Time for another installment of the Bobcat Diaries...
(but then, when isn't it?)
On the east side of the Sierra Nevada, in the Mono Basin, is a small canyon where a creek begins.
Spur canyon at 7,000 feet on east side of Sierra Nevada
Seeps feed the head of a creek in the canyon
While walking along the creek, checking out the seeps that feed it, I noticed two large boulders that had tumbled down from the rim, and formed a bit of a grotto over the creek.
Looking down the slope into the grotto under the boulders
A grotto that was fully shaded, and more than big enough for me to squat down inside.
And thus set a camera trap.
Sitting in the grotto, looking out the main entrance
Looking left (with cam trap) and right in boulder grotto
Overall, 9 species were photographed visiting the grotto - 3 birds, 5 mammals, and a herp.
Or, from the bobcat's point of view - 1 predator (Bob), and 8 possible snacks.
You see, much like house cats, bobcats are versatile carnivores that will eat
pretty much any small critter they can catch, including rabbits, snakes,
lizards, birds, mice, rats, squirrels, voles, chipmunks, gophers, fish,
frogs... and maybe even a cricket, or moth or two.
An American robin was the first to the scene
But the bushy-tailed woodrat visited the most times
Silvery Bob sauntered in for the first visit at 6:00pm sharp
And casually smelled the rocks and checked the scene before taking a drink
Silvery Bob taking a drink
A western scrub jay also dropped in for a sip
As did a California ground squirrel
A deer mouse came through (below rock on left side of photo)
And a sparrow bathed twice
Bats flew through too - probably hunting insects
Silvery Bob wasn't the only Lynx rufus to use the grotto, though. This more-orange bobcat came in for a sip at the stream as well...
Different bobcat comes in - more orange, different markings
Silvery Bob returned 6 days later for a check in...
Silvery Bob coming back to the grotto for another visit
Western fence lizard - sometimes they can hold just enough heat to trigger the camera
As a result of their dietary versatility, bobcats help balance the populations of a broad range of small animals, including species that can become pests when too abundant, such as ground squirrels, gophers and voles.
And, you don't have to clean up after them.