Stars and Beaks Forever

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2017 - ...It’s our country’s birthday!  To celebrate, Goldy (our resident feline ornithologist) is issuing a challenge to our blog readers.  She wants you to get out and find as many red, white, and blue bird-birds as you can!  Some suggestions: Red: Northern Cardinal, Summer Tanager White: White Ibis, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, juvenile Little Blue Heron, […] Read more

Bald Eagle

Black Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

November 27, 2015 - Bald Eagle It's freezing cold up north, and here in Florida we just had our first cold snap (lows in the upper 40s, yep, that's a Florida cold snap!)  But our wading birds are already thinking of springtime and courtship.... Read more

Bald Eagle

If At First You Don’t Succeed…Try, Try Again!

October 26, 2013 - In the meantime, I'm not the only one who learned the value of the old adage, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"  A Bald Eagle circled over the ponds this morning, looking for a fish for breakfast.... Read more

Easter Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

April 5, 2013 - ...Easter sunrise, a lifer, and a bobcat…it was a very good morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve!! On Easter Sunday I was out on the Wading Bird Way trail approximately 45 minutes before sunrise.  I watched the pale glow of the sun as it appeared over the horizon, and finally burst up over the […] Read more

Stars and Beaks Forever!

July 4, 2012 - ...Happy Fourth of July! I took this image several years ago.  At the time I thought it was one of my best images.  After revisiting it today, I realized how under-exposed and noisy the original capture was!  I attempted to clean it up with post-processing. Read more

A Foggy Morning Turns Cute at the Circle B Bar Reserve

March 29, 2012 - Bird Species List (30 total): American Coot, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher (heard), Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Black-Necked Stilt, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Caspian Tern, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Limpkin, Northern Cardinal, Osprey, Palm Warbler, Pied-Billed Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged…... Read more

Painted Bunting at the Circle B Bar Reserve!

December 3, 2011 - We spotted this juvenile Bald Eagle flying overhead.... Bird Species List (37 total): American Coot, American Goldfinch (heard), American Kestrel, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Brown Pelican, Common Gallinule, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk, Double-Crested Cormorant, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret,…... Read more

The Sun Finally Came out at the Circle B Bar Reserve

October 30, 2011 - I set up The Beast on the Heron Hideout trail and positioned myself in the flight path of the Bald Eagles who were flying in circles over the marsh, retrieving nesting material and taking it back to their tree by the lake.... Bird Species List (33 total): American Coot, American…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Winter Birds are Returning to the Circle B Bar Reserve

October 23, 2011 - Then we spotted the Bald Eagles, who continue to carry nesting material across the marsh as they rebuild their nest by the Nature Center.... Bird Species List (31 total): American Coot, American Kestrel, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Common Gallinule, Common…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Cuckoos Chasing Cuckoos at the Circle B Bar Reserve

October 14, 2011 - The Bald Eagles have begun rebuilding their nest by the nature center.  Herman found the new nest location and mentioned it on the Circle B Flickr page.  I didn't try to find it this morning, but I did watch in awe as the eagles circled over my head.  The highlight…... Read more

Lazy Saturday in the Backyard

April 16, 2011 - Cooper's Hawk The Bald Eagles continue to have a presence in the neighborhood.  I think they fly over Stoneybrook to Black Lake to gather food for their baby on the nest.  It's quite convenient when they fly overhead in nice sunset light!... Bald Eagle We also found a pair of…... Read more

Some Backyard Surprises

April 12, 2011 - There was an adult Bald Eagle down by Black Lake a few nights ago when we walked.  We walked right past him, then I pulled Rich back and said "look!"  Some neighbors were a little suspicious of my camera and wondered what in the world I was up to.  They…... Read more

In Search of Babies at Circle B Bar Reserve

April 10, 2011 - Wood Stork with Breakfast The light out on the sand hill was beautiful as the sun illuminated the dewy grasses.  A pair of Sandhill Cranes was feeding on the side of the trail, and I couldn't resist taking some pictures as we passed.  (We asked them where their baby was,…... Read more

A Productive Afternoon Walk!

April 9, 2011 - I was feeling tired this morning, so I slept in instead of heading to Fort DeSoto to watch for migrant birds.  As much as I wanted to photograph Indigo Buntings, I wasn't too sorry that I stayed home.  Rich and I were driving down Stoneybrook West Parkway when I noticed…... Read more

Foggy but Interesting Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

March 27, 2011 - Red-Winged Blackbird To kill time until the fog lifted, we walked around the Eagle Roost Trail out to Wading Bird Way to look for the Sandhill Crane family that has been reported there.  It was so foggy!  We couldn't see the Bald Eagle's nest.  We could hear Eastern Meadowlarks, but…... Read more

Quiet Morning at Fort De Soto

March 12, 2011 - ...I drove over to Fort De Soto on Saturday morning in hopes of finding some early migrant warblers.  There have also been a Reddish Egret in full breeding plumage and a Long-Billed Curlew hanging out at the North Beach lagoon.  I had high hopes of some good photography, but unfortunately, it was a pretty quiet […] Read more

Frogs and Snakes for Breakfast at the Circle B Bar Reserve

March 4, 2011 - Great Blue Heron at Sunrise As I stood on the dock photographing, I heard the call of two eagles.  I looked up and saw these two juvenile Bald Eagles in a tree overhead.  The top one is kind of scruffy, as if he just molted into his white adult plumage. …... Read more

February Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

February 26, 2011 - Species List: American Bittern, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American Robin, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black Vulture, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-winged Teal, Boat-tailed Grackle, Cattle Egret, Common Yellowthroat, Common Moorhen, Cooper's Hawk, Double-crested Cormorant, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Phoebe, Fish Crow, Glossy Ibis, Gray Catbird, Great Blue Heron, Great…... Read more

Spring is in the Air at the Circle B Bar Reserve

February 12, 2011 - Juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow   Species List: American Bittern, American Coot, American Goldfinch, American Kestrel, American Robin, Anhinga, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Black Vulture, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Cattle Egret, Common Moorhen, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Phoebe, Glossy Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, King Rail, Laughing Gull, Lesser Yellowlegs,…... Read more

Baby Eaglets!

February 1, 2011 - ...I drove over to Greenwood Cemetery on Saturday to peek at the eagle nest in a pine tree there.  I wasn’t the only photographer who spent the morning at Circle B and took a side trip to the cemetery on the way home! The baby eagles are bigger than they were two weeks ago.  They […] Read more

Baby Eagle!!

January 15, 2011 - Thanks to Michael Libbe, who told me that there is a nest of Bald Eagles at the Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando with tiny babies inside!  Rich and I stopped at the cemetery on a trip to Colonial Photo and Hobby.  I heard the babies before I saw them, and I…... Read more

Another Great Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

January 9, 2011 - American White Pelican take-off I spotted two specs in the sky, and thought one was a juvenile Bald Eagle.  I found them with The Beast and confirmed my suspicion.  The eagle was fighting with an Osprey high in the sky.  The Osprey had a fish and the eagle wanted it! …... Read more

Circle B Bar Reserve: the Photographer’s Playground!

January 8, 2011 - Bald Eagle with Nesting Material The eagle flew over our heads, giving us a great flight shot.  I squealed when I saw this picture -- I didn't think I'd gotten any decent shots!... Bald Eagle Seeing the eagle made us go and watch the nature center nest for a little…... Read more

Bitterns Saying Hello at Circle B Bar Reserve

January 7, 2011 - As I arrived at the nest, I saw one Bald Eagle sitting on it.  Another eagle was perched in a nearby tree.  I got a few shots before the bird on the nest flew off to join the bird on the tree.  I had been hoping that the nest-sitting indicated…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Skies Full of American White Pelicans at the Circle B Bar Reserve

December 23, 2010 - Wood Stork We heard the calls of eagles all morning.  At one point, I looked across the marsh in the direction of the Eagle Roost nest, and I saw these two juvenile Bald Eagles perched together.  I added my 1.4x teleconverter and used Live View to refine the focus.  I…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Snow Bunting! at Palm Coast Waterfront Park

December 20, 2010 - Snow Bunting While we waited for the bunting to move into the light, we got to watch the other birds flying by.  We saw a juvenile Bald Eagle circling overhead: Juvenile Bald Eagle Ring-billed Gulls flew up and down, grabbing fish out of the water and flying away with them. …... Read more

Bald Eagle

What’s Going On Up There?

December 17, 2010 - Roseate Spoonbill Then some people pointed out the Bald Eagle that had just landed nearby (at the Heron Hideout/parking lot path intersection).  I backtracked so that I could get closer.  The bird didn't seem to care that he had a fan club gathered underneath him.  I pointed my camera in…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Skies Filled with Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

November 28, 2010 - American Coot The Bald Eagles flew over the marsh several times, calling to each other (and helpfully making it easier for photographers to spot them!) I'm still waiting for the eagles to fly right overhead so that I can get my frame-filling, amazing shot.... Bald Eagle I checked Bubba's pond,…... Read more

Lots of Birds at the Circle B Bar Reserve

October 24, 2010 - Black-Bellied Whistling Duck Way off in the distance we spotted a Bald Eagle circling with an Osprey.... Bald Eagle and Osprey The Red-Winged Blackbirds have returned to the marsh.... Glossy Ibis Species list: Anhinga, American Coot, Bald Eagle, Belted Kingfisher, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-Winged Teal, Boat-Tailed Grackle, Cardinal,…... Read more

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles and Teleconverter Magnification

October 18, 2010 - We had seen an adult Bald Eagle flying over the marsh several times, and it finally settled in a treetop all the way across the marsh.... Here's the result (all cropped, but to the same scale): Bald Eagle (400mm lens alone, effective 640mm) Bald Eagle (400mm lens + 1.4x teleconverter,…... Read more

Bald Eagle

The Coots have Returned to the Circle B Bar Reserve

October 17, 2010 - Besides seeing the first American Coots of the season, this morning we saw a juvenile Bald Eagle doing some nice close fly-bys, three Roseate Spoonbills, and plenty of Gray Catbirds and Eastern Phoebes.... American Wigeons We saw the Bald Eagles several times, flying over the marsh, and posing in trees…... Read more

American White Pelicans Roosting at Circle B Bar Reserve

December 28, 2009 - American White Pelicans One of the Bald Eagles made an appearance at the top of one of the trees at the far end of Heron Hideout.  He was pretty far away, so my focus wasn't perfect, but I think this may be the best shot I've gotten of a wild…... Read more

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Cloudy day at Circle B Bar Reserve

November 28, 2009 - Pine warbler The funniest picture of the day was of "Dyeyo's Chicken Bird", also known as the juvenile bald eagle.... As we walked through the Shady Oak, some women told us that we should look for the juvenile eagle by the lake.  But we didn't see it by the lake,…... Read more

Winter Birding at Callaway Gardens

November 27, 2008 - ...We went to Callaway Gardens to see the Fantasy in Lights display, but during the day, we had a great time walking around the gardens. There are so many birds at Callaway! The Callaway Birds of Prey show is fun. They pick three of about ten of their birds to display during each show, and […] Read more