Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Bobolink-less Morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

Dyeyo and I went to the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning in search of Bobolinks.  These migratory birds can only be found at Circle B for a couple of weeks a year, in the spring during their migration back north.  Various people on the Circle B Flickr page have seen Bobolinks, and Dyeyo found a whole flock of them last year, but I’ve never seen one.  Unfortunately the fog this morning kept most of the birds in bed late.  Dyeyo and I walked up the Heron Hideout trail, out the Eagle Roost trail, and up most of the Wading Bird Way trail, but we didn’t find Bobolinks.  Oh well. :(

There was a Black-Crowned Night Heron in his customary spot at the south end of Heron Hideout.  He likes to sit in the low branches and fish.  This juvenile is quickly turning into an adult – he’s got his black cap, now he just needs to get his white tummy.  Getting to see baby birds grow up is one of my favorite things about Circle B.

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron

There was a controlled burn in the Eagle Roost area last week, on the side of the trail with the eagle’s nest.  The area was black and sad as we walked by.  We found the second family of Sandhill Cranes out with their two babies.  (We did not see Tiny Tim and family today.)  Dyeyo said he didn’t like the sight of the cranes picking through the burned ground, but I kind of liked the contrast of the gray birds with the black background.  The babies are getting so big!

Sandhill Crane adult

Sandhill Crane adult

Sandhill Crane colt

Sandhill Crane colt

Out on Wading Bird Way, we came across a family of Limpkins.  I’m pretty sure there were three juvenile Limpkins – they sounded and acted as if they weren’t quite adult yet.  They were also slightly smaller than the average adult Limpkin.  Another Limpkin across the path was trying to come close to them, and their mom wouldn’t allow it.  Much fussing ensued!

Limpkin Wars

Limpkin Wars

We came across Jeff and Lynn on the trail, and they showed us where they’d been seeing Purple Gallinules.  As I was photographing one adult, he flew off.  Normally I don’t like flight shots with the bird going away from me, but there’s something about this shot that I like.  Despite the fact that it’s slightly out of focus, there’s something about the wings catching the sun, and the angle of the feet to the wings.  Ducks really are not the most graceful fliers!  But what this bird lacks in grace he makes up in his bright colors.

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Lynn showed us where a pair of Black Stilts has been hanging out.  They were close enough to get good pictures, even though I was hand-holding The Beast (with the fog, it wasn’t worth lugging the tripod!)

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

I don’t normally care much for the alligators at the reserve, but this group of baby gators was fun.  They were all sunning themselves on a log, stacked together pretty tightly.  They reminded me of how Missy used to sleep on top of Goldy when they were kittens. Too bad the gators don’t stay this size!  I don’t mind them so much when they are small.

Baby Alligators

Baby Alligators

Species List: American Coot, Anhinga, Black Vulture, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Black-Crowned Night Heron (juvenile), Black-Necked Stilt, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Moorhen (baby!), Double-crested Cormorant, Eastern Towhee, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron (juvenile), Great Egret, Limpkin (juveniles), Little Blue Heron, Mourning Dove, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Cardinal, Osprey, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane (juveniles), Tricolored Heron, White Ibis