Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Lots of Little Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

A month ago I was ecstatic to see a warbler at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Today I nonchalantly dismissed one as “just another Palm Warbler.” How quickly do the birding times change!!

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

This morning’s hike took us up Heron Hideout and out Marsh Rabbit Run. We spent most the time chasing the little guys. Dyeyo was determined to get a good Common Yellowthroat shot, and the House Wrens teased us, showing themselves for a second and then diving into the weeds.

This Savannah Sparrow made a quick appearance on Marsh Rabbit Run. I think he’s a Savannah Sparrow…he’s the first I’ve seen this season. They are usually out on the edge of Wading Bird Way. It’s not as common to see them along Marsh Rabbit Run. The sun obligingly illuminated this guy for me:

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

With so many Palm Warblers around, it is easy to overlook other yellow-colored warblers. I didn’t realize that I’d seen this Prairie Warbler until I got home and saw my pictures.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

As we walked over one of the culverts on Heron Hideout, we saw the usual Tricolored Heron and Snowy Egret, plus this Glossy Ibis. I think this was the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Glossy Ibis before. He was badly backlit by the rising sun, but I used my flash, and got some decent detail:

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Another first was this Pied-Billed Grebe, who was fishing in the waters off Heron Hideout. I’m used to seeing these guys out on Wading Bird Way. I guess they start to spread out as more of them arrive for the winter.

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

The Eastern Phoebes were out in full force. One sang “Phoebe! Phoebe!” for as long as I could hear him. This one perched out on an open branch for a long time, thrilling Dyeyo, who had never seen one pose so nicely before!

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

I was surprised, and thrilled, to see three more Indigo Buntings high in the treetops on Marsh Rabbit Run this weekend. We saw two last weekend and I didn’t figure I’d see them again. The males have definitely molted into their basic plumage (less blue than last week, even). Wouldn’t it be great if they pass through on their way back north and pose for us in their bright blue coats?

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

The Common Yellowthroats chased us up and down Marsh Rabbit Run. Or did we chase them? Maybe a little of both…

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

The Gray Catbirds were not as abundant as they were yesterday at Bok Tower, but they were certainly out and they certainly posed for us. Dyeyo got lucky and got a shot in a treetop right over our heads. My best shot was of a bird across the ditch.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

Dyeyo noticed this wasp nest on Marsh Rabbit Run. It’d be bad to accidentally back into this tree!

Wasp Nest

Wasp Nest

We didn’t see or hear as many Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks as usual. Maybe some have migrated away now that the Flight School is over? I was happy to see some more babies still hidden in the bushes off Heron Hideout.

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducklings

Black-Bellied Whistling Ducklings

As we headed back to the parking lot, several House Wrens were perched out in the open on top of some tree trunks and branches. I was happy to finally get a good shot of the tiny birds who had been evading me all morning!

House Wren singing

House Wren singing

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