Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

A Perfect Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

The weather was cool, the sunrise was awesome, the birds were out, and there was a breeze! I couldn’t imagine a more perfect morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.

Sunrise

Sunrise

There was a Tricolored Heron in his usual place, fishing where the water flows under the trail. He looked great in the morning light.

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

The Palm Warblers are definitely back in full force! We enjoyed watching several of them hopping around on these plants with purple flowers.

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

I’ve been seeing Wood Ducks in flight over Heron Hideout for the past few weeks. I wish I could find them when they are on the ground! We’ve never found where they hide.

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Lots of Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers greeted us as we turned onto Marsh Rabbit Run. They hopped around in the low bushes and posed for us nicely. I laughed so hard when I saw this shot:

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Then I saw this shot and got really excited. I’ve often compared gnatcatchers to hummers because of the way they flutter their wings and seem to hover in mid-air while they are hunting for insects. I’ve tried and tried to capture that moment, but they are so fast! I finally got it though…

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Then finally one hopped into the bush right in front of me. I liked the colors of the bird against the vegetation.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Dyeyo spotted a mystery bird in the top of a tree, and we snapped pictures madly while he posed for us. Then I noticed his friend who was in a nearby tree. I saw a hint of blue and realized in a flash that these were my first-ever Indigo Buntings at Circle B!

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

Then we came across a pair of Carolina Wrens. They seemed to be eating bugs out of an old bird’s nest. One even hopped to the front to pose for me.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

We came across another photographer who was pointing his long lens across the marsh. We asked him what he saw and it was this Green Heron, who apparently had just swallowed a nice frog. The heron grabbed a small tadpole while we watched, but I liked his “stalking” picture better. He reminded me of Goldilocks as she watches her birds.

Green Heron

Green Heron

After we turned onto Wading Bird Way, we were greeted by the regular Anhingas sunning themselves. I liked how this guy had water beads on his neck as he sunned. He had to stop and think really hard each time he wanted to hop across to a new perch. The Anhingas are really not very graceful when they are not in the water!

Anhinga

Anhinga

Each week there are more Pied-Billed Grebes fishing in the waters off Wading Bird Way. They go down in one place and come up a long way away! This one came up with a fish. He went down with it again several times before he finally ate it.

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

At the end of the trail, right before the Eagle Roost, is a dead tree with two main branches. Two Belted Kingfishers were perched on those two branches, fussing at each other like crazy. They kept fussing, then flying off, but they always came back.

Belted Kingfishers

Belted Kingfishers

Dyeyo kept seeing black dragonflies and thought they were cool, so I’ll post my best dragonfly shot.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

It’s so great that the Marsh Rabbit Run trail is open again! It’s definitely the best trail for birds.

Marsh Rabbit Run

Marsh Rabbit Run

Species list: Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Common Moorhen, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe (First of Season), Indigo Bunting, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird (First of Season), Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Laughing Gull, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Prairie Warbler, Purple Gallinule, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Sand Hill Crane, Snowy Egret, Tree Swallow, Tricolored Heron, Turkey Vulture, White Ibis, Wood Duck, Wood Stork