Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Lots of Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

There were Eastern Phoebes everywhere at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning. Plus a whole lot of other birds…

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

After Al and several other people saw a Cuckoo during this past week, we headed out to see if we could find it too. Al also reports that the river otters are back along the Alligator Alley trail. So we headed out the Marsh Rabbit Run trail, circled back around the Eagle Roost, then hiked Alligator Alley, trying to cover as much ground as possible. Unfortunately we didn’t see either cuckoo or the otters, but we did see some surprises…

This Sedge Wren greeted us on the Heron Hideout trail at sunrise. We’d never seen a Sedge Wren before. I was shooting handhold, and my picture isn’t super sharp, but it definitely documents our first sighting. :)

Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren

We may have just missed seeing the bobcat eating a rabbit on Heron Hideout!

As we walked along the Marsh Rabbit Run, we came across a tree with not one, but three Pileated Woodpeckers. Plus a couple of Downy Woodpeckers and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Dyeyo would only have been happier if a Red-Headed Woodpecker had joined them. Luckily for us the tree was in nice light…

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

We saw a reprise of the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck flight school, over Marsh Rabbit Run. The adults and babies were circling overhead, calling each other like crazy. I liked this contrasting picture of an adult and a juvenile.

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck

Way off in the distance we spotted a Bald Eagle circling with an Osprey. They seemed to be fighting. I took a few pictures, realizing that they were not in sharp focus. But when I got home, I saw the object of the fight: the fish that fell out of the Osprey’s grasp, where the Eagle was waiting to snatch it below. Talk about snapping the shutter button in the right place at the right time…all accidentally!

Bald Eagle and Osprey

Bald Eagle and Osprey

The Red-Winged Blackbirds have returned to the marsh. We hadn’t seen many of them since the spring.

Female Red-Winged Blackbird

Female Red-Winged Blackbird

The Coots were still hanging out in the marsh waters off Wading Bird Way. Today they were a little closer than last week, and I liked the portrait I was able to take:

American Coots

American Coots

There were also lots of Pied-Billed Grebes off Wading Bird Way, more than I’ve ever seen out there. Usually they stay far away and it’s hard to catch them above water. But when they have a fish, they tend to stay up for a bit longer…

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

We sighted some Savannah Sparrows along Wading Bird Way, too. They used to be easy to find there last winter. It’s fun that they are back!

Savannah Sparrows

Savannah Sparrows

The Palm Warblers popped up in almost every bush, eating the aphids and other little bugs. This was my best picture:

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

It was fun to see and hear the Eastern Meadowlarks along the Eagle Roost trail. It’s been a while since we’ve been back that way.

Back on Heron Hideout, this Glossy Ibis posed for us. Not quite the cuckoo I’d been wanting to see, but his feathers did reflect nicely in the sun! :)

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Species list: Anhinga, American Coot, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Common Moorhen, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Meadowlark, House Wren, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Indigo Bunting, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Mallard, Mourning Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Prairie Warbler, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-Winged Blackbird, Sand Hill Crane, Sedge Wren, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork