It’s that time of year again – the little birds are coming back, the Purple Gallinules are climbing on their alligator flag plants, and the weather is cool enough to enjoy it all! My dad and I headed to the Circle B Bar Reserve a few weeks ago to celebrate fall and check out the new bird blind that was recently completed off the Marsh Rabbit Run trail.
The light is perfect on crisp fall mornings on the Heron Hideout trail. Every year the Purple Gallinules amuse me with their reverse pole vaulter antics. This year the alligator flags are very close to the trail, and the patient photographer might get some great images. On this particular morning, there were more Red-winged Blackbirds than gallinules. Even common birds look great in the beautiful morning light!
Fall migration is definitely underway. I spotted my first-of-fall Palm Warblers, Eastern Phoebes, and Gray Catbirds. The marsh was alive with tiny creatures. This female Common Yellowthroat flitted past the camera and posed in the distance.
The good light didn’t last long. As we turned down Marsh Rabbit Run, the sun disappeared behind the clouds, and a fog set in. When we spotted a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers up in the trees, I had to add +3 exposure compensation to keep the gray sky in check!
This pair of Pileateds followed us from tree to tree down the trail. Maybe they wanted to check out the new blind, too! We spotted it midway down the trail and were surprised that it doesn’t stick out farther into the marsh. It connects the Marsh Rabbit Run trail berm to the berm just across the little canal. I was glad it didn’t stick out further and ruin the sunrise/sunset vistas of Circle B.
Here’s the view from the blind. The marsh is quite pretty there! They cleared some of the vegetation around the bern and I think it’s going to be a great vantage point for observing ducks in a few weeks. This is the spot where I’ve seen Buffleheads, Gadwalls, and American Wigeons through the trees. Now we’ll have a clear view from the blind!
Right in front of the blind are several snags that are perfect perches for wading birds. This anhinga was posing beautifully in the misty fog. I guess he couldn’t see me in the blind, or he might not have yawned for the camera!
On the hike back I couldn’t resist photographing one of the giant spider webs near the trail. It’s very pretty from a distance, but I wouldn’t want to get too close to one of those guys!!