The yellow flowers were out in full force in early November at Circle B Bar Reserve.
Usual birds along the trail. That anhinga has something stuck on his beak. Hopefully he was able to scrap it off. He would be really hard to catch since his is flying and was on a stump in a lake full of alligators.
An eagle flew over my head along the trail.
Later I saw a young eagle sitting on a tree far off the trail close to the lake.
This one was close to the trail. Probably waiting for foot traffic to stop so he could cross.
I found these young juvenile purple gallinules feeding along the trail. One was almost completely purple and the other hadn’t quite got his bright purple feathers in yet.
Views from the trail including that small alligator cruising along the lake.
The long walk around. I took the long way around Eagle’s Roost Trail to avoid the crowds later in the morning. I had the trail all to myself. This was right before my hip started hurting so I’ve only made a short trip back since then and stayed close to the parking lot area,
I use to set my alarm to get up early on the weekends but lately my internal alarm has been going off early and I got out of bed one Saturday morning in November and headed to Circle B Bar Reserve. Although, not that early since the sun was just peaking out as I hit the trails. It’s the perfect time to be there, quiet and not many people there yet. You can hear the birds starting to talk and the whistling ducks were starting to fly back and forth.
One of my favorite views in the morning.
There wasn’t a lot of different birds out. The usuals were there (moorhens, whistlers, herons, egrets, cormorants) but I didn’t see many uncommon birds. The above are fairly common in the winter (female common yellowthroat, house wren and the purple gallinules) but sometimes a little bit harder to find.
Some of the smaller critters along the trail.
The eagle’s nest is pretty far away but I could still see both eagles on the nest. Maybe she’s looking at her eggs in the nest? Might have been a little early but soon.
Walking down Marsh Rabbit Run trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in early June. Not much along the trails but gators. I had a rare day off in the week and the reserve was quiet. And, the threat of rain kept people at home.
As I got down to the end of the trail (as far away from my car as possible) the dark clouds were moving in fast.
I quickly ducked under the small rain shelter as the bottom fell out. That was fine. I’ll rest here for a while until it stops.
It started pouring sideways and the rain was coming into the shelter which has a roof but no walls. I had my small umbrella in my backpack that I pulled out but I was still getting soaked from the waist down. There was no one else around except for my friend Henry, the great blue heron, who stayed near the shelter during the pour.
I played games on my phone for a while and took a lot of pictures and after almost an hour of pouring, it dwindled down to a light sprinkle and I headed back down the trail back to the parking lot.
The birds along the trail were all wet. By the time I got back to main trail to the nature center, the sun was coming out and people were coming in looking at me like I was a wet rat. It was still a fun morning.
Spoonbills were everywhere on my last trip to Circle B Bar Reserve but they were each alone. Dotting the way down the trail. There’s something magical about these pink fluff balls and even seeing one occasionally is always a treat.
One went flying by me in the rain. Yes I got caught on the trail in the rain but more on that later.
The usual clowns on the trail.
Before I headed down Marsh Rabbit Run, I stopped to take a few pictures of the above sandhill cranes. They were just standing in the middle of the trail intersection preening themselves. One was picking at the dirt on the ground and spreading the dirt on his feathers. Assuming to keep the bugs off? I had heard they do this but had not seen it before.
I got down to the end of Marsh Rabbit Run and it started to pour so I hung out in the rain shelter for almost an hour. When the rain stopped I headed back to my car and these guys were still standing at the same intersection. Now they were all wet and looked like they had enjoyed the rain.
It’s not unusual to see purple gallinules in the marsh at the start of the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve. They usually feed off the alligator flag plants there.
But now they were right on the trails. After being closed for 2 months, I guess they got use to be on the trails and feeding off the plants there. I passed several of them as I walked down Marsh Rabbit Run Trail and they didn’t even bother stopping or acting scared and running. They just kept eating while I walked past them. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Maybe as the park got more crowded later in the day they went into hiding but early in the morning they were out.
There was only one. I don’t know if there were more than that but at this point the couple only had one baby. He was getting big and was almost as big as his parents. I found the family at the far end of Heron Hideaway Trail near Eagle’s Roost Trail. They were just hanging out and the baby was taking a break. The reserve had just recently opened back up so this guy probably spent his earliest time without anyone around. Now there was a constant parade of people down the trail but “Fraiser” didn’t seem fazed.
After a few minutes on the side of the trail, the family started heading out.
I started walking down the trail ahead of them and they were following me. They were walking fast so I kept turning around and snapping. I had to move pretty quickly to keep them all in the picture. It was funny to watch them so casually cruising down the trail.
Later I saw another couple across the marsh but I didn’t see any babies with them.
My first trip back to Circle B Bar Reserve since mid-March. It has been closed all of that time and had just re-opened the week before I went in late May. I was there very early and headed out to the trails. This red shoulder hawk was welcoming me back.
Not many people there at 7:15 and it was good to be back on the trails.
Not many birds either. Just the usual suspects posing along the trail.
Talk about feeling like you are being watched. The alligators were close to the trails. They were use to having them all to themselves for 2 months.
The clouds were rolling in but I didn’t care.
So much for the social distancing thing. This group came by and instead of walking by on one side of the trail in a single file, they crowded the trail. I stepped off to let them go by but I couldn’t go too far off without stepping into the marsh and getting eaten by a gator. It was time to head back to the car at this point.
Not before stopping to catch this pretty cattle egret.
In early March I hurt my back and ended up with a compression fracture. I had to take it easy for a while and after two weeks without long walks in a park I decided to take a road trip across central Florida to look for the whooping cranes. I figured it was easy to sit in a car and I’ve been saying I was going to go over there but just never took the time. This was also right before the big lock down. On the way home I decided to stop at Circle B Bar Reserve for a quick walk even if it was just a few minute in the parking lot. I felt pretty good (was wearing a back brace around my waist) so I walked a little ways down the main trail. It felt good to be out. I’m glad I made the effort because they closed the reserve down the next week for a while. I found the whooping cranes, more on those later. Above are sandhill cranes that were right up on the trail.
Lots of the usual birds there including the great blue heron yelling at an intruder.
It must have been soft shell turtle day because I saw three different ones on my short walk. They were up on the trail. They are usually skittish but one stopped for a pose.
I’m going to miss the tree twins.
A small part of the marsh at Circle B Bar Reserve on a beautiful day.