Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 Jenner, CA.
Didn’t realize today would be a bobcat day.
It was off to Jenner today to do some kayaking. Decided that I did enough work on the van and needed a break. I put in about eleven in the morning and paddled across to the island and then went though the island cannel and up the south side of the river along the bank.
As I was crossing over to the island two bold eagles flew out of a big tree on the island and headed up the river. Didn’t get my camera out and had the thought that I likely wouldn’t get much in the way of pictures today. That’s a crazy thought as one never knows what one may see on the river, it’s different every day.
As I was paddling up the river along the south shore, just above the island, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving though the grass and into the brush. I only just saw it’s top back, from the side and it was gone, but I sure thought that looked like a big old Bobcat.
Below is where I first saw the cat out of the corner of my eye, headed into the bushes.
I quickly got my camera out, but it was gone for now, so I moved my boat out into the river away from shore. I did this to see if I’d see it again and if I did and it was in a different place, I could tell if it was headed up or down the river so I had a better chance of seeing it again.
I moved my boat way out there to see if I could see the cat again, this also puts me away from the cat and can put the cat at ease. I learned this from trying to watch otters. The first thing people do when they see an otter is shout, OTTER, which likely means to the otter, watch out, people. So, I learned it was better to be quiet and back off most of the time.
Below is how far I moved out away from shore to watch for the Bobcat to re-emerge.
After waiting and watching out there for about a half hour, I was ready to give up, so I went back in and had a look before I was to continue up river. Just as the river moved me down the current past this bush, I saw the cat behind it, but now it was gone from my sight again. I cautiously paddled back up to the brush pile and saw the cat move back up on the shore in the bushes, so I waited quietly to see if it would come out again. I knew from experience that the bobcats like to hunt along the shore line to get things that have washed up on the shore dead and they likely also run into other critters to eat too. So, I had seen this cat twice, indicating it was headed down the river, so I was watching in that direction for it to emerge again.
The brush pile that the bobcat was behind is what the below picture shows.
And it did, just a little ways away. It came out on a trail in the grass and stopped. Below is the first picture I got of this cat. It has a nice winter coat.
Can you spot the bobcat in the picture below? Likely not so easy, if I didn’t see it moving I’m sure I wouldn’t’ have known it was there. Click on the picture and make it bigger and see if you can spot it sitting there. Hit the X, just above the opened pic to close the slide viewer and come back here. You can also advance to the next pic by hitting one of the arrows that will show to the right and left sides of the pic.
Spot the Bobcat in the picture below, if you can.
You should be able to see the cat in the picture below. It sat there for about an hour, while I paddled back and forth, just below it, pretending not to notice. I think it was curious to what I was up to. I pretended I didn’t see it and hummed and whistled and pretended like I was up to something. The cat stayed there the whole time.
Once, I noticed the cat staring down the river and looked down there and two guys where coming up the river in kayaks. So, I thought, lets see what this cat will do as they pass. I paddled back out into the river, out further where they would pass and said hi to them, then went back to see if the cat was still there. Of course, it wasn’t that easy to find, even though I knew about where it was and it was still there.
The picture below, my boat was drifting into shore, close, just under the cat and I only had about four feet of water to shore, so I was about fifteen feet from the cat and it was getting a little concerned, but not too much. I think I was more concerned, thinking it wouldn’t be a good idea to have a bobcat on me.
Eventually, the cat did a scratch with the hind leg to show me it was at ease then slipped into the bushes and I didn’t see it again that day. I then headed up the river another half mile. The river current was flowing a little more than normal, which caused my boat to go down the river so I just decided to flow with it and head down to the rivers mouth.
The mouth of the river was open and the ocean was rough, nice to be inside the calm river.
Below is a picture of the river mouth, with the jetty coming in from the left, note the rough ocean.
I got some good shots of the bobcat. That is likely a cat I’ve seen before and we seem to be forming some kind of a relationship, as every time we meet, she seems to be more at ease.
Another great day at the river.