This year, I have had two sets of cubs; two from my original vixen, Fern and two from her daughter who is now 2 years old. They were born a couple of weeks apart, so there is a distinct size difference between the two litters, although that is getting less obvious as time passes and they grow up. I think their den is some way away as, up until recently, they have not been appearing until after dark. Over the last week or so the cubs have started to appear around 9pm, when there is only just enough light to photograph them (on a high ISO!) and I have been keen to try to get a little bit of video as well. I watch them from an upstairs bedroom window that over looks the field. It can give excellent views and the foxes are used to me being their so tolerate my presence. These are very much rural foxes and they are very nervous and will disappear if I so much as step outside.
I filmed the clip below when the light was too low for photography… in fact it was almost too low for filming too, hence the footage is rather grainy. This is one of the smaller cubs. I filmed it with a Sigma 120-300mm lens, hand-held as the window sill in the bedroom does not give me enough space on a tripod… I have to hang out of the window!
I also have a wired camera there that live streams the images of these foxes onto my website. I can attach this camera to my laptop, via a USB adapter and then record the footage at the same time as it live streams. I captured a little bit of footage when they were there in daylight a couple of nights ago. The light was just fading so the camera was starting switch to IR.
If you log into my website about 9pm, then you should be able to see these cubs yourself! I am aiming to buy another camera for this area in the coming months… one with audio and a better resolution so I can live stream and record clearer images. These foxes visit all year round so you are pretty much guaranteed seeing them on my live cameras at some point in the evening / night.
I do have a few shots of these cubs… this is one of the best. It has been run through ‘neat image’ in order to remove some of the ‘graininess’ that occurs when shooting at low light on a high ISO. Thanks to Pete Walkden for turning this rather dark image into something more acceptable…. I may be trying his technique on a couple of my other rather dark shots!