Birds and a Bonus Bobcat
Shortly after exiting my car this morning, I heard some crows nearby squawking loudly. I thought that they were harassing some type of raptor that had infringed upon their territory. A few moments later a lone Bobcat emerged from the woods. It paused just behind a No Parking sign near the side of the road to check me out. I have seen a Bobcat before, but never with a camera in hand or this close to me. What a treat it was to see one up close.
After seeing the Bobcat, things were quiet for awhile. Then I saw a flash of bright red in a nearby tree. I knew immediately that it was not a Northern Cardinal because it was too bright. Suspecting that I was seeing my first Scarlet Tanager of the year, I tried to find the bird again. I caught a few brief glimpses here and there as it moved about in the canopy of a tree. Photographing the bird was a challenge at first because it kept lots of branches between us. It also moved about rapidly making manual focus impossible. Finally, the Tanager popped up near at top of the tree and I snapped a quick photo.
Continuing on, I came across a Gray Squirrel crossing a naked branch at the top of a dead tree. The early morning sunlight was catching both the tree and the squirrel perfectly.
After turning around, there was a stretch where I did not take any photographs. However, as I got near a swampy area I heard some loud splashing off to my right. I saw a White-tailed Deer heading across the swamp away from me. It finally stopped and turned to look at me, and I was able to get a few photos of it.
To finish the outing, I came upon a pair of fledgling Red-winged Blackbirds. Both were chirping loudly at an adult male that was nearby, their mouths open begging for food. I was able to capture a moment where the adult Blackbird obliged, feeding one of the hungry fledglings.
I also photographed one of the fledglings in the grass. You can see its white eyebrow tufts which give away its age. The young bird then flew a short distance, demonstrating that its wings were working perfectly.