Beyond the Backyard

Baby Birds Take Flight at Circle B Bar Reserve

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It was a slow start to the morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  I pulled up to the main gate at 6:30, hoping to catch the sunrise.  But the gate was closed!  All I could think was “I drove an hour to get here and it’s closed!?!?”  As Dyeyo and I chatted about where to go instead, the security guy drove up and opened the gate.  :) We hiked the Alligator Alley trail this morning.  It was really quiet – there were very few birds out, and not many of them wanted to pose for us.  I think the highlight of the morning was seeing three Sandhill Cranes fly overhead, and one of them was a baby!  I suspect it was Tiny Tim.  I wish I had gotten a picture. Our first bird of the morning was a singing Carolina Wren, but we didn’t have enough light to get a good shot.  Then as we got to the dock, we ran into a flock of Black Vultures.  There were at least fifty of them, all over the paths and the trees and the dock.  They were funny to watch as we approached.  They didn’t like us approaching, but they […]

Beyond the Backyard

Snow Geese at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

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Dyeyo and I continued our bird-watching safari.  After we saw the Snow Bunting in Palm Coast, we went to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Rufuge, where several Snow Geese have been reported there over the last week or so.  They were there!  They usually don’t come to Florida.  There was a mix of white morph adults and juveniles, and one juvenile blue morph. Dyeyo and I really liked Lake Woodruff.  It reminded us of the Circle B Bar Reserve.  We were there around mid-day, which is not prime bird activity time (or bird photography time!)  But there were hundreds of birds.  We’ve  never seen such large flocks of Glossy Ibis.  White Ibis, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Little Blue Herons, and Killdeer were all over the place. The first thing we saw when we walked into the refuge was a turtle.  (Happy Rich!)  He sat there sunning himself, with all four of his feet sticking out.  The turtle kind of rocked back and forth on his shell.  We saw several turtles over the course of the day. There were Killdeer all over the place at Lake Woodruff.  There were a couple of birds on the ground right in front of us as […]

Beyond the Backyard

Lots of Green Herons at the Circle B Bar Reserve this Morning

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It’s amazing how every day at the Circle B Bar Reserve is a little bit different.  Last week we saw lots of juvenile Great-Crested Flycatchers.  Today we didn’t see a single one, but we saw five Green Herons (and we usually see one of those per visit at most).  Nature’s fun with all its surprises. We arrived in the middle of a beautiful sunrise.  It’s only first thing in the morning when the beams of light dance across the lake to illuminate the owl’s tree by the boardwalk.  This morning the owl was sitting out on a front branch, as if he was waiting for two nice photographers to come along to see him!  It was funny — every time I said “hey Mr. Owl, will you please turn your head this way for me?”, he actually did it! — at least, until Dyeyo came next to me and wanted to get his head shot! Our favorite Marsh Rabbit Run trail is still closed, due to the alligator nests right up on the trail.  The signs say that the trail might re-open at the end of August.  In the meantime, we’re spending more time on the Shady Oak and Alligator […]

Beyond the Backyard

Bird-watching at Circle B Bar Reserve

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Now that Dyeyo, Rich, and I have discovered the Circle B Bar Reserve, we go there often.  Each time we go we see new birds and learn more about them.  It’s such fun. The first bird we saw this time was one that I usually don’t like to photograph, a black vulture.  There are tons of vultures just down the road from the Circle B entrance, near this little fishing stream.  The vultures just cover the ground there (and cars of fishermen, too!) As we walked on Heron Hideout, I saw this little bird hopping around in a tall tree.  I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but when I got the picture home, I was able to identify the American pipit. We’ve often heard sand hill cranes at the reserve, and today we saw them. This Great Egret was pretty against the background of bright yellow flowers that cover the dry portions of the reserve.  He was fishing. The Heron Hideout wasn’t as busy as our last visit, but we did see a bunch of herons, and this roseate spoonbill. There are so many anhingas at this reserve!  The line, “Hey, there’s an anhinga displaying!” has almost gotten to […]