Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Killing Field

OK that’s the holiday over, we’ve done fluffy snow and blue skies, now we need to have a chat about this chap.

Handsome isn’t he? we don’t see him very often, twice in fact in about 17 years, once trotting across the top field on a sunny afternoon and one morning, just before the school run, catching voles in the field, leaping around like a playful kitten in the September mist. We have spent more time fox watching at our friends house in London than we have here, they have a fox come up to patio windows every evening. We know the local foxes patrol our fields each night especially at this time of year when food is scarce, we don’t see them, just  the evidence of the visit. Last week I mentioned there were a lot of feathers in the field, they look very pretty in the frost, but there have been an unprecedented number of less photogenic finds, I am going publish some of them; so click away now if you are feeling delicate;

ready? here we go;

Headless chicken

Last week we found a pair of lambs hind legs attached to a large piece of wooly skin, now I’ve brought you decomposing moles, sick rabbits and decorative uses of a sheep’s skull before but I did baulk at photographing this one (it was a bit like finding the remains of Mr Tumnus in the grass)

It’s not that I have some morbid fascination with decay (honest) it’s just nature taking its course, a hungry fox needs to eat, my reason for wandering around the field, collecting the remains is a time and money saving exercise; as Moss the dog (who has a few vices, we know, it’s more to do with operator error than the dogs fault) will if she finds them first, and they are putrid enough, roll on them, or worse still sink her teeth into them, now if she was better trained, she would on command let go, but she becomes some what possessive about them, it’s either a battle to get her to give them up or it could be a very expensive vets bill to remove chicken bones from her guts.

This was last Wednesdays haul, now unless it was a three winged cockerel, we have here the remains of more than one bird

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Take a closer look at the cockerels spur, would you argue with that? one hungry fox.

Cock spur

They are not our livestock, I think they are from a farm up the road, but our field is a direct route from there, to a sand quarry where I think the fox set is, but it’s is making us much more careful about ensuring our own hens are safely shut away each evening at dusk.

We could have a caption competition for this shot, but I can assure you that our chicken ‘thing one’, her interest was purely from a ‘can I eat it?’ perspective, not unlike the dog in this post by ‘Inspector Gadget’.

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