Last Sunday my neighbor and good friend Carla joined me for a walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Carla and I enjoy our backyard birds together, and she decided that she wanted to come see some of the places I photograph on weekends. Brave lady – she was even willing to be up for sunrise! We had a great morning together. :)
We were out on the Wading Bird Way trail a few minutes before sunrise. Cloudy mornings can make for really good sunrises, as the clouds add interest to the sky. A Common Gallinule stood up on a rock for me and begged me to include him in a pre-dawn composition. How could I refuse?
We continued up the trail as the sun peeked out over the cloudtops. Carla loved the sounds of all the birds as they woke up. Limpkins fussed, Red-Winged Blackbirds argued, Sandhill Cranes called across the marsh, and tiny warblers chipped on the side of the trail. All sorts of birds flew over our heads. There is something so peaceful about sunrise at Circle B!
After the sun got too bright to photograph, I turned around and photographed the Black Skimmers that were again skimming the waters. This is my second time seeing them at the Circle B Bar Reserve. I explained to Carla that these birds have unusual beaks – their lower mandible is longer than the top one, which is perfect for catching prey as they “skim” along the water.
We didn’t see the Sandhill Crane family on Wading Bird Way. We headed up Marsh Rabbit Run and then out Heron Hideout, where we came across this Osprey carrying nesting material. I think it’s the same Osprey pair that used to nest in the palm tree, before the tree lost its top. They seemed to have relocated. I hope his wife was happy with such a big stick and all that moss for the nursery!
After we left Circle B, Carla and I headed to Lake Morton, where she got to see her first swan nest! More on that in tomorrow’s blog post.
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!