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Foxy lady

As PutneyCam shows, we live right next to the Waterloo to Reading main railway line. While it's a source of occasional noise and vibration, it also means that we live in a green corridor that stretches from the Wandle delta and the Thames out to the woodlands of Windsor, via several commons and parks.

I've remarked in the past on the area's bird life, and the wide variety of native and alien species we have in south-west London. However, the recent construction of our roof terrace has given us a new perspective on things - and revealed to us a new slice of large mammal life. Because now we can see over the railway spur and down on to the far side of the embankment, straight into what looked to be a fox's earth. It's easy to see several large tunnels in a grassy bank, surrounded by brambles and bushes, an ideal habitat for Britain's largest predator.

During the day it's still and quiet, no sign of life. But foxes are creatures of the evening and night, so as the sun set this evening I stood on the roof, looking across the railway trains carrying commuters to and from the City. Lifting my binoculars I hoped I'd be able to see some sign of life - that this wasn't an abandoned earth.

I was lucky.

Not only is it inhabited, it's home to quite a large family group. I watched three cubs tumbling in the grass, while a young adult wandered around, and what had to be the family's patriarch slept curled on a ledge above the entrances to the earth. The sun slowly drifted away, and the light left the bank.

It was good to see wildlife in the metropolis.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
flick
Jun. 21st, 2003 03:56 am (UTC)
That's really cool - you're so lucky!

[worries about her poor homeless foxes]
sbisson
Jun. 21st, 2003 04:13 am (UTC)
Re:
There was some research done on urban fox mobility in Bristol a few years back, which showed that they were much more mobile than people thought. I'd expect they'd have found a new earth already...
quercus
Jun. 21st, 2003 05:35 am (UTC)
Bristol's foxes aren't very mobile these days - they're all dead. Big distemper epidemic a few years ago wiped them out. You still get them here, Fishponds over to the East, but in the old "urban fox" patch around Redland they're very rare.

It's thought that some of them were commuting through the railway tunnel under Clifton !
yonmei
Jun. 21st, 2003 04:54 am (UTC)
Wow, you're so lucky!

I've worked in a couple of places where there were foxes (the new kind of fancy business park, with lots of grass and bushes, is very popular with rabbits) but we mostly found this out by inference (and scattered rubbish). I saw one once, in daylight: must have been a goth fox coming home late after a day out clubbing.

I thought badgers were Britain's largest predator?
great_dame
Jun. 21st, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
Compliment
Yours is one of the cleanest, most interesting LJ layouts I've seen! And your writing has been thoroughly enjoyed :)

Lj Surfer,
Autumn May
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )