Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Sleeping Fox

There’s often a story behind the taking of any photograph, especially with wildlife and on this occasion this was no different.  Having tried on numerous occasions in the last six months to photograph Foxes, without luck, it was seemingly just another attempt.  They can be surprisingly elusive, more typically nocturnal though at this time of year the cubs have been ‘kicked out’ of their home and so looking for their own territories.

Luck was on my side this time as I spotted a reddish brown clump of fur in a sea of greenery.  Already waist high in grass I just needed to cover my lens and top half with my trusty netting and settled for a wait, and wait I had to as after nearly 20 minutes of no movement I was starting to think the poor Fox may not be alive but a flicker of an ear proved otherwise.  Another 10 minutes or so and it woke up had a scratch, a quick look around, another scratch then back for a snooze.


After I momentarily looked away then back the Fox, which had barely moved in 40 minutes, had got up and was disappearing into the long grass.  I thought that was probably the last I would see of it – there would be no point in trying to follow it, but was just the slim chance I could work my way around the direction it was taking where I could move quickly without being noticed, and maybe catch up with it further along.

I found a spot with a clearing and barely had time to set my camera up and haul my scrim netting over when it came right into the spot I had hoped it would.  I would like to say this was skill on my behalf but wildlife photograph and watching is made up largely of luck.  The Fox could have gone in any direction including doubling back or in the thick undergrowth, I could have just as easily not seen it, but here it was and not only that but in that one spot it then proceeded to take another nap!

The differences in the look of the images was due to the continuing change between dull and cloudy one minute to bright sunshine the next.  Due to the long grass obscuring a clear view, focusing had to be done manually.  Despite this many of the images came out a bit fuzzy although on a couple of shots it worked in my favour by giving the image a centre of focus.







I had my camera set to ‘silent’ mode, though not completely silent it was enough not to disturb the Fox which slumbered but for the occasional stretch, yawn or glance around especially when a couple of Magpies made a noise presumably due to the this predator being in the area.

After over half an hour, being in some discomfort having not have time to ‘set up’, a combination of cramp and flies, I decided to quietly move away, leaving the still sleeping Fox none the wiser I was even there.  Moving slowly away with my netting now off, to my left in plane sight, was another Fox just staring at me.  With the very narrow sight of view I had under my netting and just seeing through the camera’s viewfinder, I hadn’t seen this one.  I don’t know if it had just came into sight as I moved away or if it had always been there but I barely got off a few shots knowing I had been well and truly spotted, before it was quickly off.  I’m guessing this second Fox explains why the Magpies were making so much noise earlier.


I figured the other Fox, probably a sibling, would now also be alerted to my presence and be off but it was still asleep.  With legs now stretched I decided to stay another few minutes which was all it was before this other one woke up and started to have a look about, where it spotted something in the grass and before I knew it, had pounced and swallowed whatever it was, whole.  It then vanished into the long grass.



As I left the way I had came, a final look back and noticed one of the Foxes watching me leave.  I thought it made a nice composition peering at me in a sea of grass.



  1. Hello Frank,
    great observation with the foxes, the foxes to say very clever but these two knew determines that you have done nothing to them. in your position when taking pictures, I do not envy you ... mosquitoes stinging and thereby hold the camera steady .. well done
    greetings Frank

  2. Nice capture!! Really you have done a good job. I am astonished how could you take this pictures of the fox? Doesn't it saw you? As far as i know foxes are too clever.
    Thanks for sharing