Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

Everything But the Bird!

Dyeyo and I thought we were being so smart on Saturday afternoon when we returned to Circle B. We’d seen the Snail Kite in the same place two mornings in a row. It’s getting a reputation among birders for being predictable. But the light is all wrong in the morning. This stubborn bird sits right in between your lens and the sun. So we decided to make a return visit in the afternoon, when the light would be in our favor.

So we got back out there about 2 hours before sunset. We took the Windmill Whisper trail “shortcut” to Wading Bird Way. There was just one problem…there was no Snail Kite to be found!

I had my wide-angle lens and my Beast with me. There weren’t many birds around. All the birds that had been flying overhead in the morning were nowhere to be seen. So I challenged myself to use my wide-angle lens to photograph the “regular” stuff that I usually walk right by. Like this empty apple snail, one of the many lying on the ground…

…and these apple snail eggs, which are more plentiful than I’ve ever seen at CBBR. The pink eggs are of the invasive variety. The Limpkins and Snail Kite don’t seem to mind, though. It’s hard to believe that these little pink dots turn into the fat snails with big shells.

We did spot the Snail Kite once, flying high overhead. She didn’t care to pose for us. Then as the light of the sunset faded, we saw a small raptor sail into one of the trees near her regular hangout. We laughed and said she should have come while it was still light out. But the joke was on us…when I zoomed in on my low-light picture on the computer, it was a Cooper’s Hawk that came to say good night to us!