I had not realized that
whom I've "e-known" for a fairly long time from an Indian wildlife photography forum (India Nature Watch), is based in St.Louis, and we recently met each other in Bandhavgarh, a tiger reserve in my country.
I connected with him here, too. He was kind enough to offer to take me to the banks of the Mississippi at Winfield, Mo.,
to see some Red Foxes. As my sightings of predatory mammals is quite limited in the US, I was glad to take up his offer.
On Wednesday the 20th May, a lady had, in her eagerness, trespassed upon the safety zone of the foxes, and it was also overcast, and we came back unhappy about the incident. However, on Friday the 22nd of May, there was no one else around, and Butch, his wife Susi,
and I were treated to the sight of the mother fox and her kits, in the morning sunshine.
Here's the mother fox; unlike the usual descriptions, she has quite a ratty tail!
We watched as she crossed the path and went off down the banks of the backwaters to try and get her babies a meal.
Here are the kits, and some close-ups that I could not resist in the golden morning light.
Two kits sharing a head!
When you are in the wild...even a nap in the sun is with your ears on alert.
Here are three of the kits, on the rocks...a heady cocktail for me!
But like many desserts, this cake to had some icing to it...the birds!
On Wednesday, I saw a Bald Eagle soaring, and a juvenile , with the ratty plumage of approaching adulthood,
flew into a tall tree,
but I was still able to take a good look at it, as well as seeing war break out between a Flicker and several Starlings.
Three Great Blue Herons flew in perfect formation overhead, and I was able to watch a Red-headed Woodpecker, too. Yes, there were warblers in the bushy areas, but I could neither see them nor id them properly.
However, I enjoyed watching a large group of Cliff Swallows
under the bridge, swooping around and visiting (and building) their nests.
This was a new one in my sightings of swallows, and I enjoyed the colours of the birds very much, as they took mud from the banks to the nests
to develop these architectural marvels.
On Friday, I was able to see a Spotted Sandpiper
on the logs at the edge of the riverbank; a flock of Dunlins
gave us a display of formation flying before settling down on the mud, to forage. Both were lifers for me. A Baltimore Oriole, which I didn't expect there, delighted me with its bright colour. There were three kinds of woodpeckers around: the Red-headed,
a Red-bellied, and the Flickers, of course. Large groups of Red-winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles looked very colourful in the bright morning sunshine. Pelicans
stood in the middle of the flow, seemingly impervious to the chilly air.
There were some interesting insects, too, like this Damselfly:
and this midge, which is apparently of the non-biting kind, on Butch's car:
Several wildflowers, like these,
were a delight to see.
In fact, the whole scene was beautiful.
were a delight to see.
I've put up the photos of birds, the sunrise, and others,
and the beautiful fox family is
Thank you to so many of you who have taken me along to various places
to see some delectable sights of Nature!