Date: 5/23/18 8:18 am From: Mary Reese <uuspirit...> Subject: [Tweeters] Owl harassment and COUGAR at Ridgefield
We arrived at Ridgefield about 9:30 this morning and noticed the sign about the cougar sighting yesterday. Just then a man drove up who had just completed the loop and showed us two photos of the same tree, the first with nothing in it, and the second of what looked like a cougar climbing down, although it was pretty fuzzy. He said he took the photo at area #10. He called it in (phone number is on the sign) and the ranger came out. By the time we finished birding the bathroom/bird blind area and got to the Kiwa trail entrance, it was closed. The ranger said that the last cougar sighting was about 100 yards from there.
When we got to that approximate location, there was a jam of cars. But it wasn't because of the cougar. There was a lady in a little red car, who had been talking to everyone at previous stops like she was an expert or volunteer or something, blocking the road. She had gotten out of her car and gone into the bushes to take pictures of the Great Horned Owls. She blocked the road again later in the loop to take pictures. We later learned from the real volunteer at the entrance, that Red Car Lady got a citation for harassing wildlife. So if you see her, keep an eye on what she is doing and report any strange activity.
When we got back to the entrance, an update had been posted to the cougar warning sign. It said that no one was allowed out of their cars anywhere. That included the bird blind and the bathroom next to it, which were now closed.