Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.
The heat of summer seems to have slowed the activity around the trail cameras in our woods, but sometimes, amid all the images of squirrels, raccoons, and wind blown leafy branches, there is is a jewel that really makes me appreciate the 24-hour a day presence of those eyes on the trees.
This first one is from a while back and is a very quick clip showing one of the opossums that uses the root ball den site carrying some leaves back to the ‘possum hole with its tail. Who among us couldn’t use an extra hand now and then?
One of the things I have been surprised by recently is the lack of trail camera images of deer fawns. I have been seeing them along the roads here in the neighborhood for a few months, but they have not been recorded on a trail camera until this week.
This next one is the video that I have been waiting for…a Bobcat in our woods! The video is cropped a little so it is not as sharp as some, but this is a clip of a nice-sized Bobcat walking down the now dry stream bed in our woods. I have long hoped to see one here in the neighborhood. We have plenty of woods and potential prey, and being near the Haw River corridor, there is ample habitat for these majestic animals.
I have admired the mystique of these secretive wild cats for many years. My first sighting was probably back when I worked for NC State Parks and I spotted a Bobcat and her kittens walking down the road at Goose Creek State Park. Since then, I have seen them mainly at wildlife refuges in our Coastal Plain – Alligator River, Mattamuskeet, and at Pocosin Lakes NWR. Most have been quick glimpses of one as it slinked off into the vegetation. Only a few have been recorded with a camera. Here is a brief list of some of those photographed encounters…
Note the white patches on the back of the ear in the photo above. Look at the video clip again and you can clearly see these distinctive white marks on the back of the ears. My only other Bobcat sighting in the Piedmont was one at Mason Farm Biological Reserve in Chapel Hill many years ago. When I returned to the parking lot I saw what looked like a large cat sitting in the adjacent field. It was looking away from me and I saw those white patches and it was then that I knew it was a Bobcat!
Though I have been lucky to witness Bobcats in the wild several times, there is something extra special about knowing there was one in our woods. I just hope one day I will be lucky enough to see one for myself in our personal refuge.
When we lived in Edenton, NC, we bordered conservation land that went 1/2 mile back to the Albemarle Sound. To my surprise one morning a young bobcat was seen swatting our hammock and watching the leaves bounce up into the air. It played with the hammock for about a minute until an adult appeared from behind our shed, and they both wandered off into the woods. I was so mesmerized I did not get any pictures, and I never was lucky enough to see one again. But my mind’s eye recalls the images perfectly to this day!!
That is so cool, Mary Kay. I agree, any sighting of a Bobcat sticks with you forever.
Good wildlife photos!nlm
new addressNancy Lee Miller2701 Pickett Road #4007Durham, N.C. email@example.com
Thank you for sharing, amazing!
Thanks, appreciate that.
Cleaning out a bird box of a house wren I found the nest woven with the feathers of other colorful bird species; bluebirds, goldfinch, cardinal and woodpecker to name a few. I have never seen this before, have you?
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I had not, until today. I noticed the dryer vent cap had come off at my mom’s house (for who knows how long) and there was a bird nest in it with blue jay, dove, downy woodpecker, and cardinal feathers in it. There were also two blue eggs in it, one broken, one looked like it might have hatched. The nest was a lot of grass and a few sticks. Not sure what the story is unless maybe a house wren built over (or in this case, in front of) a bluebird nest? Ironic timing with your comment.