Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Happy Hallo-wren at the Circle B Bar Reserve

Apparently the “Water, Wings, and Wild Things” event yesterday spooked a lot of the birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve…but the wrens stuck around and celebrated Halloween with us! The marshes were fairly quiet this morning, but there were plenty of little bids for patient photographers…

We started off walking to the far end of Heron Hideout, where it turns into the Eagle Roost trail. Dyeyo had good luck there yesterday. We kept an eye out for the baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks that have been reported on Flickr, but we didn’t see them. I turned around and saw this Tricolored Heron fishing at one of the culverts. He didn’t mind when I snapped his picture.

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

Hundreds of Anhingas and Double-Crested Cormorants flew overhead as they left their night roosting trees and took over off the marsh. Dyeyo and I had fun practicing our flight photography. This was my best shot:

Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-Crested Cormorant

This Eastern Phoebe repeatedly called “Phoebe! Phoebe!” and perched on a nicely lit branch.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

We walked down Marsh Rabbit Run in search of the baby whistling ducks. About a third of the way down the trail we came across one of the dead trees that serves as a great perch for birds. A Wood Stork was very obligingly posed for us. He yawned, then stretched his wings, and adjusted his position on the perch. He looked as if he was crossing a tightrope!

Wood Stork

Wood Stork

There were Common Yellowthroats hopping along the path all the way down Marsh Rabbit Run. We watched a female eating a caterpillar. Then we chased a male and tried to get him to pose out in the open for us.

Female Common Yellowthroat

Female Common Yellowthroat


Male Common Yellowthroat

Male Common Yellowthroat

A little further down Marsh Rabbit Run, Dyeyo paused to watch for some wrens that he heard down in the weeds. We waited patiently and one finally hopped up a little so that we could see him.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

He reminds me of a Carolina Wren, but he has harsh black and white stripes in patches on his back. I’m wondering if he is a Marsh Wren. Here’s another view of him:

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

The House Wrens were extremely fussy. It’s amazing how much noise can come from these little birds!! They have a pretty song, too.

House Wren

House Wren

There were Palm Warblers all over the place. People on the BirdBrain discussion group have mentioned first of season Yellow Rumped Warblers this week, but we didn’t see any. We did see a Yellow-throated Warbler.

Yellow-throated Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

We heard some Gray Catbirds, but they stayed pretty hidden. I was surprised when I saw my pictures and realized that I’d captured a catbird’s red rump. He doesn’t always show it off!

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

On our way back, we saw a Pied-Billed Grebe in the canal at the crossroad between Heron Hideout and Marsh Rabbit Run. I think it was the closest one has ever been to me.

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

We finally saw the baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks! They were on the Marsh Rabbit Run side of the intersection with Heron Hideout, mixed in with some Common Moorhens. I snapped a few shots with the ducks in the open water, then the parents made the little ones swim over to the vegetation, where they quickly blended in.

Baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

Baby Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

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