It’s been an interesting week for wildlife around here. A big cat and an unusual bird were both sighted in the same week.
Day before yesterday my son looked down the street and saw a couple critters in my aunt’s yard. She lives across the street a couple houses or so down from us and next to the woods. The critter that was being followed is unidentified but the second one… My son thought he was looking at a cat but then realized it was too big to be a house cat so it must be a dog. No. Not a dog. Didn’t look like a dog. Sure is a big cat! He said it had a funny way of moving it’s tail and it disappeared behind my aunt’s car before he could tell what it was for sure. He went online and looked at videos of bob cats and it seems that is what he saw.
We have seen tracks over the years and when my son was a teenager, he and I made plaster casts of deer tracks and bob cat tracks. Apparently, the bob cat was trailing the deer. Bob cats will mark territory by scratching trees just like house cats do when they tear up the furniture. This sighting makes me want to go look for scratch marks. And all this happened the same day I learned that a chicken tractor doesn’t have to be big; it can be small enough for just a couple of hens. I think I want to build one. For several years I’ve thought it would be cool to have my own chickens. I think bob cats like chickens.
Over the weekend I got reports of a humming bird at a feeder down the street and it wasn’t a Ruby-throated. The neighbors (who are also my parents) didn’t think it was a Rufous either. I had given up on having a Rufous and took my feeders down long ago but when I heard about this bird I put them both back out. It took a few days, but today he showed up at the feeder by the kitchen window. I quickly eliminated the usual suspects. When I got the binoculars I could plainly see a pinkish-orange bill. We have a bird here that is rarely seen in these parts! Three of us (my dad, our friend who is really good at this and I) have come to the same conclusion. We have a Buff-bellied hummingbird. My dad has a better camera than I do so he plans to come down here and get some photos. The lighting isn’t working out at his house. If they turn out I’ll see if we can figure out how to put them on here so you can see them.
When I told my friend I also saw a Wilson’s warbler the other day at the edge of my yard by the woods, she said I really ought to sign up for ebird so I can report what I see. She said it’s free to do and not complicated. I’ll have to look into that.
So, one thing leads to another, and sometimes we’re led to some fun things, right? Look for cat scratches and sign up for ebird. I guess if I do build a little chicken tractor for my little garden I might have a bob cat in my own yard. That could be a problem.