Pretty Red Fox - Bombay Hook NWR, Delaware (3/23/2008)
From today at Bombay Hook NWR, Delaware. I ran in to Robert there (aka 1/2 of NortheastBay, Kelly's the other 1/2).
As most of my long drive wildlife days play out, early on I was thinking I wouldn't get any good shots. I had missed sunrise by about 25 minutes, missed any moon shots (it set around sunrise), and while looking for foxes in the usual spots I didn't see any. I spent an hour or two waiting for a fox (this fox) where I suspected he'd be, and did see one, but only from pretty far off. He was quite skittish, and passing cars made him back off and hide a bit. Then a couple of refuge visitors showed up, and I swear they had 5 dogs with them. When I think about setting up for ideal conditions for observing wildlife, dogs play no part of it. Lol... So I moved on.
And then later in the day Robert and I spotted this fox (above). I think quite possibly it's the female from the mating sequence. She looked so small, and that would make sense if she just delivered a litter of kits.
As compared to most other foxes, this one is so friendly and not scared of humans. She still reacts if you try to get too close, or leave the road too far, but she just seems to know that the visitors mean her no harm. My approach, as before, was to try to remain ahead of her, let her come to me, and to shoot from a very low angle/position. Out of 3 such encounters I had some good chances and shots the first two times. The last time another driver/photographer (not Robert) made her change course just when she started to fill the frame. But that's how it works, and I am pleased with a bunch of my photos from today.
I was hoping to see some kits today, but didn't. This female's offspring probably only just recently opened their eyes, and might not have left the den yet. Next weekend may be the first time I'll get to see 'em.
(BTW, I'm on a kick to shoot "different stuff" and "shoot differently"... not sure how this one fits in with that)
Until next time. -Jon