Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Bird-watching at Circle B Bar Reserve

Now that Dyeyo, Rich, and I have discovered the Circle B Bar Reserve, we go there often.  Each time we go we see new birds and learn more about them.  It’s such fun.

The first bird we saw this time was one that I usually don’t like to photograph, a black vulture.  There are tons of vultures just down the road from the Circle B entrance, near this little fishing stream.  The vultures just cover the ground there (and cars of fishermen, too!)

Black vulture

Black vulture

As we walked on Heron Hideout, I saw this little bird hopping around in a tall tree.  I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but when I got the picture home, I was able to identify the American pipit.

American pipet

American pipet

We’ve often heard sand hill cranes at the reserve, and today we saw them.

Sand hill crane

Sand hill crane

This Great Egret was pretty against the background of bright yellow flowers that cover the dry portions of the reserve.  He was fishing.

Great Egret (and poor fish)

Great Egret (and poor fish)

The Heron Hideout wasn’t as busy as our last visit, but we did see a bunch of herons, and this roseate spoonbill.

Roseate spoonbill

Roseate spoonbill

There are so many anhingas at this reserve!  The line, “Hey, there’s an anhinga displaying!” has almost gotten to be a joke, because you see them everywhere.  I thought I got pretty nice pictures of this guy’s front and back today.

Anhinga

Anhinga

Anhinga

Anhinga

Some of the trees are so filled with double-crested cormorants that they look like Christmas trees, except with birds instead of ornaments.  The light was very nice on this bird in one such tree:

Double crested cormorant

Double crested cormorant

Walking on Marsh Rabbit Run, we heard some new sounds, and then noticed a flock of birds we didn’t recognize.  Most of the birds were in the marsh, like this:

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Then some of the birds were perched in a tree.  They were such striking ducks!  The blue heads and eye spots contrasted nicely with their bright orange beaks and brown bodies.  We later identified these guys as Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, a migrant visitor to Polk.

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

As we reached Wading Bird Wade, we found ourselves looking at a huge flock of American White Pelicans that had come to roost.  There were so many birds!!  This picture hardly does the sight justice.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans

The skies were full of the pelicans, too, flying back and forth to the roosting area.  By this time in the morning, the light was harsh and the shadows very dark, but it was still fun to try to capture in-flight photos.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans