Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fox Kit

I stopped by the fox den outside of Lynden a few weeks ago on my way back from work.  I had completely forgotten to check to see if a litter had been born this spring.  I parked, quietly walked down the path, and approached as stealthily as possible, hoping they would be out and about in the late afternoon light, waiting for mom and dad to bring catch back from the day's hunt.

As I rounded the corner of the driveway to the tracks, my eye caught a glimpse of orange and I immediately knew I was seeing a still fox just behind a railway rail.  But I wondered right away whether they'd be foolish enough to nap that close to the very active tracks.  As I approached, I got close enough to realize that even a dozing fox would have awoken and was pretty sure it was not alive any more.  By that time I had spotted a brother or sister laying by the den further ahead and figured I'd better take advantage of that one before it spooked.

My first sight of the fox kits - only this was a sad start.

With the wind blowing towards me, helping to keep my presence unknown for a bit longer, it hadn't noticed me yet. Its preoccupation with something on the ground was distracting it from my advance as I slowly walked closer hoping it wouldn't bolt once it saw me.

Preoccupied Red Fox kit.

Once the inevitable happened, the youngster almost casually got up and eyed me with not a lot of concern.  In fact, after I'd taken some pictures, we just looked at each other for a while and the fox lost the staring game.  It looked off as if I was of no worry.

Red Fox kit below its den hole.
Red Fox kit.

I slowly tried to get closer, but at some point the kit moved up and started to retreat to the den. But then it seemed to change it's mind, and again we just quietly watched each other. Soon an itch must have become more important and my presence must not have been too much of a worry as it lay down for a good scratch.

Red Fox kit comfortable enough with me to scratch an itch.

Red Fox kit.

Unfortunately, the leg which was bearing most of my weight as I was leaning awkwardly against a bridge support was going numb and my need to adjust spooked it.  He (or she?) trotted quickly into the long grass to the left and quietly disappeared.  An enjoyable few moments with a beautiful little creature!

I headed back a couple times over the next week or so trying to show the boys, but was not successful.  I was disappointed that I couldn't let they boys see too.

Earlier that day I had made a trip to Valley Inn at lunch time to see if the Northern Flickers had hatched and were out.  They were not, but I saw a Barn Swallow pair gathering mud from a recent rainfall puddle to build a nest under the newly constructed bridge by the ponds. I wonder how they cleanup after filling their bills with mud like that.

Barn Swallow gathering mud for nest building.

Barn Swallow with nest mud.

Just down from the Flicker nest, I saw a flash of yellow and noticed this Yellow Warbler as it caught a caterpillar from a tree branch.  You can just see it going down the hatch in the second picture.

Yellow Warbler with caterpillar.
Yellow Warbler eating caterpillar.

Well, two posts in two days means I'm hopefully catching up with the picture back log. The boys have soccer tomorrow night though so I doubt I'll get another post out for a bit.

Till then...
Keep enjoying His handiwork!

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