Monday, January 12, 2009

Fox chase

Even at fifty feet the retinas of the fox caught the automatic flash and bounced them back vividly. Otherwise you can see how grey the fur is. Tail partially obscured by vegetation but you can just make out the white tip near ground level.

The same fox, a few seconds later. We didn't manage to capture both foxes at the same time unfortunately, they were too far apart when the first came within range and the second braked before the edge of the woods, too far for our lens.

Just after 4 p.m. temp was 8.7 degrees C, humidity 65%, wind NNW 7 kt

I'd heard
house sparrows, white spectacled bulbuls, blackbirds, graceful warblers in the garden and jackdaws and hooded crows farther off.

As we approached look-out corner at about 4.55 p.m. along the central trail husband pointed out something running fast towards us along the edge of the pines bordering gazelle field. Two mammals, but NOT gazelle, and headed pretty much in our direction -
foxes! I'd never seen a fox chase before and it was pretty amazing to see- they were so both fleet and totally silent, and oblivious of us! Was this territorial or about mating? At the southern edge of the pines the trailing fox stopped under the trees' shade and watched us cautiously, then scarpered back northish into the woods behind. The leading fox stood out there in the open on the rocks about 50 feet away, stopped and gazed at us for a few seconds then headed off back northwest. The leading fox had a lot of grey in his fur but was still a red fox, the trailing fox was more reddish brown, especially towards the hindquarters. Both had white tipped tails, trailing behind them. It all happened so fast husband did not have time to turn off the automatic flash before getting the pics, hence 'green eyes' above!

A little while later on our way back up valley road darkness had already fallen and we had yet another fox sighting. This could have been one of the two we saw earlier or a third. It hardly spooked by us at all but walked up the bank by Lev Aryeh yeshiva (a school for young guys) to root around some litter there, then stopped to stare at us about 25 feet away up the bank, before veering off north along the top of the bank. It and/or other foxes probably come up there to scavenge quite often. That one might recognize us by now!

Nice male
black redstart was back at the bunker rubble, great to see. I'm sure he's there most of the day, we just kept missing him! Eurasian jays heard, hooded crows over. Small stuff piping in the trees, chiffchaffs and other such I'm sure. Today I finished cleaning up all the litter around the bunker ruins and husband filled a large bag of recyclable bottles from the flood overflow.

A strange hoarse repeated barking sound from across north valley, a little west of the bat cave. Sounded like one of the hyrax calls though I had never noticed hyraxes in that area.. could be there's a colony there but I'd be surprised not to have noticed it already. Could have been some other mammal but unfortunately light already too dim to make out anything under the trees there.

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