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.
There were tons of white ibises around, and tons of wood storks.
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.
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.
Nearby, a tri-colored heron was hanging out.
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.
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.
There was an Eastern phoebe out on Marsh Rabbit Run.
First we heard a single woodpecker knocking, then as we found him, we realized that there were two of them! So Dyeyo was thrilled.
There were anhingas everywhere, sunning themselves.
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.
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.
Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?
Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!