Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar ReserveTurtles

The Two Turtles – Circle B Bar Reserve

To continue the “Lord of the Rings” titles, this post is about “The Two Turtles” (and some birds, hehe).  Rich was a very happy camper when I got home from the Circle B Bar Reserve with several pictures of turtles.  He said I had to post at least one – after all, this site is called catandturtle, even if we did name it before the bird obsession began!  So here’s the best turtle picture of the morning.  If you are interested in turtles or alligators, now is a great time to hike the Alligator Alley trail at Circle B.

I finished processing images from Friday morning. Boy was the light bad!  Why is it that lately the cold fronts come through on weekends, and the only sunshine days seem to be on weekdays?  :-p

My favorite ducks at Circle B are the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks.  They crack me up as they fly back and forth between tree branches, calling their happy little song to each other as they frolic.  I noticed this “three stooges” pose on one of the dead trees on Marsh Rabbit Run and shot it even though I knew the background would be gross.  The birds could not have planned the symmetry better if they had tried.

Finally the sun started to peek through the clouds and burn off the fog.  By that point it was 10:30 in the morning, and shadows were harsh.  Still I couldn’t resist taking some portrait shots of the White Ibises on Alligator Alley.  The adult Ibises are coming into their breeding colors, with those bright bright red beaks and legs.  My best image was of a dark juvenile molting into his adult white colors.  I love their baby-blue eyes.

The Osprey were pretty active, both with nest-building and with fishing.  This one flew right over my head, and I aimed and shot, even though I was pretty sure I was going to clip off the bird’s head!  Practice makes perfect on flight shots…and I ended up just clipping a few wing feathers.

I didn’t see many Palm Warblers or Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, but I did come across several small flocks of Yellow-Rumped Warblers.  This one was hopping around in the treetops, and I like how the vegetation makes a soft background for him.  Selective sharpening on just the bird made this image pop.  I wish they weren’t heading back home so early.  I’ve barely gotten to visit with the winter birds this year!