Another Bobcat Batch

September 30, 2009

I’ve been looking for the local bobcat family without much success lately.  In the meantime, I’ve decided to post a few more from the last encounter.

“Brother and Sister”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Minnesota Memories

September 29, 2009

I’m finally done processing a selection of photos from my Minnesota trip.  It was very nice to be back in the woods after being out west so much of the last year.  Hope you enjoy the variety.

“Sharp-shinned Hawk”  –  Hawk Ridge, Duluth, MN

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Back… for now

September 28, 2009

I’ve been incredibly busy since I got back in town and apologize for the lack of posts.  I’m just now getting caught up and it’s almost traveling time again.  Here’s a small collection of photos taken at Lake Los Carneros over the past few weeks.  The water level in the lake has been steadily dropping and has created a lot of excellent shorebird habitat.  We have been rewarded with many Egrets, some relatively rare Sandpipers and a large group of Long-billed Dowitchers.  The Dowitchers are easily approachable, as you’ll see in a later post.  I hope to put up a bunch of new posts before hitting the road.

“Waking Up on a Misty Morning”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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On the Road

September 17, 2009

I’m somewhere in the Upper Midwest, depending on when you read this…   Thanks to everyone who dropped by and commented yesterday!  I’m really glad you enjoyed the bobcat photos.

“In the Air”  –  Developing thunderstorm somewhere between the Sierras and the Rockies

Bobcat Kittens Playing and Hunting

September 16, 2009

Yesterday was an amazing day!  I was able to spend almost an hour and a half with the bobcat kittens.  I first spotted them playing in heavy brush below the walking path at Lake Los Carneros.  After realizing that they didn’t mind my presence, I called in reinforcements and waited for them to come out in the open.  At one point the female kitten noticed me and started bounding towards me.  Luckily a small rock caught her attention and she started batting it around.  Possibly the funniest event was both cats were gnawing on some nails sticking out of an old fence post.  The male kitten started first, but then his sister wanted to see what he was so interested in and chased him away.

After quite some time the kittens started wandering away and we almost lost them.  I was about to head home when we spotted one running across a field towards their previous play area.  After circling around, the kitten was found sitting in a small opening.  Within a few minutes it was obvious that something had her attention.  She sat nearly perfectly still for a long time and we were stunned when she all of a sudden bolted towards us and snatched a rabbit that was hiding within 5 feet of us!  I never could have imagined that I would get to see a bobcat hunting so closely.  What an experience!

“Male Bobcat Kitten Lounging”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Bobcat Kitten in Tree

September 14, 2009

Over the weekend we saw owls in trees and today we found a bobcat kitten in a tree.  If this trend continues, who knows, maybe we’ll find a bear in a tree next.  Tonight we were lucky that someone noticed my camera and let us know he had just seen the bobcats.  They weren’t found at their original location, but after a bit of searching he spotted the male kitten hiding near a fallen log.  With all the fallen brush it was impossible to capture a decent image, not to mention we were drawing quite a crowd and I felt guilty about all the attention the cat was receiving.  We wandered away in search of the other bobcats, only to be called back when one of the kittens was spotted sitting in a tree…  right above where we had been watching her brother!  Amazingly nobody had noticed her.  She didn’t seem very bothered by our presence but she showed a lot of interest in a large bird that briefly landed above.

“Bobcat Kitten”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

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Great Horned Owls Calling

September 12, 2009

It seemed like today was going to be one of those days.  The local birding scene has been nothing short of amazing recently.  The current attraction is an incredibly rare (as in no previous records) for the area, Black Vulture.  Amazingly, I haven’t seen it yet.  I say “amazing” because it was roosting within walking distance last night.  I managed to get to the roost site too late last night and missed it taking off by a measly 15 minutes this morning.

Thankfully, the day turned around just as the sun was setting.  Fellow photographer Bo Criss posted some nice Great Horned Owl images from yesterday and suggested I look for the owl too.  Not only did I find one owl, but I found two and could have tracked down a third that was also calling.  It was an aural treat to hear the trio calling back and forth.

“Great Horned Owl Listening”  –  Ellwood Preserve, Goleta, CA

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