Quaker Ridge Bobcat

9 12 2011

Bobcat - John Fairty

Looking out of his window yesterday John Fairty (Audubon Greenwich Grounds and Facilities Manager) spotted this stunning Bobcat. He managed to run and grab his camera and get a few photos while this cool animal hung around. What he didn’t manage to do was run and get his phone and let me know the cat was there – I am still trying to find it in my heart to forgive him 😉

Bobcat - John Fairty

John also got a little bit of video of the cat is it slunk off and unfortunately it seemed like the animal had an injured back right leg. Hopefully it’s something temporary that won’t stop it successfully hunting. There have been a number of sightings of Bobcat in the area recently with one of our neighbors snapping pictures in her yard and local birder Shaun Martin stumbling on one on the property this past week (which from his description appears to be a different individual). Earlier in the year I saw my only bobcat just a mile or two away in NY State – unfortunately it was roadkill!

Bobcat - John Fairty

Bobcat or no, I still managed to get a lifer mammal this week though in the shape of a Northern flying squirrel. Not quite as cool as a bobcat but a species I have been trying to see properly for about two years now and finally managed to connect with. Thanks Shaun!

Christmas Presents for Birders 2011

7 12 2011

Rough-Legged Hawk - BBRR Adopt-a-Hawk

So, in previous years I have put together some cool ideas for holiday season gifts for birders. This year I thought I’d do the same.It seems like the usual temptation is to purchase the latest field guide for ones birding buddies but to my mind that is a risky proposal fraught with duplication possibilities, so for the birder who has everything, why not try something different? Some of my suggestions are highly biased, but they are still awesome 😉

1/ Adopt a hawk. OK it’s not quite as cool as taking home your own hawk (which one ‘adopter’ mistakenly initially believed) but you do get a cool print of the bird and get to help the educational work carried out by Braddock Bay Raptor Research. Yes I know I work for them for a portion of the year but it’s got to be a better idea than getting someone a 4th or 5th copy of Nat Geo 😉 Details can be found on their website (here) or on facebook (lots of adopt-a-hawk pictures here).

2/ Buy a t-shirt, mug or tote or cap from the Birdspot Printfection Store. Products range from cute, through classy to downright hilarious. Get a piece of art and a useful product all wrapped up in one item. Personal favorites are from the Iamahawkwatcher series of course (any likeness purely coincidental).

3/ Get a membership of a cool birding organization, it could be BBRR, HMANA, National Audubon (they currently have match funding so it’s a good time to donate), The American Birding Association or the Connecticut Audubon Society just pick one – you know it makes sense.

4/ Instead of the usual field guide why not impress your birding chums with something a little more artistic like Jean Luc Mylane’s book (i have it and it’s awesome – here) or if you want something a little less contemporary and a little pricier how about the Theodore Cross Waterbirds (I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by the publisher). If a field guide it must be, of the recently published guides I would recommend the amazing ‘Hawks at a Distance’ by Jerry Liguori – a real advancement in the field and Kaufman’s ‘Field Guide to Advanced Birding’, a nice look at some of birdings tougher identification challenges.

5/ I have to say if you know anyone looking for some reasonable but excellent new binoculars I have been checking out the new Pentax line at the store here at Audubon Greenwich and the Pentax DCF BC 9×32’s absolutely rock for the price. They have a sale on in the store at the moment so it’s a good time to look for bargains.