Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lynx, wren, fox (20140823) No telling what you might find if you just show up!

I had checked in with Dan about the Warbler situation around town and he made a recommendation, but for some reason I didn't think it was the right time. I headed out on my own and it was very foggy. I was questioning my decisions all morning long. I was heading to the area where we found the foxes a couple of weeks ago hoping to find more of the same. Every now and then I would chastise myself for not taking the day to do more exploring instead of covering very well known ground. But with the odd opening in the fog I kept hoping I had made the right decision. I was in position at the "fox spot" about 10 minutes when a Wren appeared and kept me distracted for a bit. When I spied this great looking critter.
I only got three 3 shots of this fellow before he disappeared. I fully expected that he wouldn't show himself again for a bit, so I returned to the Wren and it was being a cooperative subject.
Almost an hour later while watching for the fox I took a look down the road by my truck and spotted a critter, and I congratulated the fox on getting passed me. When I put my camera up to grab a long distance shot. But I didn't find a fox in my viewfinder, it was a Lynx. I fired off a couple of quick shots, then I heard a vehicle approaching and knew that it would spook the cat.  Sure enough, the cat scooted off the road behind my truck. I used the noise of the vehicle, and the cats disappearance to try and improve my position by getting closer. A few minutes later the cat re-appeared on the road and began to walk towards me.
I was starting to get pretty excited as it had been over 30 years since I had spotted a Lynx, and it was walking straight towards me! Then the dreaded vehicle noise started again and I knew that this time the cat would bolt.  I kept shooting hoping that the car would slow down and maybe turn off somewhere and not get all the way to me. No such luck.
The race was on, would the cat get around the corner before the vehicle arrived? Would the cat disappear for good and I would have to "settle" for the shots I already have. I like the image as it shows the difference in the length of the front and back legs of this Canadian cat.
The vehicle was getting closer and closer and I was pretty certain I wouldn't get any more shots of this ghost of the wilderness.
Well the vehicle arrives and obviously sees the cat at least briefly as I see the brake lights come on, but the truck doesn't stop. So I tentatively start approaching where I think the cat might appear. When I look around the corner, I spot something in the grass. Here is my subject and it looks like it is eating something, but I couldn't tell what and my critter was facing away from me. This was looking good in some ways and not so good in others.
By this time I was getting pretty close to the activity hoping to get a facial shot. My gamble paid off.
What a privilege to be in the presence of this elusive animal. It was obviously aware of my presence as it looked right at me several times. What a terrific encounter.
Then the biggest surprize of the day (really, I think that has already been taken care of, right) the cat just starts to walk away. The pace of the cat allows it to eat up real estate without it looking like it was even moving very much. Those long legs just cover ground!
I include this shot as it shows the white on the backs of the ears and even the tufts of hair on those same ears. I will not be doing a supplemental for this outing as I have included so many images here. Today really reinforced my dedication to "showing up to shoot"! This is not the environment that I would have expected to find one of these cats. I hope you enjoy the images. this has been a great day for me personally. I love living here in Alberta and having these types of sightings everywhere I go.


  1. Wow, what a great sighting and great shots! I saw my first Lynx just last year. I hope I don't have to wait another thirty years to see another. But they are very hard to find.