Since the end of March, I have been researching and monitoring several potential habituated fox dens around my area.
Some two weeks ago, I found the tell-tale signs of fox cubs at two of these dens: lots of feathers, rabbit fur and bones, fresh digging marks and fox excrement.
I spent hours and hours at the dens, one in a pine forest and one in open heathland, but never got to see a fox.
No matter if I visited in the very early morning hours or in the late evening sun, no sign of the slightest bit of red fur.
Until yesterday, that is. I was in the field at 5.45 am already, sat under my camouflage cloth and had rested my sleepy head on my backpack. About every 10 minutes, I would raise my head and see if anything happened. Around 7 am, it did! Two inquisitive fox cubs wandered around in the morning sun. They were not bothered by my presence at all, only the sound of the shutter would have them look my way every now and then.
Around 8 am, I counted no less than five cubs, happily frolicking around. They dug in the sand, bit eachothers tail and ran through the den. Mom and dad must have been driven crazy by the mischievous gang of five. I had to be careful not to laugh loudly. A difficult task, as it was very funny to watch these cute fox cubs play and discover their neighbourhood. I feel privileged to have had this humbling experience, and will surely go back and try for different images. I can’t wait ’till next weekend!
Red Fox Cub portrait; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS and 1.4x; 1/400s at F5.6 and ISO 250. Tripod and camouflage cloth.