Wildlife at Tyler

Wildlife is teeming at our local park.

Tyler Park is so large and varied that it can be so many different parks to different people.  Long, hilly trails for walking, running, or biking. A beautiful creek for canoeing, wading, or fishing. Picnic areas for, well, picnicking.  Personally I like biking through the park the best.  From my house I can bike a 14 mile loop all around the park and get a great workout.

And as photographers are well aware there can be some very nice photo opportunities at the park.  Static scenic shots can be nice, but I tend to favor shooting (figuratively) wildlife.  The most obvious animals are the deer - at dawn and at dusk there can be dozens of deer milling about.  In the spring the smaller fawns join the adults in the fields.

In spring as well there are many nesting birds in the fields and in the birdboxes attached to the park's road signs.  But be careful - get too close to their nests and they'll show you who's boss.  Occasionally you will see a heron or egret in the shallow waters of the Neshaminy creek.

But my favorite subject at Tyler Park is the elusive rex fox.  You will rarely see a fox if you're not looking for one.  I sometimes see them along the tree lines around the edges of the fields.  Just a few days ago while biking I saw one in the middle of a grassy field hunting for rodents. And just yesterday I saw one running across the edge of a field in the same area.  I had my camera with me but had no chance of catching a shot.

But as many people in the Newtown area know a few years ago a family of foxes made their home in a den about 20 feet from one of the park's main roads.  A group of four kits spent their first few weeks of life in front of many, many park visitors.  It was a really unique time. Many adults and children alike were able to see these adorable animals in close view, and in some cases they got a little too close for the animals' well-being.

I have not seen another fox den at the park since then - I guess the foxes learned their lesson.  But I will keep looking for them each year, just in case.

More local photography at this website: www.shadesofgreenphoto.com

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Kathleen Reidy May 08, 2012 at 11:24 PM
It is best to leave the foxes alone. I have seen the park ranger chase people away from their dens numerous times. They carry mange and can have rabies. They need to have a healthy fear of humans in order to remain safe. People need to stop swimming in the creek as well. Why do they repeatedly ignore the NO Swimming Signs? The water is dirty and the water fall is dangerous.
Matt Schrier May 08, 2012 at 11:37 PM
You are right about that. I certainly would not go out of my way to encroach on a fox's habitat, but in this case the foxes made their den about 30 feet from the road (a bad decision on their part), and it was easy enough to drive by with a telephoto lens and get a decent shot. In fact the shot I posted was taken from my car. As soon as the kits grew old enough this family moved to a safer and more well protected area.


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