Return to moorhen home page

Foxes and their Prey

Young Fox

After sundown a whole new fauna emerges. In the morning we find owl pellets, footprints in the mud (or in the winter snow), discarded feathers, and sadly, the remains of supper for the fox, weasels, and the inevitable cats.

Going out with lamps we find frogs and toads (see another page) and sometimes the eyes of the fox looking at us from across the fields.

Some evenings from inside the house we have been lucky enough to see a Barn Owl hunting from even our young trees, silently flitting from perch to perch until sometimes making the fateful pounce. It seems completely un-bothered by a torch beam - we suspect its looks like another car headlamp. A couple of years or so ago we constructed a kit to automatically photograph creatures passing in the night. This consists of a infra-red beam break (actually part of a home alarm system), camera and flashgun, with a bit of electronics to control things.

Mostly the subjects are late evening moorhens with worms in their beaks being brought back to the nest, lots of rabbits on their way to eat the flowerbeds, and a surprising number of birds walking through, weasels and the local cats. Large moths also trigger the beam but are too small to make good photos.

Adult Fox

To date (Aug 1998) we have pictured a fox only 4 times (compared to rabbits by the hundred!). The first was a poor mangey creatures rear end, then the immaculate youngster at the top of this page in July 1997. In July 1998, as the first frame of a brand new setup on an overgrown path, we 'captured' this stalking adult. Its not impossible that they are the same animal, but we will never know.

Running FoxAs autumn approached another (maybe the same?) came down the same path.

RabbitOne of the night lawn mowers out in action. More details about rabbits are in Herbivores