Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

A Nice Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve

Sometimes you don’t have to go far to make great photos.  When I headed out for a walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve recently, I found some of the best birds just minutes from my car.  For example, there was a great mixed flock of little birds in the oak trees in the parking lot.  As soon as I got out of the car, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.  A Black and White Warbler, a Northern Parula, several Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a Palm Warbler, a bunch of Tufted Titmice…people stopped to ask what I saw, and seemed surprised when I said I was photographing the Tufted Titmice.   Yep, sometimes the common birds can be the prettiest, especially when they are flaunting their spring colors.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

You never know when the “boring” birds are going to do something interesting, like grab a spider in mid-air.  I gasped when I saw this image on the back of my camera – I can’t believe it actually came out in focus!

Interception!
Interception!

He grabbed the spider and took it to a branch to eat.  Yummy breakfast!

A Pileated Woodpecker flew in and inspected a hole in a dead tree.  I’m not sure if this bird belongs to the nest in the palm tree by the nature center.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

As I watched the Pileated, I saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker fly in.  He had something in his mouth.  A nice lizard!  He hopped around it with from branch to branch.  As my camera clicked, I could almost hear him chortling with glee: “She’s photographing me instead of the pileated!!”

Red-bellied Woodpecker with Lizard
Red-bellied Woodpecker with Lizard

I headed off for a nice walk around the Alligator Alley trail, which takes you down by the lake.  The winds were strong by the lake, and it was just a glorious day to be outside.  As I rounded the bend by the eagles’ nest, I came across an American Bittern stalking his prey in the tall grass.  Thanks to the photographer who pointed him out to me!

American Bittern
American Bittern

The babies in the Limpkin family have gotten a lot bigger since my last visit.  You can hear the family before you see them, thanks to the little calls of the babies.  Two of the babies were up on the trail.  One got fed an Apple Snail by mom.

Mom and Juvie Limpkin
Mom and Juvie Limpkin

Several pairs of Great Blue Herons were nesting high in the treetops, where the trail turns away from Lake Hancock.  Though not as photogenic as the nests at Viera Wetlands, they were still fun to watch.  These birds are so graceful during their courtship rituals. :)

Great Blue Herons
Great Blue Herons

Just like my last visit, I saw lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers hopping in the trees along Alligator Alley.  I heard plenty of Northern Parula songs, too.  Spring was definitely in the air!

Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler

As I made my way back to the parking lot, I said hello to the Barred Owl sitting in the oak trees.  This wasn’t the only photo that I took of this bird on this particular adventure.  You’ll have to wait for another blog post for more details! :)

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

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