Dyeyo and I spent a fun, but hot, morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve today.
We got there just before sunrise, and watching the sun come up over Lake Hancock was spectacular. Then the sun went behind some clouds. We saw a juvenile Green Heron down at the start of the Alligator Alley trail, but since the sun wasn’t really out, the pictures weren’t great. Nor did I get any impressive flight shots from the boardwalk. It’s unfortunate that the sun can’t come and go as the photographer chooses sometimes!
The trees along the Alligator Alley trail were full of birds. I’ve never seen it this active before. Along the shoreline, the herons and egrets were startled by our presence and they flew off squawking. Overhead, a Carolina Wren fussed his little head off. (I guess we were too near a nest?)
We saw plenty of Wood Storks. Some posed high in the treetops, right over the path:
What was fun was seeing the number of juvenile Wood Storks that were also hanging out by the lake this morning. Dyeyo joked that maybe they left Gatorland and moved to Circle B!
A family of Sand Hill Cranes was also down by the lake (and we heard several other groups of cranes flying over the marsh throughout the morning). There were two juvenile birds, so it wasn’t Dyeyo’s baby. I really liked the soft morning light in the juvenile portrait:
The adult crane posed for the camera, also.
Many Ospreys were sunning in the treetops, and a few were eating their breakfasts of fish.
On one tree, we paused to look at the Osprey, then noticed a Pileated Woodpecker hopping around on the branches of the same tree. He turned his head to the sun just as I snapped his picture. Then he flew off to join three more Pileateds in hopping around in a tree over Dyeyo’s head. Dyeyo thought that was pretty cool!
A Little Blue Heron posed for me, too. (It’s funny how the ones in the trees over the trail aren’t as skittish as the birds at the water’s edge!)
As we rounded the bend in the trail and started to move away from the lake, we noticed two Tri-colored Herons fishing. The adult is pictured below, and there was also a juvenile. They fished for a few minutes, then the juvenile flew off, leaving the adult to stare at him for a second, then fly after him, honking. I guess teenage birdies aren’t allowed to roam away without parental permission? :)
Last week the last part of the Alligator Alley trail was covered in Green Herons. Today, we only saw one. We didn’t see any flycatchers or other birds in the trees, either. It’s funny how the birding changes from week to week at Circle B.