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Monday, 30 May 2011

Fox cubs

A month or so ago I was exploring a local area when suddenly something slightly grey in colour and with a long tail darted across my path and disappeared into the undergrowth.

All I got was a fleeting glimpse - if I'd been looking in a different direction I wouldn't have seen it.

I racked my brain - what could that have been ? Rabbit - no, tail too long. Hare - no, same reason. Stoat - possibly, but it was slightly too big. Fox - couldn't have been, could it ??

Well, just as I moved forward another one shot across in front of me and into what I could now see was a well used hole. Further inspection revealed obvious signs of use with feathers and the like littering the area.

I retreated, covered my face, pulled my hat down and stayed motionless as I tried to blend with the trunk of a large tree.

10 minutes later, a little head appeared and yes, it was a very young fox cub. In a few moments a second head appeared and after a careful sniff of the air, to charming little cubs emerged from their den to play.

I watched for a few minutes until they spotted me, or picked up my scent, and after a hard stare to work out what I was, they dissappeared and left the area.

The den site is very overgrown and using a 500mm @ f4, I am lucky to be getting shutter speeds above 1/100th, but careful technique and choice of moment is proving successful.

Since I discovered it, I've been back to the site several times a week and have watched the cubs progress. They certainly are growing fast, doubling in size since I discovered them and their coats are turning from a greyish pink to a lovely red.

Not sure how long they will stay around the den, but I intend to make the most of the opportunity to photograph something I've wanted to work on since I got my DSLR.

As I've mentioned, the light is particulary challenging in the area, so rather than attempt to introduce artificial light, I decided to work with the shadows instead.

Here is my best 'moody' effort so far - keep coming back to check for more:

1 comment:

Amila said...

I'm happy for you, Graham! I'll give anything to get even a glimpse of one of our Indian Jackal cubs!