Bobcat Scare

The craziest thing happened while Susie and I were birdwatching at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The scene was perfectly serene at Lettuce Lakes. Roseate Spoonbills, Great American Egrets, Anhingas, Ibis and turtles were everywhere, quietly feeding. The only question was which bird to follow with the camera. If anything disrupted the serenity, it might be an alligator, but most of these birds ignore the gators.

Suddenly a brown animal emerged from underwater, got his footing and ran into the brush. On cue, every bird — perhaps 30 large wading birds — took flight. There was massive splashing and wing flapping. What happened? A bobcat! He scared the living daylights out of all these birds. My friend Susie was lucky enough to see it.

At first we suspected the rare Florida Panther which has been sighted in this Sanctuary, but the Corkscrew Docents told us that the panther is mainly nocturnal, not a big swimmer and lastly is identified by a long tail. Susie’s description of the culprit led us to the conclusion of bobcat.

While the Roseate Spoonbills didn’t return to Lettuce Lakes for the afternoon, I was successful in making this image of their retreat to the trees above.

#inflight, #egret, #roseatespoonbill, #roseate, #Americanegret, #wings, #escape, #survivalinstinct
When the Roseate Spoonbills spread their wings to fly, you can see their beautiful pink coloring. Here two spoonbills take shelter in the high treetops with a Great American Egret.