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That’s not an owl I hear you cry! And you’d be right…

This weekend was supposed to be reserved for Christmas shopping. The local wildlife though had other ideas.

Our apartment is part of a converted warehouse complex located on the south bank of the Thames overlooking the river itself. When  we woke up this morning Pressie went out on the balcony to see whether our resident seal had returned to our dock yet for the winter (she’s been here the previous two years and there are some photos of her in the Winter Reflections portfolio of my Wild Britain portfolio:

Looking up at her rather forlornly instead though was a young fox that had somehow managed to get itself stranded on one of the pontoons that have been put there for the swans and ducks to nest. Not so cunning and clever now Mr Fox, eh? It was high tide at the time so I can only assume that it must have fallen asleep there when the river was still at low tide. By the time I got my act together and made my way down four flights to the quayside with my camera gear the fox seemed resigned to its situation. It was perfectly relaxed, perhaps realising it only needed to wait until the tide retreated before it could scamper free.In the meantime it just lay there trying not to draw too much attention to itself and looking  a little fed up and embarassed by the fine mess it had got itself into.

I spent an hour  in its company, taking the odd shot and maintaining a discrete distance all the time so as not to add to what must already have been a stressful situation for it. During this time  the snow started to fall, until the conditions turned to a heavy blizzard. The snow was so thick that it became very difficult to focus on the fox

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By this time our stranded fox was attracting the attention of the other local residents, one of whom must have contacted the police concerned by its plight. The River Police then arrived in a rubber duck for what turned out to be a somewhat misguided rescue attempt. The fox took one look at the approaching dinghy and lept into the freezing water to try to escape. Each time the two police officers came closer it would swim the other way, outfoxing its would be rescuers. It would have been comical had not been for the fact our hero was starting to tire. Fortunately one of the officers was able to grab it finally and haul it aboard the dinghy, wrapping it in a towel and trying to calm it before making off to take it somewhere warm to recover from its ordeal (being rescued by the police!).

So there you go. There are all sorts of exciting wildlife encounters to be had on your own doorstep. Well, quay overlooking your apartment. I’ll get my coat (and get some Christmas shopping done).

Next time, in a special festive blog, more Owls. Promise!

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One Response to Marooned!

  1. Good luck on the ‘Northern Exposure’ exhibit. I am sure it will be fabulous. I would so love to pop over to see it. But alas, that is not likely. I’m sure it will go very well.

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