My brother came to visit for Labor Day weekend, so I took him on his first outing to Point Reyes.

We got off to a slow start for the first little bit, with a Northern Harrier hunting above a thistle field providing the only action.

The highlight of our trip was an encounter with a Bobcat. We came around a bend and spotted the cat staking out a gopher hole in a field right next to the road. We pulled off and watched the Bobcat from the car, waiting for it to get comfortable with us. It gave us an occasional glance, but didn’t seem to mind our presence.

After a few minutes, we got out of the car and kept photographing from next to the car. Finally, we slipped through the barbed wire fence and moved around to get a better vantage point. The field ended up being a freshly mown thistle patch, so getting all the way down to eye level with the Bobcat was a bit more than I was up for.

The Bobcat eventually raised its paw and then pounced, but came away empty-pawed. After giving me a quick glare, it slunk away, crossed the road, and disappeared over the hill.

With one Point Reyes wildlife icon checked off our list, we headed to Tomales Point where the Tule Elk did not disappoint. The conditions were pretty wild, with bands of fog whipping in and out of the area from moment to moment.

We found an impressive 7-point bull guarding its harem near the road. A couple of bachelors were hanging out nearby, casually grazing while keeping an eye on the herd. Eventually the bull went over the hill to investigate another bull bugling nearby. The bachelors immediately made a beeline for the cows and started trying to herd a few of them away.

Soon enough, the bull reappeared, and the bachelors tried to play it cool while the bull bugled and glared at everyone in sight, reestablishing his control of the situation.

The rest of the day was pretty slow. I found a tolerent California Quail and worked on my scenic quail portfolio with a 100mm wide landscape. This one didn’t quite do it for me, with a scruffy quail that was facing a bit too far away.