5 foxes, 3 deer and 1 very cheeky mouse!

I thought it was about time we had a garden wildlife update (as I haven’t given you a fox update since August 07 – whoops!). It’s cold, it’s wet and it’s windy but in my Corfe Mullen garden life goes on.

Red Fox

Foxy picture courtesy of iStock photographs

Foxy goings on

I’m going to start with the foxes. It’s hard to say if the same characters are in the garden. I expect some will be but with their winter coats it’s so hard to identify them. What I can say is that (on the whole) they are pretty fit this winter and relatively free of mange (the awful parasitic infestation that infects quite a few of the foxes in the area).

I’ve put three 30 second films together (edited into one film below) which show the main visitors to the garden. First we have “Dark Face”. Dark Face also has a really dark coat and brush (tail). I’m not sure if it’s a he or a she but one thing’s for sure… it’s as round as a barrel and obviously finding plenty of food. Next is “Hoppity”. This unfortunate fox has injured it’s leg and has been hopping around on three legs for at least three weeks. However, looking at him I’m not convinced this is a new injury. He copes really well and doesn’t look underweight. I’m keeping an eye on him and assessing how he gets on. Finally there’s “Two Tone”. This little fox is light coloured at the front and has a dark bum. I’m pretty sure it’s caused by new fur growing back after a bout of mange. A pretty, perky little fox!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Meet Three Foxes : January 2009 on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

I said “5 foxes” so what about the other two? Well these two are in love. Well foxy love at any rate. This is the time of year when foxes pair up and find a mate for the coming season. Amazingly I managed to catch some of their courtship on video, and about 20 seconds into the film the male actually tries to mate with the little vixen. She’s having none of it and tells him so (in no uncertain terms).

Vixens come into estrous for only 2-3 weeks per year (usually in January), and are only receptive to fertilisation for 2-3 days of that, so the male will stay very close to her at the moment and will keep trying to mate. Prior to mating there’s a lot of nipping and jumping around but afterwards they tend to be very attentive and caring to each other and will spend time together (hunting, grooming and foraging), as well as apart. He will be her lifelife when she has cubs and can’t feed herself!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Foxes Courtship & Mating : 14 January…“, posted with vodpod

The three muskateers are back

Having thought that the three roe deer in my garden on 20 December were a one-off, I was sitting having my lunch on Saturday when they marched up the drive again! Broad daylight, middle of the day and not a care in the world. These thee must like Saturdays. It’s like they’ve come to do a bit of shopping.

This time I caught them on the fox camera (that all the above were filmed on). It’s an awful film but it makes me laugh. It’s almost like they have been caught on surveillance camera shoplifting. Most of the film they have their heads cut off, and they run in and out of view. but for some reason I like it – it captures a moment in time!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Three Roe Deer in the Garden : 17 Jan…“, posted with vodpod

You have to be strong to be a wood mouse in my garden

As you’ve probably guessed I throw out scraps for the foxes. One evening it was an old honey sandwich cut into cubes. Before the foxes arrived I spotted this little chap carrying cubes (as big as him almost) back to his nest. Backward and forwards he went. If the foxes had spotted him they would have had him (and the sandwich) for dinner… but he seems to have got away with it. Quite impressive though!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Wood Mouse Feeding : 13 January 2009 …“, posted with vodpod

Well that’s it. That’s the complete roundup from the first couple of weeks of 2009. As the camera is in the back garden it hasn’t picked up the badger that usually visits, as he seems to be a “front garden only” guy, but I’m sure I will catch up with him at some point over the next few weeks. The only other visitor has been a tawny owl, who has been sitting in the scots pine at the front of the house hooting for Britain. I wandered out the other evening and had quite a conversation with him. No mate yet but he is in fine-hoot so I’m hopeful he will find one before too long!

I wonder how all these animals will fare this year. Heres hoping it’s a good one for wildlife in Corfe Mullen.

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22 thoughts on “5 foxes, 3 deer and 1 very cheeky mouse!

  1. Wow – that’s some wonderful garden visitors Jane. And the mouse deserves an award for speed alone!

    I had a young fox in my garden last night and he was back again this morning. It’s lovely to see them. On this occasion s/he gobbled up all the cheese left out for the birds!

  2. Great stuff Jane, loved the update 🙂

    It’s great to see your camera in action again. I too love the deer being caught on camera! Images like these are a bonus aren’t they? Badgers, Foxes, deer, owls… gosh what a busy garden yours is. Mm… I’m thinking you have a neon sign 😉 Yes, I too hope you have a great wildife year in Corfu Mullen

  3. Super vids! My sympathies to your dog fox! Also – I particularly like the way your mees bounds into the vid from the off. I do like the way they move! They make me chortle!

  4. Hi Jane,

    I loved the deer video in particular. Its amazing that you have such wildlife so close to you in the garden. We do however get foxes and mice in our garden.

  5. Hi Jane,

    Great video again! I have just got a small wireless video camera and would love to have results like that. I won’t get any deer though, and I’m not even sure that foxes visit – but I’d be happy for a wood mouse anyway! Cheers from ‘the Guru’!! LOL

  6. Teagan. No one in my wellies (yet!) well I don’t think there is… maybe I should go and check. I thought a catch up session was well overdue and it amazed me how many foxes were about.

  7. Hi Shirl. Actually I have got a plaque on my front gate saying “this is a wildlife friendly garden” (part of the Dorset Wildlife Trust – Wildlife Garden scheme) maybe they’ve read it!

  8. TBR. Poor old thing… he just couldn’t get his wicked way with her. I expect with patience he succeeded in the end. I expect most men know how he feels LOL 🙂

  9. Joe. The deer are amazing (although they do eat all the plants 😦 )Great to hear you get foxes and mice. I expect you get loads of other stuff as well. I had no idea what was in our garden until I got my night camera. It’s a whole other world out there at night!

  10. Hi “Guru” (definitely your new name now!) Great to hear you now have a wireless-cam. I’ve been thinking of getting a wireless one but wasn’t sure how well they would work. You will have to let me know how you get on (and what you see!). Believe me, the wood mice can keep you glued to the screen watching them for hours (I know I was last year when I had Brian the Wood Mouse in my wellie).

  11. Neil. Yep, all healthy at the moment (except for the limping fox) they seem to have got through most of the winter unscathed at the moment…. Feb/March can bring some pretty awful weather though, so not out of the trees yet.

  12. Hi Dragonstar. He is a cheeky little mouse isn’t he, eating the food from under the foxes noses. Not sure how long he will last but he’s doing well at the moment! Glad you enjoyed the videos. Jane

  13. Pingback: 5 foxes, 3 deer and 1 very cheeky mouse! Video

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