I spent the weekend helping with the Birding by Ear event at the Wilds in Muskingum County, and we had a great time. Tons of interesting birds, and lots of great photos to share. I’ll get to that stuff in later blogs. But for now, I want to share one of the most exciting moments, which involved a wild cat! Read on…
In a moment of fortuitous prescience, I snapped this photo from the site of the science camp, where our group was based. I just thought it was a particularly showy vista, but later that evening we would see a Bobcat on that gravel road, about halfway between the bend and the point where the road disappears at the bottom of the photo.
We had time to get all twenty or so people involved with our group out to see it, and even got two scopes set up which allowed for excellent views. The Bobcat clearly saw us, but we were far enough off that it didn’t care. The photo above is an uncropped shot as it ambled across the road. Unfortunately the distance and dim light conspired to prevent obtaining good photos.
Bobcats are really on the comeback trail in Ohio, and sightings have been increasing almost exponentially each year. By the mid-1800’s they had been eliminated from the state, and the rebound has been slow. As recently as 2000, there were hardly any confirmed sightings. In 2008, there were 65 verified observations. Southeastern Ohio, including Muskingum County and the Wilds, is the epicenter of Bobcat reports, and hopefully the numbers of these spectacular little felines will continue to increase.