Corona Wildlife Diary: Day Twenty-six

, 12 April 2020
Corona Wildlife Diary: Day Twenty-six

As the world shuts down around us the uplifting role that wildlife plays in our lives becomes more vital than ever. So, for my own sanity as much as anything, I’m going to keep a daily diary of what I find around my garden. Photograph the wildlife you can see from your window or in your garden and post your pictures on the ‘Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Table’ page.

Day Twenty-six

Something I’ve always wanted to do is set up one of those night vision trail cameras in the back garden. I managed to borrow one from work when I left three weeks ago.

Check out this short clip to see me setting the camera up and to see some nocturnal footage from my back garden.

 

Well, it was not a huge surprise to see this female Red Fox chowing down on the dog food. We sometimes see a fox brazenly sauntering around the cul-de-sac, even in the middle of the day.

Foxes have lived among us for centuries and they’re celebrated in folklore and myths all around the world. Whether the story belongs to the Greeks, Japanese, Celts, Native Americans, Disney or Roald Dahl it is always the same – the fox is portrayed as cunning, slippery and devious. Personally I prefer to describe them as intelligent, adaptable and resourceful - and it’s these traits that have helped the fox to survive in the modern world. Over the centuries, humans have transformed the fox’s wild woods into endless agricultural fields, towns, cities, tower blocks and cul-de-sacs.

Peter Brookes

(Red Fox by Peter Brooks)

Traditionally in the face of development Britain’s wildlife has silently been displaced and died. But where others fled destruction the fox, like any shrewd opportunist, saw a brave new world of golden opportunities where the dustbins overfloweth and where the streets are paved with cast away kebabs and finger-lickin’ chicken.  

And for me this is the chapter in the fox’s story that does indeed seem mythical: that in urban Britain there are wild dogs living amongst us. I can strap a trail camera to a statue of Ian Botham in my back garden and film a relative of the wolf, dingo, jackal and coyote casually sauntering across my lawn. It’s a touch of the Serengeti in suburban Sussex. Studies undertaken by the University of Brighton have estimated that there are 20 foxes per square kilometre in the city.   

Peter Brroks 2

(Red Fox by Peter Brooks)

Back in the bleak midwinter our local foxes were at their most vocal. It was one helluva racket! The blood-curdling, human-like scream of the vixen sounds like something from a Hammer Horror film and may well have come from the same fox I caught on camera. This foxy lady is only fertile for a few days and her scream advertises her availability and sparks bow-wows, barks and bickering from amorous dog foxes. Her cubs will be born about fifty-two days after mating and emerge from their earths in April. Looking at this female on the trail camera footage, it seems she is suckling some young cubs somewhere nearby. It still amazes me that I’m sharing this cul-de-sac with a family of wild dogs.  These suburban streets are still wild at heart.

So in honour of this beautiful vixen here's the Jimi Hendrix Experience (here)

Have a great Easter Sunday folks.


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Comments

  • Dilys:

    Just wanted to thank you very much for writing the daily Corona diary, you really do bring a smile every day with your humour and interesting facts….and the music links! Thanks for all your hard work 👏👏👏👏

    12 Apr 2020 09:36:00

  • Lyn Jago:

    I really look forward to your daily accounts, Michael. You bring so many aspects of wildlife into our homes at this time with real time events. Thanks so much!

    12 Apr 2020 11:42:00

  • Alan Lehmann:

    Nice pics. I got one of those trail cameras and managed to get some pics of a fox and the inevitable squirrel. But the camera takes 8 AA batteries, which are supposed to last 6 months, but mine lasted just 1-2 weeks. I replaced them and the same thing happened, ie they ran out after a week. So I sent the camera back in disgust. Hope you have better luck.
    Thanks for all the postings, keeping us all entertained.

    12 Apr 2020 16:44:00

  • Colin Upton:

    Indeed Michael, Our local foxes have two cubs, seen today Sunday 12th.

    13 Apr 2020 01:35:00