thought better of it, and ran off towards the pasture fence.
A few of the images I made this evening are in the slide-show, below: