Re: Bobcats in the wetlands SE of eagle nest (Full BLOG)
A couple of days ago, the dew point was high and the air very still
when We walked out on the wetlands adjacent to our south Florida home,
hoping to get another glimpse of the Bobcats.
A little before sunrise, our patio view of the sky looked ominous.
Watery pearls festooned the spider silk.
Tall blades of grass, weighed down by the dew, drooped over the trail.
Some of my early morning photos had not been as sharp as I expected,
and I had an "Aha!" moment when I noticed the fog covering my camera
lens. Of course, the camera had spent the night in air-conditioned
comfort, and warm, moist air had kissed the cold glass. My microfiber
lens cloth came in handy, and I did much better this time.
The first test of the fog-free lens was this Eastern Towhee,
which exhibited the white eyes of the southern subspecies;
those migrating here from the north have red eyes.
A Common Ground-Dove looked down from a safe perch.
A Prairie Warbler brightened up the morning:
Palm Warblers were everywhere.
By the way, we did not see any Bobcats, but we keep trying...
Okay, now that this is officially a "birding" blog, I've got to tell
what happened THIS morning. Again, we got out early, about 15 minutes
before sunrise. When we stopped to check out the usual spot for
Bobcats, we immediately saw three, far ahead to the south on the levee
path. It was the same adult female with her two half-grown cubs that we
have seen several time during the past month. This first photo is
heavily cropped, as they were over 100 yards away, walking towards us.
The adult is on the right.
Mary Lou left me to continue her walk, knowing I would remain
uncommunicative and glued to my camera as long as Bobcats were in
sight. I stalked closer to the cats, keeping to the high grass near the
edge of the canal, on the left. To my advantage, there was a slight SE
breeze in my face. At first the cubs appeared to be playing, but they
eventually moved into the brush on the left side of the path while the
adult kept watch over them with her back to me.
I walked a few steps and then took a shot. Since the power of my 420 mm
lens system is equivalent to 8X binoculars, each step brought me
(optically) about 16 feet nearer to the cats. I reached a point about
40 yards from the adult, then moved out into the path to get a clear
shot. She was intent on watching the cubs, so I moved a bit nearer.
Suddenly she turned and saw me, and began watching me intently.
She stood up and then walked diagonally in my direction before rather
purposefully disappearing into the brush while continuing towards me. A
House Wren began chattering near her position. Then I heard the wren,
or another, begin scolding more to my right.
In the meantime, the larger cub had emerged onto the trail and was
sitting on the path just staring in my direction.
The cub finally began to look alarmed and ran off into the high grasses
of the expansive wetlands to the right. Meanwhile, the
chattering of the wren started coming from just alongside me, then
moved a bit behind me to my right. I assumed it meant that the parent
Bobcat was checking me out, but I could not see or hear any sign of
her. If she had been a panther, I would have been very anxious about
coming between her and the cubs. Then, the second, smaller of the two
cubs startled me by walking out only about 25-30 feet in front of me.
The smaller cub looked back towards where its larger litter-mate had
disappeared into the brush.
At first it walked slowly towards me. For a while it seemed to be
looking past me.
I couldn't stand the suspense, so I turned my head to see if the mother
had moved on to the path behind me, but I did not see her. My movement
scared the cub and it twitched its tail before running off.