My mystery began when my wife and I heard a strange animal noise as we were going to bed between as hiss and a faint scream followed by something zipping past the bedroom window that I couldn't properly make out. Whatever it was, it wasn't a rabbit or a cat - of which we have far too many. When the house was built, we laid pebble mulch along the side of the house - which happens to provide a nice path for animals to follow. So, one of the first uses of the camera was to set it up looking down the path to try to identify what the animal might be.
|You can just make out an ear and forehead to the right of the second post behind the overexposed grass in the foreground facing towards the camera.|
|Note the sharpish nose and long running legs. Might it be a fox?|
|Look at the skinny tail, either hairless or covered by very short hair. Couldn't be a fox.|
|Not a cat I have seen before during daylight.|
|Note the position of the cat relative to the vine twisting around the post. Although it stands higher off the ground, the body size of the unknown creature is only slight larger than the cat's.|
However, I have several more pictures of the mystery animal, both by the bedroom and on the bridge out to the small island in our dam. Coming towards the camera.
Going away from the camera 10 minutes later:
|Far end of bridge walking away from camera. This guy might have a fox tail.|
Definitely a small fox in the above sequence
More cats to establish size:
|Another one I have never seen during daylight.|
|Yet another cat not seen during the day|
The last shot removed any doubt that all of the fox-like creatures photographed by the trail cameras were in fact foxes:
My wife hates foxes (we have given up trying to keep chickens on the property), so says Hooray! that at least one fox is suffering.
More to the point is that the trail cameras have shown beyond a doubt that our 5 acre property is overrun with nocturnal predators that don't belong in Australia - at least three different cats and two different foxes, not counting the occasional sightings during daylight hours. Hopefully they are at least keeping the growing rabbit population under some kind of control.