By James Speakman
Stunning images have captured a picture-perfect spring evening as fox cubs play amongst a blanket of bluebells.
The adorable cubs, thought to be about four weeks old, were snapped playfighting and frolicking in the flowers near Stourbridge, West Midlands.
Photographer Ian Howells, 38, had spotted the fox set and markings a few days earlier and returned last week in the hope of getting pictures of some cubs.
Ian, from Cwmbran, South Wales, said: “It was a perfect spring scene with a full blanket of bluebells.
“It was at about 6.30pm, one of the cubs came out and quickly returned to the den so I waited for another hour then they started to get brave.
“There were four of them playfighting and pulling up tree branches and rolling in the bluebells. It was amazing.
“They were out there for about 20 minutes before I heard a screech – their mum calling – and they shot back down the hole into the den.
“They’re beautiful animals – so charismatic and sleek.
“They’re a creature of the night so it’s not often you get to see them out playing in daylight. I felt very fortunate.”
The company director has been taking pictures for about five years.
The dad-of-one added: “I used to be a fisherman and found I was taking lots of pictures from the bank. I got my first proper camera five years ago.
“It’s the wildlife I like. I love being able to see things that you don’t often get to see. I’m out about four nights a week taking pictures – I’d be out every night if I could.”