Dyeyo and I enjoyed our hike around the Circle B Bar Reserve again this morning. We saw our usual assortment of birds and babies, plus a few surprises…
The Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks continue to make Circle B their summer home. Their calls can be heard all over the marshes at all hours of the morning. We suspect they are nesting in the marshes not too far from Heron Hideout. Hopefully we’ll get to see the babies!
We were pleasantly surprised to glance over and see a juvenile Least Bittern stalking its breakfast in a palm. This bird was more out in the open than bitterns usually are, and the nice morning sun contributed to a good picture:
It seemed like there were Common Moorhens everywhere we turned this morning. I suspect these are the second batch of babies this spring. The moorhens have two broods each year, and the first set of babies hangs around to help with the second set (that’s a little unusual in the birdie world.)
This juvenile Common Moorhen was prancing around on top of a log, and just begging for me to take his picture. Look at those big feet!
Marsh Rabbit Run was rather quiet this morning. Dyeyo and I made our way up to Wading Bird Way, where we saw two Sand Hill Cranes. As we watched, Dyeyo’s family (with the baby he’s been watching for the past few months) flew up and joined the other two. A few seconds later, the first two flew off, honking. I wonder what that baby said to them!? :)
A bunch of fussy birds flew overhead, and even before I could make them out clearly, I knew they must be Black-necked Stilts. Those birds make so much noise! We’ve never seen a group of them this big at Circle B.
A Tricolored Heron posed for us on Wading Bird Way, too. We get our best great morning light shots down there!
There were more Common Moorhen babies on the way back on Marsh Rabbit Run. They posed so nicely in the bright sunlight, and I couldn’t help taking lots of pictures. (Can I ever?)
We found a new woodpecker nest in one of the trees at the intersection of Heron Hideout and Marsh Rabbit Run. There weren’t any baby heads sticking out of this one (yet), but I got a fun shot of the mother carrying a big fat spider to her babies.
Over by the parking lot, we were attracted to some fussing at one of the nesting boxes. On closer inspection, we saw that it was a group of Carolina Wrens. The adults were coming and going into the nesting box with nesting material. On the ground, there were babies!
It was a pretty quiet day at the Circle B. There were very few birds on Marsh Rabbit Run at all. We figured out why…we noticed a bunch of white things on the ground, which at first I mistook for stones, and then I realized they were eggs. Then I realized that the only animal at Circle B that would lay eggs like that would be alligators. Dyeyo and I snapped a few pictures and then got out of there. One of the eggs was broken. When we got home, we googled it, and verified that they were alligator eggs. We notified the Circle B caretakers and now the trail is closed. When the employees went to verify the location of the eggs, they said that there were two nests, and the gators were at one of the nests!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?
Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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