Travels

Mid-Winter Wildlife at Duck

It's mid-winter on the Outer Banks. The holidays are gone, almost no one's renting houses, and most businesses are shuttered until late March. Very few occupied houses and no street lights mean dark nights. All of that adds up to the sort of quiet that makes the wildlife bolder. In December and January, the deer have returned and we had a visitor -- a gray fox. All of the information that I could find says that gray foxes on the beach are rare... but we had one nestled in the dune for a few days.

1
Near a restaurant in town, there's a telephone pole stuck in the Currituck Sound with an osprey next platform atop it.  The ospreys are gone for the season, so I was surprised to see something BIG on the platform.  It was a great blue heron, surprisingly.  They're usually pretty skittish, but I guess this one knew he was safe, so I got a few shots.
2
The deer returned to the dune this year a few days before Christmas.
3
It's figured out that I'm taking pictures, but kept eating, as I was on a deck and apparently predators don't attack from above.
4
As the sun set on a 72 degree Christmas Eve, I thought I'd get some shots of beach wrack by sunset.
5
another shot of shells washed ashore on Christmas Eve 2007 by sunset.
6
One day in January, I looked out the back window and, as is usual this time of year, saw the familiar browns and tans of winter.  But wait... what's that rusty spot near the lower left?
7
A closer look shows it's a fox???  Well, we see them running across the road now and then.
8
The napping fox would get up every 40 minutes or so, look around and change positions.  It's a gray fox, by the way -- the difference is that the gray fox has a black tip on its tail, while a red fox has a white tip on its tail.
9
I set up the camera on the top floor outside of my office on a tripod and just ran a long cable release to my desk, so when it got up to look around I could get a shot or two.  Unlike deer, it didn't seem to care what was looking at it.
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