Thursday, December 30, 2010
Eye on the Tiger
What does it take to distract an obsessed birder from birds?
Barring the predicted possibilities such as food, girlfriend, or studying, sometimes all it takes is a really good mammal.
Don't get me wrong. Not all mammals are equal. Lesser mammals, such as Fox Squirrels and Eastern Chipmunks, exist primarily to serve as targets for projectiles during bouts of acute boredom. Others, like Bobcats, demand complete attention.
It happened sort of like this. I was at Irvine Regional Park, blissfully enjoying a Red-breasted Sapsucker...
...when, WHAM! I glanced aside and found myself under the cool, calculating gaze of a Bobcat bedded down in the grass. At first, I thought it might be sick--it sat, its eyes sagging shut, apparently uninterested in my presence. However, as I approached, the beast arose and sauntered away, throwing me a condescending glance over its shoulder.
The cat didn't care. It swaggered along the edge a thicket, occasionally stopping with its ears pricked, listening for prey. Then, without warning, it pounced, coming up with a juicy vole. It immediately devoured the unfortunate rodent. When I inspected the premises after the Bobcat had left, I found a slimy pile of Bobcat excrement as well as a stain of vole blood.
I should probably stop there.