Handsome Reynard (pictured) is embarking on a moonlit foxtrot, strictly with a dual purpose in mind.

First of all at this time of year, the height of the fox mating season, he is searching for a vixen, his 'wow-wow-wow' calls carrying far and wide on the crisp night air and hopefully he will be answered by the vixen's shrieking banshee like reply. Cubs will be born next March or April.

He has little time for each vixen is only receptive for about three days so he doesn't want to miss his chance.

Secondly, he will be on the lookout or using his sensitive ears and sense of smell to locate prey under the snow.

If he detects a vole or similar, he will rear up on his hind legs, leap upwards and using his forefeet, plunge into the snow to hopefully pinpoint prey, rather like polar bears do in the Arctic.

The urban fox is of course an emotive subject. People either love or loathe him, however, on the positive side foxes play an important role in the environment keeping in check unwanted rodents that might otherwise run amok in our plastic rubbish bin society.

In my immediate area there are in fact fewer foxes compared with ten years ago.

Here's wishing all our readers a happy new year.