We are approaching the period when our fox cubs will start to disperse from their natal territory. The cubs are five months old and are already the size of their mother, bigger in some cases. It's hard to believe how quickly they have grown.
Out of the eight cubs, we still have regular visits from four with occasionally six turning up. In addition to seeing such beauty on a daily basis it's been truly fascinating to observe fox behaviour and see how it evolves. The two boldest cubs, Ash and Bonny, are becoming increasingly skittish and sometimes we don't see them in the evening. By contrast, two of the shyest cubs, Pip and Titch have become reliable sightings with Titch quite often happy to enter the field while I'm standing watching. She's also unfazed by the camera shutter, not something I can say of the others, which is strange as they've grown up to its sound. Clearly their survival instincts are kicking in, ending their naive cub stage.
Generally, all the cubs seem to rub along without too much interaction but I was lucky to capture Ash showing dominance over Titch (see gallery below). His arched back and flattened ears posture immediately induced Titch to cower down. Ash followed through by baring his teeth and standing over her. Other than some kicking and pushing, no mouth contact was made by either fox. In a flash it was over and Titch wandered off.
An image I was keen to get was a fox eating blackberries. I didn't want to use flash lighting, so I set my camera trap up for daylight shooting and hoped that light conditions would be adequate. To attract the foxes I dabbed a little honey on a few of the ripe blackberries. The next day ALL the ripe berries at fox level were gone and I had one OK image.