With this cold weather and snow on the ground again, the foxes are visiting the feeding station earlier. It was half past four this afternoon when I came up into the office and noticed that they were out in the field. The sun was just setting, but there was enough light for me to see that there were four there: Fern, Flynn and two cubs. Flynn is easy to recognise, but the cubs are so big now, it is difficult to see who is who. Their behaviour is the best indication. The cubs are extremely submissive towards Flynn and if he appears they flatten to the ground, ears back and lots of tail wagging and cub-like behaviour. He does not tolerate them and will chase them off whenever they come too close. This leads to lots of shrieking, yapping and bickering. Fern is more relaxed towards him and I am hoping she will have more cubs next year.
The red fox breeding season is December to February, with most cubs born in mid March. I am hoping I will be able to tell if she is pregnant by February.. the evenings will be a bit lighter and, hopefully, she will continue to visit the feeding station regularly up until her cubs are born.
I still have not located her den… despite trailing up and down the local hedgerows. I will set the Bushnell up again in a couple of locations in the new year.
My Bushnell is still down at a neighbour’s… but about 3 miles from me. I thought the lane looked OK today, so started to drive there. I got about half way and decided to abandon it, when the hill ahead of me glistened with ice in the low sun and I could see the zig-zags of previous cars’ skids! After a 20 point turn on the lane, I miraculously managed to turn the car around and get back to the house. I will be walking there tomorrow… even that will be trecherous!