I braved the foggy weather this morning to go to Circle B for the first time in two months. It felt so good to get out there again! Most of the ducks have left, but the resident birds are starting to nest. I love this time of year. The weather wasn’t great for photography—the fog didn’t clear until around 10:00—but I had a great time with the Beast anyway. I didn’t have time to go through all my pictures, so here’s my favorite from the morning, and I will post more later this week.
This is a Savannah sparrow, one of the most common sparrows in Florida in winter. He was hopping around at the beginning of the Marsh Rabbit trail. He didn’t seem very concerned about me as I knelt down and aimed The Beast in his direction.
Other highlights from the morning included
- The Sandhill Crane nest on Marsh Rabbit Run! I think the nest has another two weeks of incubation before we can expect cute little colts. I would love to see them still on the nest after hatching. Or better yet, coming out of the egg!
- The Barred Owl is on his nest again in the dead tree on Alligator Alley.
- I saw two sets of Limpkins in what appeared to be nesting mode.
- A pair of Great Blue Herons is nesting on Alligator Alley.
- The Osprey are building their nest off Heron Hideout. The old palm tree seems to have lost its top, but they were gathering nesting material in the nearby oak tree.
- American Bitterns are frequent along the Alligator Alley trailside. Almost as frequent as the alligators themselves!
- The Northern Parulas and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers have started to sing. Spring is on the way!
Bird Species List (35 total): American Coot, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher (heard), Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue Jay, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Limpkin, Little Blue Heron, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Parula (heard), Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Roseate Spoonbill, Sandhill Crane, Sedge Wren, Swamp Sparrow, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Yellow-Rumped Warbler