Farewell to Oxfordshire

Silhouetted brown hare at dusk

Well I had to move quite suddenly away from Oxfordshire to the county of Norfolk. This is a quick, belated post to say farewell to the county that brought me back to nature and introduced me to wildlife photography. I will miss the rolling open countryside and the shadow of the Ridgeway on my dog walks greatly. Although I only lived near South Oxfordshire’s chalkhill downland for four years, it became a true home for me and it will always have a place in my heart.

Silhouetted brown hare at dusk
Silhouetted brown hare at dusk

During some of my farewell walks in my favourite places I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of short-eared owls and a beautiful brown hare silhouetted against the skyline, so I leave Oxfordshire with those images as a beautiful memory.

 

Fox and Leveret

Red Fox In Rapeseed

June is the season for leverets. March may be the famous month for seeing the “mad March hares” boxing in courtship, but hares live in the arable fields surrounding the Ridgeway all year round. They raise their young in late spring into early summer.

During the day hares hunker down into their “forms”. Dawn and dusk are perfect times to watch them. One evening shortly before dusk I was crouched in a rapeseed field margin watching a young leveret. All of a sudden it reared up on its hindlegs, sniffed the air and dived off into the rapeseed crop.

A few moments later out of the bushes trotted a large dog fox. He paused just a brief moment, his head turned towards me. We exchanged looks, acknowledging each other’s presence, then he moved calmly onwards, following the scent of the leveret. On the way home I spotted a fresh trail of pigeon feathers, I like to think the leveret lived to fight another day…

Dog fox crossing field margin
Dog fox crossing field margin
Leveret on hind legs in rapeseed
Leveret on hind legs in rapeseed
Photos Of The Month June 2011 – Fox and Leveret in Rapeseed Field Margin
Taken: The Ridgeway, Oxfordshire