Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lower Hartor Wild Camp

Two nights camping on Dartmoor, the first night at the Plume of Feathers Campsite inPrincetown and the second night out on the moor at Lower Harter Tor.During the wild camp were awoken in the early hours by an animal of some sort moving up and down parallel to our tent. Every ten seconds or so it would let out a crisp loud shriek.When we looked out from the tent all we could see were bright white eyes reflecting back at us, coming and going as the animal moved among the rocks.

It did not seem bothered by the light from our torches nor the barking and growling from our two dogs who were rather freaked out, as was my girlfriend. It must of been about size wise something like a sheep or dog as the rocks would not have blocked anything such as a cow or pony.Before dark there were lots of cattle, sheep around and we had passed a fair number of ponies earlier as well but the noise we were hearing did not fit easily with any of those animals. It was crisp, fairly high pitched, not a doggy growl, or piggy rasp, not a bovine bellow or a sheepy baa/bleat. Each shriek was a few seconds long with no sound in between.It hung around for 5 minutes or so moving back and forth in our torch light and then disappeared with us never catching more than a glimpse of its white eyes reflecting in our torch light.
Turns out it was a fox but we had no idea what it was at the time!