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Old Feb 3, 2007, 11:27 PM   #1
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I went for my usual hike around the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary late this afternoon. The weather was warming up and it was nice to be outdoors. I snapped this group shot of some black-necked stilts, american avocet and duck. Do they stand one legged because the water is cold?




I wish this shot was sharper. The light was so nice and golden.


I found this great blue heron hiding in the reeds. I think he was getting ready to settle down for the night. I kept on inching and inching myself closer to him.



I got to about 5 feet from him when he finally had enough of this obnoxious photographer.



Off he flew, shrieking into the air. I could tell, he was pretty angry.



I watched the sunset's fading glow disappear below the horizon. It was so quiet and peaceful here in the wildlife sanctuary. Without anymore useable light, I turned off my camera and hiked back to the parking lot.



Rounding the corner, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, what initially looked like a cat. It was lurking around the gravel parking lot. I looked closer and noted its long pointed ears, short tail, unusually long lanky legs, and leapord markings on its legs. It was a bobcat!!!



I was so surprised and caught off guard, I started snapping away at it without realizing that my camera was still off! Doh! I quickly turned on my camera, cranked up the ISO to 1600, and sent a prayer to the mighty Pentax gods of shake reduction technology. With so little light to work with, I had to hope that this was enough to get some useable shots. The following photo was shot at focal length 300mm, f/8, Tv =1/10 sec, and Iso 1600. I cleaned up the noise with 1 application of Neat Image. Not too shabby. :G



In the parking lot is a small house for the Audubon Society. They post a daily log where visitors can write down all of the animals they they came across on their hikes. There has been a family of bobcats that have been sighted recently in the wildlife sanctuary. As the bobcat made it's way behind the house, I hurridly circled around the house the other way to meet it on the other side.

As I positioned myself to take a shot of the bobcat, I finally realized what it was watching so intently...dinner.



Between the bobcat and myself, I was surprised that this little rabbit, didn't make a run for it. I guess it was trying to stay as still as possible. As I inched closer and closer to the bobcat, it finally had enough and scurried off towards the riverbed.



As I drove home (only 10 minutes away), I still couldn't believe that I had a close encounter with a bobcat. On top of that, after I got home and downloaded my pics onto my computer, I couldn't believe that I had any useable pics of the bobcat. If you view the exif data, you will notice that some of these handheld shots actually went down to 1/10 of a second. Thank goodness for shake reduction technology!

Thanks for looking.
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Old Feb 3, 2007, 11:45 PM   #2
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The Bobcat photos are great, they are hard to get close to in the wild.

Tom
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 8:49 AM   #3
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very good shots hung. the bobcat was right place, right time. don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen again.

roy
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 9:46 AM   #4
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Some real nice shots in this group.


Darren
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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What a day in the sanctuary!

So what I called a Lynx in the cats thread is also called a bobcat...:?Must have been a wonderful experience. We have them here, but few have ever seen one except in the zoo.

Kjell
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 11:45 AM   #6
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There was another birding photographer who was packing up his gear in the parking lot. He followed me up to the top of the riverbed as we watched the bobcat scurry into the bushes. He told me that he's been going to this wildlife sanctuary for the past 5 years and this only his 2nd time he's seen a bobcat. Yes I do consider myself very lucky.
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 11:57 AM   #7
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Really neat to get that bobcat. I've seen em while in the woods, but never when I had a camera with me. Kind of looks like he's used to people because that scurry sure is a lot slower than the get outa town moves I've seen em make when they see you.

Great series of photos.



Jim
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 12:04 PM   #8
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A very nice series. WHAT A CAPTURE on the Bobcat. you did really GOOOOD.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 12:06 PM   #9
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Ya I was really surprised at how relaxed this bobcat was. He didn't display any behavior that would indicate that he was alarmed. He took his time crossing the parking lot and just sat behind the audubon house watching the rabbit. I guess I interupted his dinner plans. There are always people jogging/hiking through the wildlife sanctuary so he must be use to us now. One of the audubon staff persons saw an adult bobcat hunting in the sanctuary last season. Unfortunately about a week later they found it's carcass on the road as it had been run over by a car. Very sad. I hope this one stays in the sanctuary and doesn't get TOO use to people...
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 12:18 PM   #10
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royce10 wrote:
Quote:
Ya I was really surprised at how relaxed this bobcat was. He didn't display any behavior that would indicate that he was alarmed. He took his time crossing the parking lot and just sat behind the audubon house watching the rabbit. I guess I interupted his dinner plans. There are always people jogging/hiking through the wildlife sanctuary so he must be use to us now. One of the audubon staff persons saw an adult bobcat hunting in the sanctuary last season. Unfortunately about a week later they found it's carcass on the road as it had been run over by a car. Very sad. I hope this one stays in the sanctuary and doesn't get TOO use to people...
Right Place at the right time and you tood advantage of the opportunity. Good job on being alert.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
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