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offshorebirder

Bobcat encounter

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offshorebirder

This past April 20, I had a wonderful encounter with a Bobcat. While I was watching a Ruff (European shorebird vagrant that is another story), the Bobcat appeared at the end of a dike between two former ricefield impoundments, at Bear Island Wildlife Management Area in coastal South Carolina.

 

The Bobcat kept pausing to look back over its shoulder as it hustled down the dike towards me, and I used one of the backward glances to raise my camera into position. No other humans were around so I suspect a Coyote, wild boar (feral hog), or another Bobcat was the source of its concern.

 

The Bobcat turned off on a side path just before it reached me. I was downwind of the Bobcat, wearing shirt and pants with a grassland camoflague pattern. By standing stock-still, I managed to elude the notice of the Bobcat.

 

The photos show features like the little white ear patches that allow kittens to follow their mother through thick cover (like certain other big cat species). It was early on a cloudy morning, so unfortunately the photos are a tad grainy.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder

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PCNW

Cool sighting @@offshorebirder.

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wilddog

How wonderful.

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offshorebirder

Thank you kindly @@PCNW and @@wilddog.

 

I forgot to include the photo equipment - Canon 7D with a 300 mm f/4 300 IS lens handheld.

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marg

Cool! We have had a few bobcat sightings here in the California desert..photos submitted somewhere. But, we have had no white spots on the ears. And, your cat looks slightly larger. On our first sighting we thought that it was a domestic cat.

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TonyQ

@@offshorebirder

Great sighting!

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graceland

Terrific...I saw one on horseback but no camera ready. Cool to capture the shot!

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Atdahl

@@offshorebirder, very nice sighting. I love bobcats...they sure get the heart pounding when you see one especially if you are walking towards you which is pretty rare in my experience. We saw our first bobcat at Bosque del Apache in new Mexico and have been lucky enough to see dozens in and around Pt Reyes in Northern California. I never tire of them. congrats on such a nice series of photos.

 

Alan

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Atravelynn

Way to go. How very exciting. Lucky you, @@Atdahl, with all of your sightings.

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Caracal

What a special sighting @@offshorebirder. Bobcats obviously have a wider range than I'd realised right across the States and further but are no doubt very secretive. Thanks.

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ld1

@@graceland You saw a bobcat riding a horse!

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graceland

Sure did; most abundant cat in the Western States of U.S.

I was on the horse, but I would have loved for it to jump up on the saddle!

 

 

We were at a ranch and riding miles up along a ridge....there it was.

 

Even our wrangler was super happy. Naturally it ran but not before he/she was spotted.

 

You should come sometime :D

Wild Wild West!

 

I think every sports team/university in Montana are called the "Montana Bobcats" for that very reason.

Edited by graceland

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marg

here is another one in our yard just sitting in the lantana.....

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ld1

@@graceland, sounds beautiful. I've unintentionally managed to get to the four corners of the US, but never the big bits in the middle. Alaska was pretty wild though, but we never saw a moose; who goes to Alaska and doesn't see a moose!

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graceland

@@ld1 You just need to make another plan..Although it is quite far! I tend to think flying east to Africa more than North west to Alaska; but one day....

 

@@marg, i just remembered last year in my area, there was a bobcat down near the James River and everyone with small toy dogs were keeping them inside. Many sightings, though I never had one here.

 

Amazing where they are found.....in your own backyard! Such a pretty face.

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offshorebirder

Thank you for the kind words @TonyQ @@graceland @@Atdahl and @@Caracal

 

wow @@marg - great to have such wildlife in your yard! I bet you do not have any feral housecats in your neighborhood!

 

@@Atdahl - I missed seeing any Bobcats at Bosque Del Apache but did see some in multiple trips to Southeast Arizona (in particular one that lingered at Arivaca Cienega). I spent a lot of time in the field at Point Reyes when I lived in San Francisco but never saw a Bobcat there - you must have a way with them.

 

@@graceland touches upon a great way to see wildlife - from horseback. So many creatures (especially shy birds) assume you are part of the horse and their body + scent + sounds help hide your human presence. But forget photography from horseback! :)

 

One of the best video sequences I ever shot was a female Bobcat trotting towards my vehicle down a dike (at the Yawkey Wildlife Center). She was carrying a rat that swung back and forth in her jaws - probably carrying it to her cub. I need to get around to replacing my broken Mini-DV camcorder so I can transfer that and other footage to digital. I'll post the video to ST when I do.

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Sangeeta

What a fantastic sighting! I've never seen one and would love to one day. Really hope you can get that video here.

Edited by Sangeeta

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marg

@@offshorebirder...you are correct. There are no feral cats here. With an occasional bobcat sighting and a healthy coyote population no cats and small dogs are safe out on their own. Even our cottontail and jack rabbit numbers are low at this time.

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