I was birding at a quiet location and time of day. I loved it! While most birders are up early with the birds, there is some ease at birding hotspots midday; less stress on mask-wearing or maintaining physical-distancing since few people are on the trail. I may not see all the birds others see, but I like to search for birds and enjoy the quiet, if only interrupted by a bird call. As a naturalist, I am also curious about the plants and other animals in the local environment.
It is exciting to discover a nest with a bird in it or discover a new bird for my life list. I can get caught up in numerous wildlife observations. It is true, time really does fly when you enjoy what you are doing! And since I have no sense of time, it is best for me to set an alarm on my watch if I need to be elsewhere by a particular time. (Watches capable of numerous alarms were made for me!) My typical goal is to be home for cocktail time and then have dinner. It’s a retiree’s life I am fortunate to enjoy!
I had a good birding day so when my alarm went off, I began my walk back to my car. Perfect timing; I will be home for all as I hoped. I was walking the trail when I noticed a bobcat staring back at me. Okay, I got the message, I’ll give you some space. I continued to follow with a healthy distance between us, but also wondered where the bobcat could exit the area. The bobcat obviously passed the easiest exit back where we first met. Time passed as I watched the bobcat slowly walk the trail ahead of me. I noticed its retractable claws and knew they would extend if the bobcat decided to climb a tree or defend itself. I was not going to give it any reason to do that! Usually bobcats do not attack people and any I have seen in this area are used to birders walking the area too. It did finally find a place to exit, and so did I!
My plan to be home on time was squashed by this bobcat encounter, but it was definitely worth having! Here are some photos: the bobcat and some birds seen that day.