Fox sighting, a truly magical moment

Dear Editor,
I wonder how common it is to see a fox in the Algarve? We have a property at Alfanzina (Carvoeiro), have been coming to Portugal for 20 years and in all that time have never seen one until recently.

We are keen birdwatchers and as we heard little owls giving their alarm call, we went outside to investigate. I first glimpsed only the ears of this fox. He was not frightened of us but rather came towards us giving me ample time to take this shot.

My husband thinks he is a hoary fox but they are from Brazil! Perhaps your readers can confirm for us? He certainly did not have much red on him and did not appear to have a white tip on his tail.

Are foxes found in urban areas of Portugal as in England? Perhaps he is a new resident on our condominium? It was truly a magical moment. I would love to hear more about this.

Maureen Borrowdale

Editor’s note: Dear Maureen, thank you for your email and lovely photograph. We asked nature expert Sue Parker to comment: “Wildly enchanting! Thanks to Maureen for her marvellous picture of a magical moment with a fox. Clive Viney, co-author of Algarve Wildlife – the natural year, tells me that foxes are relatively common in the Algarve although seldom seen as they mainly venture forth at night. Like the one pictured, they are often rather greyish and sometimes, as in this example, lacking the white tail tip. Foxes in the Algarve, like the ones in the UK, are increasingly moving into urban areas where they are opportunistic feeders around waste bins, although a particularly delicious-smelling dish may encourage them to approach diners at home and in open-air restaurants. As foxes are persecuted in the countryside, especially by those who value their chickens, it is likely that more will move into towns presenting the sharp-eyed among us with other photographic opportunities. Sue Parker