Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 8, 2009

Bobcat Encounter

Filed under: composition, Kearny Lake, Non Birds, rarities — richditch @ 11:09 pm
Bobcat, Kearny, AZ

Bobcat, Kearny, AZ

You just never know what you will see when out birding.

I made a return visit to the lake at Kearny, AZ, this morning, since I’d had such good luck shooting moorhens and the Great Blue in the rain four days earlier. I’d been sitting low by the water for 30 minutes with the moorhens and actually missing the soft light of the rainy day when i decided to get up and try another vantage point. I was really surprised to see this bobcat taking the sun on the paved walk around the lake 20 yards away – the walk dips down there so I couldn’t see the spot while shooting the moorhens.

As soon as I saw the bobcat it got up and walked away from the lake, up the hillside and into cover. But it came rather close to me getting to where it wanted and it kept a careful eye on me the entire time.

I actually had too much lens! I had the 300/2.8 and 2x mounted to the D200 on my Gitzo tripod and had been shooting the moorhens at ISO 320 and f/10. I didn’t change a thing and just got off 40 frames in 2.5 minutes. I wish I could have swapped the 2x for the 1.4x I carry with me but I didn’t want to interrupt my shooting and never expected the bobcat to come as close as it did.

This is full frame, minus a small sliver off the top to reduce the amount of dead shadow there. I wish I had the feet in the frame.

But I’ve been waiting for such an encounter for over 14 years here. I’ve seen them twice before in AZ, and once in New Mexico. But never like this!

Here’s another shot in the sequence, taken just after we’d noticed each other and the bobcat started walking up the hill.

Bobcat at Kearny Lake, Kearny, AZ

Bobcat at Kearny Lake, Kearny, AZ



  1. Congratulations Rick on your Bob Capture. I am jealous of your excellent Image. Been looking for one for a longer time

    Comment by John Hardison — January 9, 2009 @ 10:08 am

  2. Great Capture Rich. You don’t see many of those guys in your lifetime, let alone get a fine image.


    Comment by Jim Prudente — January 9, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  3. Hi Richard,

    Great luck to see the BC and super shot. I have been spending some time in SE AZ and hope to meet you some time.

    Larry Selman

    Comment by Larry Selman — January 9, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  4. What a beautiful photo! The expression says it all to me: “This human means me no harm and respects and appreciates me as I am. I will give a longer look – for both of us.”

    Comment by Diana Stuart — January 9, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

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