Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Cold Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve

Dyeyo, Rich, and I were very cold birdwatchers at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  My wool hat from Pittsburgh came in handy!

I saw my first limpkins on Wading Bird Way today.  Look at that long spear of a beak!

Limpkin

Limpkin

The limpkins were fishing for their breakfasts as we watched.  This guy had his head down for a while, and he came up with his prey wrapped around his beak.

Limpkin with apple snail

Limpkin with apple snail

The trees that used to be covered in double-crested cormorants are almost always empty now.  I guess the cold weather agreed with them about as well as it agrees with me!  This spoonbill looked lonely all by himself.

Roseate spoonbill

Roseate spoonbill

There were tons of laughing gulls on Wading Bird Way.  This one caught a big fish, then all his buddies ran after him and tried to steal it.  Go catch your own fish, silly birds!

Laughing Gull (with fish!)

Laughing Gull (with fish!)

We saw these little least sandpipers running along the water’s edge on Wading Bird Way.  At first they were near a limpkin, and Dyeyo thought they might be baby limpkins (wouldn’t that have been nice!)  It’s rather deceiving, the way they posed next to the limpkin’s favorite apple snails…but no, they are sandpipers.

Least sandpipers

Least sandpipers

It was a slow birding day, so Dyeyo and I entertained ourselves by trying to photograph the tree swallows that are always flying around by Wading Bird Way.  They never seem to land!  Their feathers glow bright blue when the light hits them.  They’ll fly right at you and you’ll think they are going to hit you, but they fly so fast that it’s hard to get a good picture.

Tree swallow

Tree swallow

This downy woodpecker distracted us on Marsh Rabbit Run.  Dyeyo really likes woodpeckers and his enthusiasm is catching. :)

Downy woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

The warblers started to come out as we headed back.  The light was so bad that I had to pull out my flash.  Other photographers kept asking me if I had a flash extender…it sure would have helped today.

Palm warbler

Palm warbler

I saw my first yellow-rumped warbler of the season.  I know the bird book says that the yellow-rumps are the most common warblers in our part of Florida, but I seem to see so many more palm warblers than yellow-rumps.

Yellow-rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

This pied-billed grebe posed for me just as we left Marsh Rabbit Run.

Pied-billed grebe

Pied-billed grebe