Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

The Sun Finally Came out at the Circle B Bar Reserve

After a long weekend of rain, the morning started out cloudy at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I set up The Beast on the Heron Hideout trail and positioned myself in the flight path of the Bald Eagles who were flying in circles over the marsh, retrieving nesting material and taking it back to their tree by the lake. I dialed in exposure compensation and used my flash with Better Beamer, but I still had to lighten the images considerably in Photoshop. This was my favorite. I like how it shows the birds grip on his branch in those strong talons.

I think I stood waiting for the eagles for an hour and a half. By 9:00, the sun started to come out. It turned into a very nice morning, with cool temperatures and a little breeze. Some Palm Warblers and other small birds were hopping in and out of the vegetation along Heron Hideout, and I kept hoping some of the wrens and sparrows would make an appearance out in the open. But only the Palm Warblers obliged me…

I took the Marsh Rabbit Run trail through the marsh and didnt see a whole lot. I heard lots of small birds, including wrens, warblers, and Indigo Buntings, but none wanted to pose in the sun for me. When I got out to the Wading Bird Way trail, I was a little disappointed not to see more ducks on the water. There were a few small flocks of American Coots, but I didnt see teals or shovelers or ducks. I guess the cold front didnt bring them down south. Maybe next week they will come. The grackles were sure carrying on, and they had such a nice background that I took some head shots. I tried to catch them when they threw their heads up to fuss. What silly birds!

Further down on Wading Bird Way, a Great Blue Heron caught a fish. Apparently his mother never taught him not to play with his food. He took his time, too, tossing that fish around and coaxing it into his mouth, only to spit it out and then re-stab it. He wandered off with the fish before I got to see the fatal gulp.

The light was pretty bad by the time I headed back to my car. I ran into Herman at the parking lot, and as we stood chatting, an American Kestrel flew into a tree above us. What a nice way to end the morning!

Bird Species List (33 total): American Coot, American Kestrel, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue Jay, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Gallinule, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, House Wren, Indigo Bunting (heard), Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, Sedge Wren, Swallow sp., Swamp Sparrow, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, White-Eyed Vireo, Wood Stork