Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Cloudy day at Circle B Bar Reserve

Dyeyo, Rich, and I were so excited about our last visit to the Circle B Bar Reserve, we carefully watched the weather to go back on the next sunny day.  But the weathermen deceived us, telling us that today would be sunny, and it was cloudy and foggy instead!

Along the Shady Oak path, we came across this pileated woodpecker.  Dyeyo has seen a pileated in his backyard a couple of times, but never this close.  Of course, he’s getting spoiled here, thinking he’s going to see one every time he comes to Circle B…

Pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpecker

We walked up to the lake, along Alligator Alley.  I wasn’t too crazy about the idea of seeing an alligator up too close and personal, but we didn’t see any.  We did hear rustling high in the trees above us, and when we looked up, we saw not a squirrel, but this raccoon, eating the leaves of the tree.

Raccoon

Raccoon

(I wonder who thought who was funnier: us, watching the raccoon jump between the branches, or the raccoon, watching us strain our necks with cameras, trying to get a picture of him!)

As we walked along, we came across some bushes that were filled with little blue-gray gnatcatchers.  They were unafraid of us and came quite close to pose for the camera.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Dyeyo had never seen more than one or two gnatcatchers at a time, so he had a great time just watching and listening as they carried on.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

We looped back around to the Heron Hideout path, and in the pine trees we saw this pine warbler, the first I’ve seen this year.

Pine warbler

Pine warbler

The funniest picture of the day was of “Dyeyo’s Chicken Bird”, also known as the juvenile bald eagle. As we walked through the Shady Oak, some women told us that we should look for the juvenile eagle by the lake.  But we didn’t see it by the lake, and we’d forgotten about their comments when we saw this bird fly across the marsh, a decent distance away, and land on a tree.  He seemed bigger than a hawk, so we were trying to figure out who he was.  I was trying to remember if golden eagles were supposed to be in Florida, when Dyeyo said that the bird looked like a big chicken anyway.  We got home, and I looked at my pictures, and I was able to identify the bird as the juvenile bald eagle.  Chicken bird, indeed!

Juvenile bald eagle

Juvenile bald eagle

We also saw this cool-looking spider in his nest.  I thought the sharp focus and the stuff in his web made for a neat picture.

Spider

Spider