I realized after standing there for a while on the trail and watching the black bellied whistling ducks flying around in circles what they were doing. The groups of juveniles would take off together and fly around in a small circle and land back in the marsh near their parents. They were practicing for that flight back up north in the spring. They would all whistle together as they flew around me and landed. It was fun to watch them in the early morning fog.
Lots of activity the morning I was there in early January. I hadn’t seen that many whistlers together in the marsh in a long time. They were all very busy feeding and flying around. There were a few young ones left that still had their pin feathers in. I hope some of them stay over through the spring. I miss hearing that whistling sound when they are not here at Circle B Bar Reserve.
As I walked down Marsh Rabbit Run trail, I heard the black bellied whistling ducks yelling. It’s rare that they are quiet in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it. Then they all started to fly away and I saw on the right of the trail what scared them away.
The alligator got half way across the trail and then backed down into the water. I waited a while before heading on. Maybe he decided there was too much traffic on the trail to cross.
Other stuff along the trail.
Looks like he was close but was actually in the middle of the lake. Cropped in.
A foggy start to the morning but ended up being a beautiful day in early December at Circle B Bar Reserve.
Some of the many plants at Lettuce Lake Park.
I caught a quick glimpse of a black bellied whistling duck family. They were passing through under the boardwalk and headed into the swamp. They paused for a few minutes and I snapped the above. The babies are so cute. They look like little bumble bees.
A red shoulder hawk greets me as I walk on the trail. Right after I shot the hawk, an eagle flies high over my head.
A snowy egret skimming along the marsh and a great blue heron posing.
I think this is a female indigo bunting. I had heard there were buntings in this part of the trail but I didn’t see any male blue ones. Any confirmation?
One of the many sparrows that hangs out at the intersection of Heron Hideout trail and Eagles Roost trail. Not sure if it’s a Savannah or Swamp,
This little lady flew right in front of me and landed on the tiny stick. She sat there forever.
More black bellied whistling ducks in the marsh.
Same ole gators along the trail.
From my early November visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World
Black bellied whistling ducks in the fog across the marsh.
There was lots of activity going on with the whistlers flying back and forth all morning. I was a little bummed that the sky was so dark that morning. Started to drizzle while I was there.
The marsh was full of the whistlers in early November at Circle B Bar Reserve. I haven’t seen this many in several winters. They were all very noisy and unsettled early that Saturday morning.
Up close with a ruddy duck.
And black bellied whistling ducks. One was missing an eye
A pretty lady wood duck.
A very important sign. Even the night heron standing in front of it should not be fed.
“Hooo’s there?” said the burrowing owl.
Crawling critters behind glass.
Growing inside the aquarium, the beauty berry can be see in the many of the parks around Tampa. The birds and critters eat the berries.
On the wall in the aquarium, this would make cool wallpaper.
A few things from a recent trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. When it’s too hot to see the fishies from the beach, it’s time to head inside at the aquarium.
I think this is a very young red-eyed vireo.
A prothonotary warbler. They nest here in the summer.
I heard whistling and saw the black bellied whistling ducks on the top of the observation tower, only because there weren’t any people on the tower yet.
I snuck up the first flight of stairs and saw them looking down at me. I didn’t want to scare them off so I went back down and headed away from the tower. After a few minutes someone came down the boardwalk and headed up the tower so they flew off.
Some of the little critters at the lake.
Some young limpkins hiding under a tree near the boardwalk.