Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Limpkins feasting on apple snails

The recent freezing weather in Central FL had some devastating effects at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  Many of the fish died from the cold, leaving the entire place stinky and littered with dead animals.  Then the birds started to leave, probably because their food source was so greatly diminished.  So by today the smell was better, and we braved the chill to go visit the birds.

All the herons, anhingas, pelicans, wood storks – in short, all the wading birds that we’d been used to seeing in November and December – left the Reserve.  It was sad to see it so empty.

I sat very patiently watching this limpkin fish for his breakfast.  I wanted to catch him with the entire apple snail (including shell) in his mouth.  After a while of standing there watching him stand there looking, he finally reached down, grabbed a snail, and snap! snap!  I got his picture. :)

Limpkin eating Apple Snail

Limpkin eating Apple Snail

This eastern phoebe posed nicely for Dyeyo and me over by the visitor center, as we walked back from looking at the eagle’s nest.  It’s hard to photograph the phoebe – his combination of light and dark feathers is hard to expose properly.  I think I did a pretty good job with this guy.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

The blue-gray gnatcatchers were all over the dead tree in the middle of Marsh Rabbit Run.  It’s fun to try to photograph them up close.  They are so fearless of people, sometimes they will just fly right up to you.  I tried to catch one doing its little flutter dance as it eats pollen — it seems to think it’s a hummingbird! — but I’m not as fast as these little birds are.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher


This palm warbler posed in one of the trees on Marsh Rabbit Run.  It’s too bad my camera can’t capture his tail bob.

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

There were several roseate spoonbills at Circle B today.  We see so many neat birds here, that I forget that some of these birds are pretty rare.  It’s fun to see them up close.  This one doesn’t have the same dark brilliant colors as the spoonies that I saw at Merritt Island a few weeks ago.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill