Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

December Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

My dad and I held the December photo walk at Circle B Bar Reserve this weekend. We were joined by Dick and Emi, a wonderfully enthusiastic couple, as well as my husband and in-laws who were visiting from Texas. We walked the Heron Hideout trail, Marsh Rabbit Run trail up to the Wading Bird Way trail. Although Circle B is not as active as it was last year, there are still plenty of birds around, especially if you know where to look. We had a great morning.

Jess and her Coots! Photo courtesy of Dick Evans.

Jess and her Coots! Photo courtesy of Dick Evans.

The yellow flowers (burr marigolds) are still present in the marshes. I think they are lasting longer this year because the weather is still warm. We have not yet had a good freeze to kill back the vegetation. Last year we were able to view American Bitterns and King Rails with amazing regularity in part because the vegetation was very low and that made the birds visible. So I’m kinda ready for a freeze… :) But we did see an American Bittern along Heron Hideout today, and he was posed just like last year. Then he got spooked and flew off, looking rather ungraceful as he pulled in his long neck and launched his awkward body into the air!

The morning was very cloudy, and I was happy for the little sun that we did have. Flight shots are more challenging on gray days. I managed to get a few shots of the fast-moving Tree Swallows, but nothing blog-worthy. A Wood Stork flew by and seemed to wave at me. Then this Double-Crested Cororant did a fly-by. Look at his tail feathers – he is molting! He’s missing some feathers entirely, and the ones that are there are very scruffy. He told me it’s not always easy being a bird. :)

We saw our first American White Pelican of the season. He was by himself, circling the waters over the Wading Bird Way trail. I hope the water levels/conditions are right for the pelicans to come to roost this year!!

Bird Species List (36 total): American Bittern, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American Robin, American White Pelican, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Gallinule, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, House Wren (heard), Laughing Gull, Lesser Yellowlegs, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Sandhill Crane, Sora, Tree Swallow, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Wood Stork