Bon Accord resident Bob Bidney has been taking pictures of wildlife for about 30 years.
Usually it’s a bird on the other side of Bidney’s lens. An avid birder, Bidney tries to get out once or twice a week to check up on the area’s feathered residents.
Bidney and a friend were out on a birding trip just west of Elk Island National Park on a snowy Thanksgiving Monday when they spotted something four-legged about 30 metres down the road. They stopped their truck to get a better look – Bidney realized the animal was a lynx, walking unconcerned towards them.
“Very unusual behaviour for a lynx,” the amateur photographer said. “Because they're kind of shy and elusive. But this one didn't seem to be bothered by humans or anything.”
The lynx was about as big as a Siberian Husky. Bidney snapped some photographs as it approached. About five metres from the men, the animal took a detour through the ditch, passing the truck before climbing back onto the road.
“And away it went," Bidney said.
The lynx, a young adult Bidney figured was about one or two years old, seemed to be in good health. It didn’t pay any attention to Bidney or his camera.
“It just wanted to go wherever it was going.”
Bidney’s Thanksgiving encounter marked about the 10th time he’s come across a lynx in his decades as a wildlife enthusiast. He posted pictures of his find on Facebook, a place he also shares photographs of the birds he comes across.
Bidney, who has been retired for about 11 years, also regularly shares pictures and sightings with Cornell University’s eBird program, a citizen science project that collects bird information from contributors around the world.
Bidney’s favourite birds to capture on screen are owls of any type. But when it comes to choosing a most-loved picture, he finds it impossible to narrow it down.
“All of them are so beautiful and unique,” he said of his photography subjects. “I've got bald eagle pictures that are ten feet away. I have great grey pictures, great horned pictures. I have small little birds like common redpolls and black-capped chickadees. They're just all beautiful."