Walking down the trail I could hear a baby bird calling overhead. Looking up I saw this juvenile red shoulder hawk up in the tree.
Then I realized that Mom was a tree over with a frog trying to get the baby to follow her over. The baby wanted Mom to come feed it but Mom was trying to get him to fly over.
These baby turkeys were very skittish. Mom was keeping an eye on me.
Lots of young alligators along the trail.
Everything was green when I last was at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-May. Now it’s too hot to walk there and the main trails are usually closed due to alligators mating and nesting close by until at least October so I’ll be staying close to home or the coast.
It’s rare for me to see baby purple gallinules. I found 2 babies near the dock at Circle B Bar Reserve in early May. You can usually find adults around the dock but they become scarce when they have babies often hiding in the reeds. The babies are so cute with that black and white beak. It’s funny how much their colors change as they grow up.
I can’t stop taking pictures of the black bellied whistling ducks at Circle B Bar Reserve. The reserve is pretty much the only place I see them (I’ve seen a few at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa but that’s rare). They are very chatty and have so much personality. Look at those pink feet! They nest in holes or hollows in trees so I guess that’s why they spend a lot of time in trees. They were hanging out in a big old dead tree right along the trail.
The marsh was also covered with them. It was loud that morning walking down the trail and hearing them all whistling at the same time. The ones with the gray beaks are juveniles. There were several families there. They usually leave in late spring and the marsh is quiet again until the next winter.
Wild hogs hiding in the bushes. Not sure where the term “pigtails” comes from?
One of the main trails, Alligator Alley, was finally back open after closing in September of 2017. When Hurricane Irma came through, the trail was washed out and a lot of damage was done to that part of the park. The raised trail across the marsh was finally rebuilt and it was great to walk down it again in late January.
Out on the dock you could see the bald cypress trees going bald for the winter.