Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Why Did the Purple Gallinule Cross the Trail at Circle B Bar Reserve?

To see if the water level on the other side was higher!  It wasn’t…

I’ve never seen the water levels at Circle B Bar Reserve this low.  We hiked the Wading Bird Way trail this morning.  We got there at sunrise and got in two hours of photography before the rains drove us away.  It’s a good thing that CBBR is getting some rain – it needs it very badly.  The big lake out on Wading Bird Way is one step away from being a mud flat.  The Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, and White Ibis are gathering there in huge flocks, reminiscent of the great American White Pelican flocks in the wintertime.

The Wood Storks are coming back from their rookery – we saw a group of them playing tug-of-war with a stick this morning.

We saw quite a few Purple Gallinules along the trail.  We found at least two groups of babies, one at the intersection of Wading Bird Way with the (still closed) Marsh Rabbit Run trail, and the other group a little farther south.  The babies are black and look so different than the adults!

Purple Gallinule adult

Purple Gallinule adult

Purple Gallinule chick

Purple Gallinule chick

Common Moorhens are raising their families, too.  I was hoping for a nice shot of a young chick (when they’re tiny and black and so ugly that they are cute).  I didn’t get that shot today…maybe next week.

As usual, the Limpkins roamed the trails.  The Apple Snails are growing well, which will keep the Limpkins happy for a long time.  At one point I saw a Purple Gallinule pick up an Apple Snail shell and run with it.  He looked funny!

Limpkin

Limpkin

Best of all, there were at least twenty Roseate Spoonbills roosting off Wading Bird Way.  Most of them were pretty far out, but a couple stayed very close to the trail.  One was banded!  I spotted his upper band quickly, then waited for him to walk and tried to get pictures of his other band.  I was rewarded with a nice walking shot.

Roseate Spoonbill (banded)

Roseate Spoonbill (banded)

Roseate Spoonbill (banded)

Roseate Spoonbill (banded)

Roseate Spoonbill (band close-up)

Roseate Spoonbill (band close-up)

Bird Species List (25 total): Anhinga, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Black-Necked Stilt, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Moorhen, Double-crested Cormorant, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Towhee (heard), Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Mottled Duck, Mourning Dove, Northern Bobwhite (heard), Northern Cardinal, Osprey, Purple Gallinule, Red-winged Blackbird, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork