Double Crewed

With apologies to Wordsworth, I do not know if clouds prefer a lonely existence, but I am certain that nature down below is more crowded than any city street. The trailcam has caught a lot of crossed paths in recent weeks.

Rights of Way

To this fox, a badger is a jugganaut to be treated politely. To this badger, the fox appears an irrelevance to its evening.  Badgers weigh more, socialise more, and have formidable jaws – they are in charge. Although it’s not uncommon to see foxes and badgers sharing a garden, glimpsing their interactions out in the countryside is quite difficult, and I think that this the first time that I’ve caught both species in a woodland cam video.

The lunch guest

Foxes are enthusiastic rat hunters, something which occasionally gives me pause because there is no way to know if the rat is loaded with non-lethal traces of rodenticide. DDT once taught us that toxins can accumulate in carnivores, and yet we still sprinkle many unpleasant substances on the wild by accident or ill will. There is no logic to any of this: we’ve banned bee-killing pesticides from agriculture and yet allow the same chemicals to get into rivers through dog spot-on flea treatments, and we complain about rats while unnecessarily putting their predator at risk. A study from Norway found that over half of foxes tested positive for traces of rat poison, with unknown consequences. In short, poisons should be left on the shelf.

Shared hotel

On a better note, deer rest in quiet if not in peace – winter brings redwings to their world, scurrying about the woodland floor and tossing leaves about in frenzy. These small thrushes with their brilliant white eyestripe and crimson splash on their underwings fly to southern Britain each winter, delighting anyone with a berry bush before vanishing again into the cold wild north.


Winter brings sleep to dormice, hedgehogs and bats, but it is the peak of the social calendar for foxes. Vixens are only receptive for a very short window and are trailed by hopeful dog foxes. Telling male and female foxes apart takes some practice, but as shown here, vixens typically have a narrower head and a slightly ligher build.

Into the Sunset

Deer are not yet courting – roe do not rut until early summer. The buck, still in velvet, rubs his antlers on fallen brash.

16 thoughts on “Double Crewed

  1. Some fascinating footage here. Interesting to see the badger and fox in the same sequence. There’s no doubt who’s top dog, and it’s not the fox!

    Good to see your redwings. I’ve seen very few this winter…I really should get out more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be exciting! The trailcams that I used in Tahsis were very basic by today’s standards but still got a few interesting clips. I remember a bear licking one of them.


  2. Thank you for sharing these great videos! The older classes of rat poisons such as warfarin are still used here (only professional use in homes or offices I think) too. But the rats are developing resistance and of course there’s always the risk to predators, whether these are urban rats or not (I see town foxes all the time).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have a variety of laws about which species can be targeted; for example, there are no legal poisons that can be aimed at foxes. But of course, once you poison one species, you have no real control over where it ends and there is plenty of illegal use too, aimed in particular at raptors that eat gamebirds that people like to shoot. It’s a scandal and the police and other authorities take it seriously, but it still continues.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful captures, Adele. It is troublesome that folks use rat poison and other chemicals so freely with nary a thought about the far-ranging consequences.
    Did you hear about the Eurasian owl that escaped from a zoo in Central Park NYC? They haven’t been able to capture it and while it’s been nabbing local prey which means it is surviving ‘in the wild,’ NYC uses a huge amount of rat poison annually, and they are worried that this owl may inadvertently get poisoned. I hope they are able to lure it back, but I expect that will be a tough, non-negotiable proposition to an owl who has tasted freedom. (Personally, I’m not a fan of zoos. If an animal is injured and impaired, making life in the wild impossible, then yes, but not healthy individuals.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are leaving a legacy in Earth’s chemistry which no one will thank us for.

      No, I hadn’t heard about that eagle owl. They sometimes escape in the UK too, and may have been naturally present here a few centuries ago. Cities really ought to start asking themselves why they have so many rats in the first place.


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