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Montgomeryshire mammal recorder and naturalist
It is a lovely photo, but doesn't belong to this observation!
Photos attached to observations should be of the actual animal or plant. If no photo is available (which is often the case) then a brief written description giving the feature that were used in the identification and/or a sketch can be posted.
If a photo of a different individual of the species is used (including those with permitted use - such as this one), then any agreements given will refer to the identification of the photo not the individual observed.
How can you tell the photo is not of this observation?
If you click on the 'Search Encyclopedia of Life' button it brings up this photo.
Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)
The name given to the observation (repeated as the subject title for this comment) indicates the source of the photo.
The photo actually dates back to 31st July 2005, and was taken in Denmark.
My initial comment was really meant as a criticism by the way, just to point out that anything posted as an observation should really only show (or describe) the actual individual(s) observed - although I can completely understand the desire to provide a photo that illustrates the species.
The fox in question looks as close to this picture as is possible. I have had difficulty getting a photo because he only appears in poor light.
I understand completely, and I know from personal experience that it is often very difficult to get a photo of something!
As I said early, my comment wasn't really intended to criticise, it's just that sometimes a photo of a different individual could affect the identification (this is obviously more of a potential problem with some other groups than it is with this observation of a fox!).
Anyway, the important thing is to carry on enjoying watching, enjoying (and perhaps recording) the wildlife!
I suggest there is not a problem using stock photos as long as it is made clear in the comments and the photo is credited. Also when it is accompanied with some descriptive text about where it was seen or what it was doing.
I hope that helps with the discussion.
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I agree that it's not a problem for this observation (although the photo source should be credited), but it could easily affect the ID in many other groups, eg soldier beetles, or blue damselflies, so I don't feel it should be particularly encouraged!
Record your ladybird sightings!
I agree about not encouraging the use of stock photos. After further thought I would clarify what I was saying. I think the practice should be deterred when linked to an identification for the reasons you mention, however, I have no problem when linked to a behavioural observation etc.
For example, I posted an observation of a male, female and juvenile otter playing together. I had no camera so I illustrated it with a picture of the habitat where it happened; I could have used a stock photo of an otter because I was not seeking an identification (indeed I said this in the text), rather illustrating an interesting observation.
Thanks for all your helpful comments. As you see, from my revision, this red fox reappears regularly. This time it was about 7.00am on a Sunday morning but we regularly see him at dusk so we think we must be on a well-worn route of his. I think it's the same fox every time. I now have the camera ready in my bedroom in order to try and catch him.
Lat/Lng: 53.8, -1.5
OS grid ref: SE3342