Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve!


It turned out to be a beautiful morning to be at the Circle B Bar Reserve. The forecast predicted some clouds, so I decided to hike the Alligator Alley trail, which I haven’t done in a while. Sunrise over Lake Hancock was pretty, as always (and the forecasters were wrong – the clouds didn’t come until later!)

Alligator Alley was pretty quiet. I saw some gulls, including my first Ring-Billed Gull of the season, as well as a bunch of Laughing Gulls. I would have liked to see the bobcat, but I guess you only see him when you least expect it! I got up to the tree where the owls/woodpeckers/ducks nested last year, and I walked right past a male Painted Bunting! I was a little disappointed that I scared him before I got a photograph. Then further down the trail I spotted another one! He was sitting on the ground, almost completely covered by the vegetation. Several passersby wondered how in the world I spotted him to begin with. He sat there posing for us for at least 20 minutes. The buntings in my backyard are certainly not that accomodating.

I stopped to say hi to Chuck before heading out. We spotted this juvenile Bald Eagle flying overhead. He’s almost molted into his adult colors, but he still has streaks of brown on his body and tail, indicating that he is probably a fourth-year bird. I tried to hit the shutter as he banked when the sun illuminiated all his underwings. Unfortunately his head ended up in shadow.. :-p

Bird Species List (37 total): American Coot, American Goldfinch (heard), American Kestrel, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Brown Pelican, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, House Wren (heard), Laughing Gull, Little Blue Heron, Northern Cardinal, Osprey, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Ring-Billed Gull, Sandhill Crane (heard), Swamp Sparrow, Tree Swallow, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Yellow-throated Warbler

Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?

Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!