It was cool and a little breezy this morning, and it felt so good to get up early and go see some “golden light!” The Beast and I made our first trip to Circle B in several weeks. Some ducks have settled in, but not as many as I seem to remember from last year. The wading birds aren’t as plentiful, either. But there are tons of little birds! I had my first Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Savannah Sparrow, and Northern Harrier of the season.
The Alligator Flag plants on Heron Hideout have grown very tall and thick, and the little birds love to hop out on the reeds to pull seeds from the purple pods. I love to stand on Heron Hideout at sunrise, when the golden light is just perfect. Today I saw Common Yellowthroats, Palm Warblers, and this Swamp Sparrow on those reeds. I like how the purple contrasts with the green in the image below.
The skies were filled with Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks. They are some of my favorite birds at the reserve, and their calls are such fun. There were plenty of juvenile birds in the flocks today. The juvenile birds have a gray beak instead of the bright orange beak of the adult.
Friends reported seeing some American White Pelicans today, but I missed them. When I got out to Wading Bird Way, plenty of people were gathered to watch this Redhead duck. He is an uncommon winter migrant to Circle B. Apparently he has been hanging out with the American Coots on Wading Bird Way for several days now. I lowered the legs on the Beast and sat down to photograph him. This was only my second Redhead, and this one was much closer than my last one!
As I turned to leave, I noticed this Pied-Billed Grebe swimming all by himself. I liked how he had his feathers all fluffed up, and for once, he wasn’t diving under every five seconds! The surrounding vegetation gave a nice green reflection to the water, and the bird has a neat reflection. What a nice way to end the morning!