Assisted by Derbyshire Fox rescue

Wednesday 30 December 2015



Fierce comes the vixen's night
Her piercing eyes so clear and bright
The dog fox snared by her wild scream
A locked embrace by the pulsing stream

Weary comes the vixen's dawn
Her visage pale and so withdrawn
Panting from a savage hunting
Tho' ravaged by a hunger wanting

Peaceful comes the vixen's day
To idly watch her cubs at play
Still watchful ever lest a stranger
Break the spell cast veil of danger

Vigilant comes the vixen's evening
Followed on from fitful dreaming
Glides graceful into the gathered gloaming
Commences thus her ceaseless roaming

James Campbell

Monday 8 June 2015


I have had interaction with foxes and badgers for nigh on forty years, but never had a fox approach in broad daylight to take food by hand.  This particular animal is the same vixen that has been coming to the kitchen door at night for chicken scraps.  Her confidence and trust which she has gradually gained was taken to a new level on Saturday afternoon.  In anticipation of something quite special, I had previously set up a camera tripod.  A special moment, captured for posterity. The moment at half speed comes at the end of the real time clip.

Sunday 3 May 2015


My regular nightly visitor looking for a snack.

Friday 24 April 2015


Unusual sighting of a fox (now identified as a vixen) in broad daylight eating seed and biscuits dropped from my bird feeder. 

Monday 13 April 2015


This vixen has been a regular visitor to my garden over the winter and has taken to waiting for me in the path outside the back door of the kitchen.  I had been working on a sticking door earlier in the evening and the light of the open door had attracted the vixen.  While I was working in the kitchen, she poked her head around the corner.  I threw a piece of chicken and, remarkably, she came inside to snatch it and retreat.  This is a video of the next night's visit.  She keeps looking to her right as there are other foxes close by.

Tuesday 20 January 2015


Missing all over the Christmas period and well into January, I was becoming more and more concerned about Becbla, the blind vixen.  A few nights ago, whilst walking with So Cruise  on our Night Patrol, I saw her running with another fox - presumably a companion or mate.  She stopped immediately I called and I threw her some chicken pieces.  The following nights, she appeared in the same field, sometimes alone, awaiting food. 

Though creatures of habit, foxes will suddenly change behaviour and stop frequenting certain spots and trails.  I was certainly relieved to see that Becbla was alive and in good health.

Friday 31 January 2014


Recorded (only audio) outside my bungalow a few minutes ago.   The vixen 'scream' is misleading as a dog fox can also make the same call.  The call sets off a dog barking from a house nearby.  Listen for the very loud calls at about 40 seconds in.  A little later I heard the answering call of this fox's mate.  The calls of foxes are complex and a language all of their own ranging from fighting, mating, socialising and various alarm calls.

Friday 25 October 2013


Posted here for you Carla ..

Friday 4 October 2013


For a few weeks now, Kandaa the vixen and the only fox that takes food by hand, has been acting most strangely.  She appears in my garden at the allotted feeding time and devours her food.  Then, after our Night Patrol around the combe, she invariably is waiting for me as So Cruise and I return, some distance from my garden.

However, I have recently observed her taking the food into the same field, pausing to look back furtively at me to ensure she's not being followed or observed.

Well, tonight I discovered Kandaa's secret.  The first clue was a young fox appearing in the lane in front of us and immediately fleeing into a field.  This in itself was unusual as virtually every fox and badger know of our existence and habits.

Around the corner, Kandaa was sitting, awaiting our return.  She advanced and gently took the piece of chicken from my hand, turned and entered the usual field.

This time, I waited for a few seconds, tethered So Cruise my collie cross, and entered the field with my head torch turned off.  Moments later and I heard the usual sounds of  a young fox calling for food. 

It then dawned on me that Kandaa was still taking food to one of her offspring but away from the scrimmaging and fighting of the other first season foxes.  A very sensible choice as all the other mothers and aunties (vixens who care for other cubs/young foxes other than their own) are constantly plagued by foxes several months old who constantly beg and steal food rather than forage themselves.

Kandaa,  a beautiful and wise vixen ...

Thursday 19 September 2013


A leftover treat for a favourite vixen - the humorous antics of Kandaa as she eyes the huge lamb bone carefully.  Foxes are very wary of bones as they imagine they might be still alive and can fight back!  Note the classic paw in the air - the classic animal sign of uncertainty.

Saturday 14 September 2013


Braced for the first of the bad weather sweeping in this Sunday - marked decrease in teperature, rain and strong winds.  As well as Becbla, my blind vixen, I have to look after the old badger boar (who recently lost sight in his one good eye) and a blind badger sow.  The three animals are now dependent on me to get food.

Saturday 13 July 2013


Two nights ago I was startled to feel something nudging at my ankles whilst I was at the top of the combe on the Night Patrol.  Looking down, I was surprised to see the old one-eyed badger boar who has hitherto been situated at the bottom of the combe.  He was also there to meet me early hours today, giving rise to the theory that perhaps something may have changed for him.

I surmise that he's moved because of a younger, more aggressive boar.  I cannot recall seeing a mature boar at the top of the combe - only the terrible badger sow twins and a couple of other younger badgers. 

Sunday 30 June 2013


Open wide
As can be seen by these two stills, there's a measure of trust between human and fox.
The snatch


A very short vid clip of Candaa the vixen taking a piece of chicken from my hand early hours today.

Tuesday 28 May 2013


Early hours May 27th - only put off by the camera, the vixen is very close to taking food from my hand.

Sunday 28 April 2013


So Cruise, my collie cross and I have just returned from a particularly arduous Night Patrol around the combe.  The main order of business is to ensure that the blind vixen, Becbla, is fed whenever she ventures out into the meadow.  She usually positions herself strategically away from other foxes and gobbles up a chicken thigh and then runs off with another thigh before another fox or badger approaches.

Tonight was mayhem.  The two badger bruiser twins (virtually identical first year females from the same litter) burst on the scene, scattering two 'regular' foxes and, most unfortunately, Becbla.  It was going to be a long night.

Becbla circled and came back.  I threw her a thigh but no sooner had she reached it, two other foxes rushed up and snatched it from her.  Unable to defend herself, Becbla always drops the food immediately. This happened twice more and then I decided enough was enough and chased all foxes and badgers from the meadow.  Then it was a waiting game.  I turned off my head lamp (not really needed with clear skies and a virtual full moon) and crouched down.  Fifty yards away, So Cruise waited patiently.

It was over twenty minutes before Becbla cautiously ventured out.  She got  a chicken thigh and departed, eating on the run.   I managed to throw one more thigh from 30 yards away which she also got safely.

By the time we completed our Night Patrol, two hours had elapsed - a long night yes, but also a satisfying one.