Croydon Ducks - Garden Wildlife and Foxes 2013

Latest update: 3rd December 2013

Photos from the garden in 2013 of toads, frogs, foxes, birds and other wildlife. 

Older Photos of Garden Wildlife - 2012

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January 2013, one of three local foxes that visits my garden daily.  This one usually comes for breakfast. 

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She also frequents my neighbour's garden, often sleeping next to that tall pot, it's quieter than my garden.

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That is quieter until a second fox appears, the one with the white tail end.  Then everyone in surrounding houses can hear them
howling at each other, often all night.

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Finally one of them leaves the garden and it all goes quiet again.

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Many mornings she is sitting on the lawn looking at the kitchen window waiting for breakfast, even in the snow.

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Middle of January 2013, this was the worst snow we had all winter, although it only lasted a few days and the pond never frooze.

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Some days she sits even closer to the kitchen window.

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The fox eating breakfast while two ducks sit on the pond.

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March 2013, another chilly morning with light snow,

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Lucy the dog has been on her evening fox watch, she sits at the window watching the garden for hours, waiting for the foxes to come
back, then chases them down the garden, but rarely gets close.  While the foxes can easily jump the fences, fortunately the dog can not.

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Lucy disappearing after the fox. Often the fox sits on the shed roof behind the trellis, waiting for Lucy to go to sleep.

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She gets a few dog biscuits to eat.

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Another day, still waiting for food.

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She often sleeps in my neighbour's garden, today in the middle of their lawn.

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April 2013, don't often photograph the white tailed fox because the mostly runs through the garden, or comes after dark, here at dusk
so a little blurry, looks in good condition. 

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The white tailed fox is getting bolder, or is very hungry, and starts coming for dinner at sunset with the original fox.

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And sometimes for breakfast as well. 

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Another evening, and box foxes eating together.

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Still munching at cheap dog biscuits, hopefully at least one fox will have cabs this summer. 

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13th April 2013, almost a month later than normal due to the cold spring, about 300 toads and frogs are now in the garden each night
laying spawn, two clumps of frog spawn here.

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The female frogs only spend one or two days a year in the pond, laying their spawn, but the males then sit on it for many days afterwards,
croaking away.

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A mating pair of toads in day light, so a perfect meal for the crows.

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There are always 10 times as many toads as frogs which makes the male frogs very frustrated, so they try and mate with toads instead.
I always separate them, which takes a lot of force, the frogs grip is incredibly strong.

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More mating toads.

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A floating toad.

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There has been more frog spawn this year than ever before, about eight clumps, but these are more toads.

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Yet more frog spawn.

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Another lonely toad.

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30th April 2013, a third fox has started visiting the garden looking for food, another white tailed fox.

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She is slightly smaller than the original white tailed fox, but they seem to get on well together, eating at 8.30pm.

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8th May 2013, the original fox patiently waiting for breakfast at 7am, looking straight in the kitchen window.

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A neighbour's cat sitting on top of the squirrel feeder, she climbs the cherry tree in the foreground every day to watch the Starlings feed.

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4th June 2013, dozens of Starlings come looking for food every day of the year, some from this bread feeder that stops the pigeons
getting at the food.  At this time of year, the new fledgling Starlings start to arrive as well, initially being fed by their mothers.

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The other peanut fat feeder, with several Starlings, the brown fluffy ones without black dotted coats are the new fledglings, just out of
their nests.  On a busy day, they can eat a whole 1kg fat tube, but I normally make them last three days due to the cost, bread is
much cheaper. 

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Adult and fledgling Starlings alternating on the tree branch.

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Mostly fledgling Starlings on top of the tree, waiting to be fed by their mothers.

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Anyone that has got a piece of bread gets chased around the lawn.

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The fledglings discovering the shallow area of the pond, although this is dangerous due to all the cats around.

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11th May 2013, the morning fox having breakfast ignoring the pigeons.

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The crow is hoping for some food as well, but the bowl will have been licked clean.

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Lazing in the sun.

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29th May 2013, the two white tailed evening foxes having dinner, the larger one does come for a late breakfast as well, but not
seen the smaller one in the morning.

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They may be related, since they get on so well.

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July 2013, the only successful garden nest this year, a Great Tit parent emerging from the nesting box (intended for Starlings).  The two
parents come and go every couple of minutes feeding their noisy chicks.

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The morning fox waiting patiently for breakfast.

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If you ever wondering what is happening when you hear foxes crying loudly like children, this is it, two females getting too close to
each other and having a noisy confrontation. The white tailing fox does not usually wait for breakfast, but comes after the smaller
fox has finished.

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Despite being larger, the white tailed fox back away.

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And finally slowly wanders away.

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Watched by the morning fox, who never moves.

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But even that confrontation does not stop her coming back for breakfast each morning, she must be very patient (or hungry) because
this was a Saturday and I'm up much later than normal.

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A surprise the following day, the two white tailed foxes are waiting for breakfast at 7.30am.

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Very rare to see them together in the morning, the younger fox on the left, the regular morning white tailed laying down.

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Both look very healthy.  Really hope there are cubs in a nearby garden that will visit when they can jump the fences.

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There is always competition for food, here the crow is shrieking at the fox which is eating her breakfast.  The crows have at least one
chick this year, but is now fully grown so can not tell parents and chick apart.

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Only seen three crows at once so can not say if that was one adult and two chicks, or two adults.

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5th July 2013, a Great Tit fledgling looking out into the world for the first time.  Great Tits have a black mark on their front, Blue Tits have
yellow fronts.

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The Great Tit fledgling flies a couple of feet to the nearby roof, then a few more feet into the Cherry tree where it's parent is waiting.

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A second Great Tit fledgling appears at the hole, but is reluctant to fly, a parent sits on the box lit offering encouragement.

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The parent also sits in the Cherry tree calling away. 

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But the fledgling does not want to leave, so a parent pushes their way back into the box to feed the remaining fledglings.

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Still too scared to come out, sorry gave up watching at this point, the box remained noisy for another day then went quiet, so
I assume all the fledglings left OK.  A neighbour saw a parent feeding a live meal worm to a fledgling so some are safe.

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July 2013, the two morning foxes are getting less confrontational, but both arriving for breakfast regularly.

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And again the following day.

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The next day, before I've put the food out, morning fox is waiting patiently for breakfast.

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August 2013, a frog sleeping amount the strawberry plants, there were much smaller frogs as well, perhaps here because it
was well watered.

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The crow family still comes for breakfast.

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White tailed fox is now so tame that photographs can be taken from a few feet away.

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Waiting for more food.

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Because both foxes are now often waiting together for breakfast, there is often a problem with which gets to the food first,
today it's morning fox, watched by white tail senior.

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And today white tail is there first, watched by morning fox.

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White tailed fox eating breakfast, watched patiently by Lucy the dog.  She usually waits until they finish and start moving.

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And Lucy is off on a fox chase, of course the fox is over the fence already.  These chases are the highlight of Lucy's morning
and evening, and the foxes do keep coming back for more. 

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Another day, morning fox has got to the food first.

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After a refill, white tailed fox gets her breakfast.

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It's rare to get a photograph of morning fox from outside the house, normally she runs away whenever she sees me.

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Two for breakfast again.

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So I try putting out two bowls of food, but morning fox has not yet noticed the second bowl behind her.

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And is still waiting for white tailed fox to finish.

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Still not seen the second bowl.

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Finally, after a couple of minutes, she notices the second bowl and gets her breakfast.  Unfortunately, this does not always work
since morning fox always leaves the garden when I put food out, and often does not come back before white tailed fox has managed
to finish both bowls.

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September 2013, the morning breakfast routine is now mostly established for both foxes.  They will wait two to three hours, mostly
together for their food, much less weekdays, and get a small bowl each, mostly eat their own bowl, sometimes both bowls, then
wait another hour for seconds.  They are getting greedy.

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Not too much noise now, they will bark once or twice entering the garden to announce them selves, usually answered by the
dog next door, but don't scream at each other any more.

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Waiting for seconds. The younger white tailed fox came for breakfast once, unfortunately I was in a hurry and could not feed her, and
she's not been back since, for breakfast.

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Another morning, still here.

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At the weekends they wait over two hours for breakfast.

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Very early, morning fox is watching the back door, white tailed waiting near the trellis.

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Some days they want to be more comfortable.

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Early October 2013, both are now very tame and start eating from the bowls while I'm only 10 feet away on the way back to the house.

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Late October 2013, business as usual for the pair of foxes, who are still both waiting at dawn for breakfast.

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Autumn brings leaves and pine needles, so the pond gets netted each year to try and keep them out of the water.  

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November 2013, late afternoon, saw a large bird on the lawn, looked more closely and discovered it was a Pheasant. No idea why
it visited the garden, perhaps it saw pigeons eating on the lawn, wandered around for five minutes and flew away. 

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Mid morning, the foxes had been fed twice already, but were both waiting three hours later for more food, morning fox looking into
the kitchen window, white tailed near the trellis.  Note the leaf net over the pond.

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And they got yet another meal.

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November 2013, late afternoon, an early visit from young white tailed fox in the back, large white tailed closer, probably related.  Don't
often get photographs of the smaller fox, usually only comes at dusk, never for breakfast.  

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White tailed is looking for bread dropped by Starlings from their ball feeder. 

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Young white tailed has found more bread on the lawn, must be hungry to eat bread.  Too early to put out their own food, the pigeons
will just eat it all.

 


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