One of the species I was really hoping to see on this safari was the arctic fox. I have been to the arctic twice before, but these little beauties have eluded me on both occasions. I figured that at this time of year they would not be wearing their (more well known) all white uniform, but would be in what is known as the blue phase, or their summer outfit, which would give me a better chance to spot one (the white fur on white snow makes spotting them in winter a tricky business).
We checked a few areas where the foxes are seen regularly, but to no avail. It seemed that this was going to be a species that would laugh at me from its secret hiding spot for a third consecutive visit to the cold north, until the second last day. At around four thirty in the morning (remember the midnight sun – we started out at one thirty) we found our first fox – an extremely nervous individual that ran like an arctic blizzard, giving us only a quick look at over one hundred meters. Not great, but it counted (I did manage to grab a photograph of the fox, but even with all the equipment in the world, let’s be fair, it was a long, long way away). It put a smile on my face and a tick on my list, but being a photographer, I (as always) hoped for a second opportunity.
After a solid midday sleep, we set out again on a final attempt to find some foxes, and boy did we strike gold! Twenty minutes into the search, we had a quick glimpse of a fox on a small ledge above us. We slowly followed, and had been led to a den site. The female fox had moved up over some rocks, and while we were scanning the area, three small balls of fluff started rolling around in the afternoon sun. Fantastic! I could hardly believe our luck, but left the disbelief for later, because I was concentrating through twelve frames per second. The three little foxes were an estimated twenty days old, which is just old enough to be ignorantly playful, but young enough to be absolutely cute. We were lucky enough to spend close to three hours with the little foxes, and got the images I was hoping to get.
To join me on safari, click here!