Beyond the Backyard

February Photo Walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

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This morning my dad and I led another Photo Walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve. Circle B asked us to lead people around the preserve, showing them the best trails and places to find birds. Today we had about ten or so people meet us at 8:00 (remember, photographers have to be up early to catch the early birds getting their worms!) We walked the Heron Hideout and Marsh Rabbit Run trails, picking up a couple of extra people in our group as we went along. Then a few of the group continued with us along Wading Bird Way out to the Eagle Roost, where we observed the nest and caught a glimpse of the several-week-old eaglet. It was a pretty good morning and we saw some fun birds! I actually got the preserve right around sunrise, and I walked up Heron Hideout before meeting up with the group. A small flock of White-Crowned Sparrows posed most obligingly for me in the bushes along the trail. There were three or four juveniles. I didn’t see the adults today. Juvenile White-Crowned Sparrows have brown stripes on their heads instead of the bright black stripes of the adult. However, these little […]

Beyond the Backyard

There are warblers at the Circle B Bar Reserve…if you know where to look!

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Dyeyo and I enjoyed a nice walk at the Circle B Bar Reserve this morning.  It’s a time of year when finding birds is very hit-or-miss.   We felt like we hit the bull’s eye with several sightings of migrating warblers. We got to Circle B at sunrise, and as we admired the freshly mowed (and widened!) Shady Oak trail, the rising sun illuminated a flock of Wild Turkeys with great morning light.  These are turkeys that we usually see before there is enough light to really photograph them, so it was very exciting to finally get an opportunity. Then one of the turkeys did a full wing-shake and I managed to snap the shutter as he flapped!  Later, they did a little hop dance, which was pretty cute. At the beginning of the Alligator Alley trail, this White Ibis posed so pretty that I just had to stop and take his picture.  I don’t care how common a bird is, it’s fun to take their pictures!! There wasn’t much activity on the Alligator Alley trail.  We did see a Barred Owl flying around high in the branches of his usual tree (by the dock), but he was too high for […]

Beyond the Backyard

Rainy Morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve

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Finally!  We got some rain!  Although it cut our morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve a little short, it also kept our hike cooler than usual.  And boy did we need the rain! The morning started out darker than usual, due to the cloudcover.  We took the Shady Oak trail and got all the way out to Lake Hancock before sunrise.  We were rewarded by a fun sunrise. I had read that if you stop down to a high f-number aperture and shoot the sun, you are more likely to get the beams of light radiating from the sun.  So I tried it…and it worked! :) We did not see the Barred Owls in their usual tree at the end of the dock.  As a matter of fact, we walked a long way before we even took our first pictures.  The rain yesterday and the cloudcover today kept the birds from their usual early-morning activity.  I stopped to look at an Osprey holding a fish, when Dyeyo noticed this Barred Owl standing right in front of us.  He flew to a nearby tree after we started watching him.  He was clearly in hunt mode, turning his head all round […]