Ned O’Neill and his family were treated to a rare nature encounter in their yard, off Old Ayer Road, Tuesday morning. They were able to watch a fairly-rare-in-this-area bobcat stalk and kill a wild turkey within site of their house, in a neighboring orchard.
I live at 236 Old Ayer Road in an apple orchard. My house faces Old Ayer but you can’t see it from the street. We border Hillbrook/John Crow along our North and their South border. We were all upstairs getting ready for school and work. My wife looked out our daughter Lily’s window and saw it loping along the fence between us and Hillbrook. She called out and we all saw the bobcat. It continued around the front (East) and I went to get the camera. She went to a window in the front of the house in our other daughter Rose’s room and saw it take out the turkey in a cloud of feathers. I missed this getting the camera but then took the shots right after. I then went downstairs to the front door and it was spooked when I opened the door (not the storm door though, I am not crazy) and moved away from the kill a few trees to the right. It watched for a while and then went back to the turkey and dragged it across the driveway (towards where Steve Janes lives, 244 Old Ayer, he saw it from his window too) and into the main part of the orchard (heading South, away from Hillbrook/Crow towards Ayer). I took those pictures from a deck on the second floor of the house on the side facing South. Even though the orchard is big, this was in a little corner of it cut off from the rest by the houses, we really think of it as the yard. Very close to the house!
We have two Irish Terriers that weigh about 35-40 lbs and this looked bigger than them, certainly much stockier. They had been out around 6:45 AM but were back in then. My brother Sean had just plowed a few minutes before 7:00 so it was not deterred by activity.
I have seen 3 coyotes, many deer, and an orchard worker saw a small bear years ago but this was like watching Wild Kingdom, that thing can move!
More photos are posted on O’Neill’s Facebook page.