Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Still Plenty of Birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

It was very hot but very fun to be back at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. Dyeyo and I took a nice long hike and saw some neat birds. I saw my first Eastern Meadowlark! I’ll wait until I have a better picture to post one, though.

When we first arrived, we saw this Red-Shouldered Hawk sitting up in a tree on the Heron Hideout. Dyeyo clapped to get his attention, and then he posed nicely for us.

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Red-Shouldered Hawk

Dyeyo’s Sand Hill Crane family met us on Heron Hideout, and we had fun taking pictures of the baby that he’s been visiting since it hatched about eight weeks ago. The baby has gotten so big! He’s lost the fuzzy yellow look and is starting to get feathers. I thought the following head shots were fun of the parent and baby:

Sand Hill Crane juvenile

Sand Hill Crane juvenile

Sand Hill Crane adult

Sand Hill Crane adult

As we turned onto Marsh Rabbit Run (where we did see a marsh rabbit!), Dyeyo spotted this Least Bittern hiding in the reeds. He played peek-a-boo with us for a few minutes until he flew off.

Least Bittern

Least Bittern

There were Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks flying up and down Marsh Rabbit Run the whole time we were walking on it. We tried to get some flight shots, but all of mine turned out blurry. Dyeyo said that they wouldn’t land, but we came up to a tree and there were three ducks posing for us.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

I was excited to see a Purple Gallinule up close, and even more excited when we saw a couple of babies wandering around near it. Look at the markings on the beak of the baby – they are nothing like the adult bird!

Purple Gallinule adult

Purple Gallinule adult

Purple Gallinule baby

Purple Gallinule baby

Dyeyo and I turned onto Wading Bird Way, and there we saw these Black-Necked Stilts parading up and down the walkway. It was hard to find a good exposure with white background and black-and-white (very skittish!) birds.

Black-Necked Stilts

Black-Necked Stilts

We walked up Wading Bird Way and back through the Eagle Roost. Dyeyo says that there are usually around 50 Eastern Meadowlarks posing on top of the pine trees there, but today we only saw 2 of them and they were not posing pretty! Oh well, next time. Dyeyo showed me the eagle’s nest and we saw both parents and the juvenile Bald Eagle. Wow! (My pictures weren’t great, though.)

We decided to walk down the Alligator Alley to see what was new at the lake. It was pretty late in the morning and we weren’t seeing much (and note to selves: start earlier and end earlier now that the summer heat has started!) Then as we passed the boardwalk, we heard an owl hooting. We walked along for a bit, listening as we got closer. Then Dyeyo saw it! It was a Barred Owl and he posed for a few minutes, letting us get some fun pictures.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

All in all, we had a fun hike, and we can’t wait to go back!