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.
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!
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.
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!!”
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!
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.
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. :)
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!
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! :)
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!