Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Exploring a New Park and Finding a Bobcat
After the release of the rehabilitated Golden Eagle, I decided to spend the afternoon exploring this East Bay Regional Park that I had not visited before. The biologists on hand told me it was a great place for raptors. And it certainly was. I saw a White-Tailed Kite, a Cooper's Hawk, a Prairie Falcon, and many Red Tail Hawks. The Red Tails were actively courting, and I enjoyed watching their acrobatic flight for quite a while.
There was a large field of grass near the top of the ridge where the hawks were courting. I decided this would be a great place to explore. Walking slowly along, I spotted movement in the distance. A quick look through my binoculars confirmed my hope: a bobcat. The cat was far away and well camouflaged, as you can tell in this picture. You can just barely make out the cat walking on an animal trail.
Since the bobcat was walking in my direction, I decided to sit down over a small rise and wait and
hope that the cat would continue coming my way. This seems like a good idea, but it did not pan out. I suspect the cat had seen me and decided to veer off at some point on its way. I looked through my binoculars for a long time and could not spot anything. So I decided to head to the ridge above where the cat had been and look some more. A Red Tail flew by me while I was standing on the ridge looking over the large green field.
The hawk kept a close eye on me as it flew by.
I was determined to find the bobcat again. So I continued to wander around the area and scour the grassy areas all around. After close to an hour, I caught another glimpse of the cat, this time a little closer to me.
And then my patience paid off. I was making my way slowly on one of the animal trails when the bobcat popped its head up over the grass and looked right at me, briefly, before disappearing into the grassland. (That is the photo at the top of the post.) It was a special moment, to get a close-up look and shot of this beautiful cat with the fresh green grass surrounding her or him.