Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Our first visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve

After hearing about the Circle B Bar Reserve from people in the Sierra Club, Dyeyo, Rich, and I decided that we needed to check it out.  Boy were we surprised!  People were not kidding when they said it is a wonderful place for birds.  It’s a protected reserve in Polk County, and there are paths through the marshes.  The birds are used to people and the activity on the hiking paths does not affect them.  Lots of migrating birds pass through here, and it is a great place to observe birds.

We parked our cars and walked to Heron Hideout, one of the main paths.  The marshes on either side of the paths were just covered in hundreds of birds, including herons, white ibises, and some ducks that I didn’t recognize.

This heron was posed nicely with the water.

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

There were tons of white ibises around, and tons of wood storks.

White ibis

White ibis

There were two purple gallinules near the heron, an adult an a juvenile.  I was surprised to see them balanced so easily on the branches, with their feet wrapped all the way around.

Purple gallinule (adult)

Purple gallinule (adult)

Purple gallinule (juvenile)

Purple gallinule (juvenile)

The sun was rising and very bright.  It was hard to get a proper exposure of this juvenile Little Blue Heron, in the sun, with the bright contrast off the water.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Nearby, a tri-colored heron was hanging out.

Tri-colored heron

Tri-colored heron

Mixed in with the white ibises and great egrets were a bunch of roseate spoonbills.  I’d never seen a spoonbill before, and their bills really do look like spoons!  It was fun to watch them fishing.

Roseate spoonbill

Roseate spoonbill

Rich and I saw an eagle flying over the highway as we entered the preserve, and then we saw it again once we were inside.  Apparently there are two nesting pairs.

Bald eagle

Bald eagle

There was an Eastern phoebe out on Marsh Rabbit Run.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

First we heard a single woodpecker knocking, then as we found him, we realized that there were two of them!  So Dyeyo was thrilled.

Pileated woodpecker pair

Pileated woodpecker pair

There were anhingas everywhere, sunning themselves.

Anhinga

Anhinga

I lost count of the double crested cormorants, which covered a lot of the trees out on Marsh Rabbit Run.  Their colors were impressive in the bright sunlight.

Double-crested cormorant

Double-crested cormorant

As we reached the end of Marsh Rabbit Run and turned onto Wading Bird Way, we saw this little sparrow hopping around on the ground.  I think it’s a Savannah sparrow.

Savannah sparrow

Savannah sparrow