Our London Safari~

DSC00452
So you think one has to go to Africa to witness wild predator prey interactions? Ha, I say! Just go to central London. And, no I am not talking about the tube strike…..
DSC00451
Actually, we left Africa and flew to London on the first leg home to The Holler. We were looking forward to a spell of civilization and culture. But it seems, our safari was to continue in London. We checked into a hotel quite near the crowds and hustle of the British Museum, and I looked out our hotel window onto a city park, and this was the sight that greeted me!
DSC00480
There were four foxes in this family in the center of London. There were magpies too. Occasionally the foxes would snag a magpie which resulted in the magpies giving the foxes holy hell for hours. They would taunt and goad them.
DSC00265
I was supposed to be going to the British Museum with my hubby, but instead I sat for hours watching the foxes in the Duke of Bedford’s garden. No one was allowed to go in the garden, thank God, and my hotel window only opened about four inches, so there was considerable challenge getting these pics, but I was motivated! I live in Southern California and rarely get to see foxes so it is always a thrill.
DSC00475
It takes effort learning to hunt,
DSC00467
and can be quite exhausting.
DSC00468
Not to mention embarrassing, when the prey decides to become the predator!
DSC00296
And then there is mum to contend with. She can be such a nag….
DSC00298
But being almost a teenager, mum is starting to get an idea what she’s in for.
DSC00459
It’s nice to be a fox family in the Duke of Bedford’s garden,
DSC00263
if only there was a little more to eat.
Cheers to you from the London fox’s garden~

255 thoughts on “Our London Safari~

    • So grateful for it too. I really am not much a city person, so you have no idea how happy I was that the foxes found me. There is actually quite a lot of wild creatures in London….

  1. The pictures are stunning (as always). Now you just have to go to the park across from Buckingham Palace and feed the tame squirrels. London is such a great city. I am always looking forward to your posts and pictures. Be safe!

    • Plus, I was mesmerized by the whole experience. I was mourning leaving Africa, and fate put these foxes on my London doorstep! It doesn’t get better then this for me!

    • I couldn’t get over it, in the big parks maybe yes, at night. But in this dinky park, by the congested museum and all the honking traffic? I hope the Duke’s estate protects them.

  2. I enjoyed this post very much. Brought a big smile on my face. Thanks!
    The Duke of Bedford must have given up playing “Fox and Hounds”; then feeling guilty about his past sins decided to bequeath the garden to his prey. Thanks again.

    • I have no idea. I hope you are right and someone is protecting them. When you see the family bonds, it is incredible, and trust me I watched them for a long time…..

  3. How adaptable animals are. What an unexpected circus you stumbled upon. You captured such wonderful images with their fur contrasting against the pebbles/rock and grass. And you cot their personalities.
    (But hope there was some time for the museum, too – it’s so wonderful…unless crowded..then the foxes win!)

  4. Such lovely foxes, and I just love the vibrant color of the mom! Cindy, you are so special. Wherever you go, there are animals who go out of there way to put on a show for you! I love your narrative and the images truly tell a story here. <3 ~Lynn

  5. You’re in my city! These foxes look very healthy, sometimes London foxes look very thin and mangy. Lovely to see, especially at a time when the Conservative party are trying to reverse the ban on fox hunting.

    • You live in such a lovely city. I keep coimng back here. I just instantly connect with foxes and always have, maybe partly because I so rarely see them, but more because they seem so elusive, and elusive seems intelligent to me.

    • I don’t know, but I thank God for all creatures great and small. I have so much to learn from them about life. You must be going to the Kalahari soon now. Lucky man.

  6. Some animals do know how to make themselves as home even cæose to our houses – I have seen foxes in both Copenhagen and Hamburg too – I guess they haven’t big problems finding food in our surroundings… 🙂

    Both the fox and the magpie are so beautiful – very well captured… 🙂

    • Yes somewhat similar to the coyotes in north America who are amazing adapters, but foxes are more elusive, less bold then coyotes. On the rare occasions I see one, or in this case four, everyday, I am transfixed.

  7. Love this whole adventure and the foxes and magpies are endearing..and enduring for putting up with each other in such a civilized manner😂😂😂thank u for posting this, warmed the cockles of my heart❤️😺😸👍🏽👌🏽u live in Southern California? Whereabouts? I live in Bakersfield, CA

    • I live in a rural area north east of San Diego county. We spent New Years this past year in The Padre Hotel in Bakersfield. Loved the historic building. We stopped in Bakersfield on the first trip I went on in my life with my parents when I was around five. I remember swimming in the pool! Small world~

      • Very small😉😺😸yup..that Padre is an intriguing place..supposed to be ghosts roaming around..😳👻👻👻💀many years ago they had a sleepy bar on ground floor where we’d go and listen to this old jazz pianist play our hearts out–he was amazing😎😻😺😸👍🏽😻💫

  8. You were very lucky to see those beautiful foxes Cindy 😀
    I have lived in a country with many foxes and you don’t see them very often even you live close to them. What a wonderful experience 😀

    • Yes, they don’t trust humans much. I suppose for good reason. I have seen videos of very human friendly Arctic foxes though. Maybe they have not been preyed on by humans as much~

  9. Awesome fox photos! I have loved red foxes ever since I was a little girl! I love each and every photo! Huge Lisa and Bear

  10. Superb photos Cindy! They look so charming and playful, just like dogs. Their coats are glossy too, not like the mangey ones we sometimes find.

    • I used to be afraid of, dislike, coyotes too for much the same reasons, until I lived amongst large packs of them for many years and learned to understand and respect them. No animal can approach the cruelty and destructiveness of humans. We really can’t credibly criticize animals for killing when we as a species accomplish it so constantly, for so little reason, in such huge numbers. I was struck by the family bonds among the foxes. The obvious joy in each other’s company and the connectedness among them. I respect your right to a different opinion though.

      • I’ve no wish to fall out here. You’re right, humans are destructive too. I’m not too fond of the human race a lot of the time. People do tend to dignify foxes beyond their deserts though, and to glamourise them too much. They aren’t noble, they’re scavengers. Nothing wrong with that. It’s part of nature to have things cleaned up. NObody glamourises vultures though.

  11. Cindy,
    I guess they smelled the scent of the californian foxes and felt the hot breath on their faces.
    RBBA @ wortpresse1.wordpress.com

    Happy stay in UK 🙂

    • Sie sind wie eine schone Person Gislinde! Wir sind wieder zuruck nach Deutschland gehen im November! Wir werden Wurzberg , Regensberg, Pasau und Melk! Ich bin aufgeregt, um zu sehen! <3 <3

  12. So much fun. I’m glad you were motivated. We do have foxes in Fulton but they don’t come out and play very often and the three red foxes I have spotted were all in winter. The gray fox that used to live near, I think has succumbed to old age or loneliness — the red foxes didn’t like him around. Thanks for sharing. Did your husband enjoy the museum?

    • He did very much! We have both been many times, but one always find new exhibits to fascinate and educate. It is an incredible museum. You are so lucky to have these foxes around you. I would be quite busy with my camera! <3

  13. Love the shot of the fox lying down! We don’t see too many foxes where I am, either, but two of my neighbors said they saw two young ones earlier in the week. They look enough like a dog that I imagine Dallas would want to play with them!

  14. We get a lot of foxes…as our cities expand their territory decreases and they come into the cities for food. The problems begin when they start killing the pet cats!

    • Coyotes do that too, resulting in people hating them. Of course cats kill too, often for nothing more than fun. We can be a sort of illogical species at times can’t we? I know I can be! Laughing……

  15. Ah, cute babies! I so hope someone feeds them – sure they can get plenty of rats, but they are growing… Is there any passage to get to the wild area? Hope their mama will guide them to a safer place one day.

  16. That’s amazing! Who would have thought in the heart of London! I live in a rural area of central California and we see foxes occassionally, but I’ve never been able to watch them the way you have or take those kinds of photos. What a treat!

  17. You are amazing! I saw a fox the other day crossing the street late at night as I was driving back…but hardly get to see this kind of interactions! thanks for sharing your passion with us 🙂

    • That has been typical for me all my life, glimpses of foxes and wanting more. This changed in Channel Islands National Park, where I first saw foxes close up, and went back for more. These are tiny foxes, unique to the islands. This was the first time I spent really up close and personal time observing and photographing foxes. I didn’t get as close to the London foxes, but I spent many hours over days observing them, and I was fully hooked. I am so grateful you appreciate them!

  18. They are very, very cat-like! A truly gorgeous little creature. I feel like hugging one, but, of course these are royalty so I will be proper!

  19. Your post made me smile, Cindy. Just coming off of an African safari, we are so adept at watching wildlife, that it seems to be in more places than ever before. I remember stopping in London en route to Calif. after a safari. It was pouring rain and where do we find ourselves? Looking in the window of a travel agent at safari photos! The foxes here are truly beautiful, what a lovely treat for you. 🙂

    • So funny and so true. We saw London safari photos everywhere! I also notice my weeks in Africa have improved my photography. It’s hard to get good shots in Africa because of intervening brush, regulations, the behavior of herding wild animals etc. So, I was much better prepared for photographing clear, clean telephoto shots of foxes in a clipped British garden, even though I was four floors up, shooting through a four inch gap in a bolted window. It seemed easier than Africa! Laughing…….it is so much fun photographing the wild ones isn’t it my friend!

  20. We have friends in Manchester and they’re always capturing fabulous fox photos! These are really sweet, and missing the New England red fox, I can actually smell the breath of these creatures you’ve photographed with their mouths open!

    • Have you actually smelled a foxes breath? I haven’t and I am fascinated! Your friends are so lucky. I have seen one fox at The Holler. They are rare sights for me.

      • Cindy, yes I have! Wildlife centers in the contiguous states have such creatures. I’ve also held and smelled a baby tiger’s breath. So fun, but honestly, I’d rather see these animals in the wild. We are collectively removing ourselves so very far from awe in favor of attempting to quell fear. Which is its own philippic, for sure 😉

      • Yes, I have had my hands licked by lion cubs at the SD Zoo which was pretty incredible and met mama too, but I too prefer to see them in the wild. I choose awe over fear everytime at least with wild things!

  21. I can see you were highly motivated 🙂 I would have skipped the museum too. Great shots of the family life of these foxes!

  22. That was so incredibly precious! Thank you for sharing those pictures! I would totally sit and watch them, too! Adorable!

  23. Nice shots, Cindy. Actually last night I watched a doco on the gardens at Buckingham Palace and now this from London too – what a treat – love foxes – their “permanent smile”, which of course I don’t trust to get too close to 😀 😀 😀

    • I hear the squirrels at Buckingham are tame and a blogger friend of mine Graham in Hats posted about them if I remember correctly. I’m heading back to Europe in November, this time to Slovakia and Hungary as well as Germany. This is a last minute thing my husband just booked. I want to see much more of Eastern Europe. I have roots there! Cheers to you my friend and wonderful to hear from you! <3

  24. Those are charming pictures. Thank you for making the effort through you small window-opening. I’m glad the UK provided you with some wildlife. An hour north of London we have foxes (but don’t see them), magpies which we would gladly give away – they make such an infernal racket all day and steal all the small bird eggs – entertaining squirrels that mess with our flower tubs and our personal hedgehog. We feed the hedgehog and watch him by torchlight most nights.

    • Oh hedgehogs are so beguiling. Your place sounds wonderful. Magpies certainly are assertive birds aren’t they. We don’t have them, so I find them quite handsome and intriguing!

  25. Wow wow how amazing! In the centre of London too! I also would have given up the museum for the foxes. Great photos Cindy, especially considering the limitations you had.
    Alison

  26. We do have many urban foxes around in London, Around my neighbourhood too in East London. I see them often! As there is so much rubbish they always find enough to eat out there!

  27. Foxes are one of my most favourite animals, although many in urban areas like London may disagree with me and call them a nuisance. However, I am from the country originally and so, I love foxes. It is a treat to see them so at home and relaxed, almost as though they were in the middle of some wilderness rather than London! It is a cheeky glimpse into a hidden world you managed to capture, and its great to see!! Fab photos Cindy, and many thanks for posting!

    • Hotels have these window lock rules due to insurance regulations regarding suicide and fall prevention. Once in Switzerland, the hotel manager unlocked the window for me, but stood in observation while I took photos of the Alps!

  28. Oh my, foxes are stunning – but in London??? WOW. I never would have thought!! I didn’t get to see them when i was there 🙁 Nevertheless, they are such amazing animals – remind me of Fox and the Hound! haha

    xx Roxanne
    thelemonandjar.com

    • In the seventies I lived in London where I saw more wild animals than in Ferring (Worthing, the South coast of England) were I lived before going to London. In Chiswick I did not see them in our garden but in Wandsworth it was lovely to see how they came in the garden asking for their plate.
      Also in Brussels (Belgium) there are some foxes daring to come into peoples kitchen, though where I live know in Leefdaal, between Brussels and Leuven, they only seem to be likened as prey for the hunters who do not love my dog running free in the fields.

  29. How lucky you were! Super shots of these little ones. We have many foxes here, but I mostly see them lying dead along the road to my work. Envious a bit…

  30. They have a high mortality rate in the UK due to highways, hunts, and farmers. Cute little guys. We had one at our Denver suburb backdoor. Babies and small dogs beware.

  31. Wow! These are amazing photos, many thanks for sharing them. Though I live in the UK I had not realised that there were so many foxes in London. I live in a semi rural area and rarely see one. How anyone can hunt these animals is beyond my comprehension.

    • Yes, or hate them. How can you hate any animal? They just do what they need to do to survive, unlike humans who often kill for incredibly stupid reasons.

  32. Welcome to London, Cindy and glad to see you’ve met our charming, if noisy foxes. I live in the east of the city and regularly see foxes walking around the neighborhood at night, both adults and cubs. The way they watch you for a few seconds and then flee into the shadows is very mysterious, as well as entertaining.

    Have a wonderful trip.

    Vijay

    • You are the third east ender who mentioned lots of foxes! How lovely to have them there and what fun to watch these elusive beauties! I think all the city parks must have something to do with these urban clusters……

  33. I enjoyed this post. We have foxes, but they stay under cover in the woods and are rarely seen. I have never seen a magpie in person…they are quite beautiful. I wish they were also native to the US.

    • People seem to not be too keen on magpies, but to me they are interactive, assertive and wonderful. But then I only see them when I travel, as we have no natives either. I play with them when I see them where I am staying, and they bring me twigs and other gifts. Love them!

    • We have packs of them at The Holler. At first I didn’t like them because I was quite afraid of them due the the numbers of the packs, and because the coyotes didn’t accept a new human home in their territory. Plus we had no fence so they came right up to us. They challenged us and it was spooky. Now we accept each other. We have fencing and they respect our space. They accept our presence and visa versa. But, there is no press here for space. No situation where I intrude on them as there are thousands of empty acres they can retreat in. It is a different scenario in a more densely packed urban environments where the coyotes are struggling to survive. We do have free range cattle here though, and the coyotes do take down calves, and calves being delivered which is horrendous to hear. But the cows are left too much on their own. They need some donkeys. Donkeys do not tolerate coyotes. It is hilarious to watch donkeys chase off coyotes. I would love to have a couple donkeys. I wish the cattle man would get a couple……

  34. Laughing. It would be better than what the cattleman has in place now which is exactly nothing. Donkeys and mules have a powerful dislike of coyotes, so do several dog species like Great Pyrenees, but since he can’t take care of his cattle, I doubt he would take care of his donkeys or dogs. But I have seen donkeys with coyotes, they are so relentless it is almost comical! They have lethal intentions!

  35. Excellent photos Cindy. I can’t believe that you saw foxes in central London! We lived in London for three years and the biggest wild animal we saw was a squirrel. I also can’t believe that you were able to get such great, spontaneous photos. I’ve attempted nature photography and know how much patience (or luck) that good photos take. Well done. ~James

    • What lovely comments! Thank you. I was blown away by the fox family. It was probably the last thing I expected to see and it filled me with awe because I was missing Africa, but the message seemed to be, wild things are everywhere!

  36. It’s not just on the Holler where you can see stuff, you know!! We used to love all our wildlife in London, although I don’t ever remember seeing a humming bird!! cheers 🙂

    • Laughing, as I sit here trying to count the hummers. I give up at 25. London does have so many parks, But still catty-corner to the British Musuem? A family of four foxes? Playing everyday? I was captivated!

  37. We were in London for the first time last year and all we saw were castles and more castles. I spent a lot of time on the trains. I wish I had known about the park.

    • Yes, the first time you hit a city, you view all the major landmarks. This usually leaves you in somewhat of an overload situation. I try to schedule down days where I just putter around. This is often where I find the off the beaten track stuff, with no crowds. It is nice to get a balance of both!

  38. Hi Cindy good to see you.. as you probably know I haven’t been around for a while its been hard to get here…to long to explain..but I will not be here again for awhile..so I must re-blog some of your beautiful works..the first one I saw… I said to myself oh boyyyyyyyy how beautiful.. and then I saw you leave africa.. how rotten some people are…
    Godbless sweetie
    Sherri

    • I have missed you Sherri and hope everything is okay with you. Take good care of yourself my friend and blessings to you too! Hope to chat with you more when you have the time. <3 <3

      • Thank you so much for your sweet…My has the big c and just came out of remission…that was only 4 mos ago..so I won’t be here as much…your so nice Cindy and so nice to have a a friend..
        huggs
        Sherri

      • Oh no! I am so sorry! So scary and way too much of this now affecting everyone. Who came out of remission? You, or “my” who???? Oh, Sherri, thoughts and prayers are flying your way….. <3 <3

    • OMG! How do they know this???? This is exactly what I heard the foxes saying!!! WOW!
      Seriously, this band rocks big time. Love this and never heard of them. Thank you for the intro. I’m going to go find out more about them. If I knew of this song I would have included it with the post. It really is wonderful! Thank you!! <3 <3

Leave a Reply