VIDEO: Local photographers make friends with curious foxes
Foxes are hunted by some people but they are an endearing animal to many others - including keen photographers John Reynolds and Megan Christie-O'Brien. They clearly went to considerable trouble to get shots of our furry friend that has featured in films such as 'The Fox and the Hound', 'Fantastic Mr Fox' and even Disney's version of Robin Hood.
John Reynolds is an amateur photographer who works in retail. He has been tracking foxes for the past couple of months and he hit gold dust when he came across a vixen out and about recently in Mornington - and like many excellent photographs there is a good story behind how it was taken.
"When I was out taking pictures I was actually sitting in a corner of a field, covered in camouflage and I heard something behind me and I realised the fox had actually walked up behind me without realising I was there," he explained.
"When I turned my head she ran back and then just sat there watching me for a few minutes, trying to figure out what I was and whether I was a threat or not. She was feeding cubs and had been going back and forth all day with food.
"We used to have a lot more foxes in the area but they are now forced into a smaller area," he added. "The area is getting very developed now, there used to be hedegrows everywhere, foxes' dens in every field but now there are just a few dens in maybe one or two fields."
John, who lives on the Boyne estuary, has taken shots of a lot of birds over the years, seals and of course foxes. "I used to do a lot of landscape photography but once lockdown started I managed to save a bit of money and move into wildlife photography which I had been meaning to do for years. I use a Nikon D500 with Sigma 150 to 600mm lens which actually broke after I took the shot of the fox so it's getting fixed now."
The photograph of the busy, wary, watchful mother fox was probably worth all the hassle though.
Megan Christie-O'Brien, who is from Longwood, was out enjoying some food from a world famous eatery in Dublin when she was audaciously approached by a fox who was obviously attracted by the prospect of a free dinner. It was a chance just too good to miss so she took out her camera - and was rewarded with a series of fine photographs of the friendly visitor from the wild.
"The fox just came over to the car, sat at it looking at us," she recalled. "We just were parked up eating and he sat looking in at us like as if he wanted some food off of us. We had just got McDonald’s nuggets and curry sauce, it was in an urban car park beside Starbucks and McDonald’s."
Video: Megan Christie-O'Neill