The moon was still up

There’s something magical about being at Circle B Bar Reserve when the sun is coming up. Besides it not being crowded or hot yet, the birds and critters are very active this early in the morning. It was my first time back since April and it felt good to be out on the trails. I usually don’t come during the summer because it is so hot and the main trails are closed due to alligators nesting on them.

Turning around, I could see the moon still up in the sky.

Of course I had to stop and take pictures of my favorite spot before heading down the trails. The last one is with my phone and you can see how big the marsh is on this trail.

The great blue heron was sitting right on the trail. I walked right under him and he didn’t move. I stopped and snapped the 2nd one with my phone so you can see how close he was.

After passing him I turned around to see if he had flown off. Nope, he’s still there watching the sun come up.

A few fly bys. A night heron and a pair of cormorants.

Some of the tiny birds, a common yellowthroat (who looks more like a masked bandit) and some blue gray gnatcatchers.

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Just catching sunrise.

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Little hummers and other things

My second ever rufous hummingbird sighting. This one and the one before were both at Bok Tower Gardens. Rufous hummingbirds are fairly rare around this area. This is only the 2nd time of hearing about one and I was happy to have seen it even briefly. I caught him high up on a tree taking a break. When he went to feed, he would go deep in the bushes or the other side making it impossible to get feeding shots. At one point I could barely see him feeding deep in the firebush.

Ruby throated hummingbirds are pretty common. I caught this male feeding near the carillon tower.

He buzzed off and disappeared. I stood under a pine tree for a long time waiting for him to come back. At one point I looked up and he was sitting right over my head.

Birds with yellow. The top one is an easy one, a yellow throated warbler. The 2nd I think is a red eyed vireo with a bug. The last is a a female common yellowthroat.

An ovenbird and blue gray gnatcatcher.

A usual sight, a harmless black racer crosses the sidewalk in front of me.

A bee house in the garden. Used by mason or other solitary bees, they lay their eggs in the holes.

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Critters at Chesnut Park.

Driving into the park, I caught a deer getting a snack in trees.

Creepy little critters.

Cute bigger critters.

Someone had left bird seed along the boardwalk earlier that morning. Only the titmouse and cardinals were eating it.

A few other flying critters including the grackle on the right getting nesting material.

This little common yellowthroat was checking me out. They usually hide deep in the bushes but he was not shy.

Some of the pretty things along the boardwalk.

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All the usual wildlife at Chesnut Park

I saw a hawk sitting on the pole holding up the volleyball net.  A few minutes later it started to rain. I ducked under cover but he just sat there through the quick shower.

All of the usual birds were at Chesnut Park in early November, including the female common yellowthroat warbler.

Two different female American redstarts came out of hiding for a few seconds.

I think this is a female painted bunting, which is fairly rare to see at this park.

Other critters at the park including that alligator in the top picture with a huge fish hanging out of his mouth.

A beautiful morning at Lettuce Lake Park

A limpkin and his reflection trying to find snails.

A young red shoulder hawk landed on the boardwalk right in front of me. He sat there for a while looking around until someone walked up to him from the other side of the boardwalk and off he went.

Another adult red shoulder hawk up in a tree.

A common yellowthroat showing off.

A muscovy duck train in the parking lot.

New Year’s Day “Name that bird”

Female belted kingfisher (Males do not have the brown stripe across the chest).

Female red bellied woodpecker (Males have full red on his head).

Male common yellowthroat (Female does not have the black mask).

Limpkin

Crazy green heron.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher.

Female ruby throated hummingbird (Males have a bright red stripe across the chin).

A very young white crowned sparrow (a fairly rare one here).

A young red shoulder hawk (very common around here).

All taken on a recent visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.

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The usual suspects at Lettuce Lake Park


The parks are full of white eyed vireos and phoebes right now.

“Common” yellowthroats are pretty common as well.

Doves get no respect even though they have pretty pink feet.

Limpkin eating a snail.

These are actually pretty cool bees, although I wouldn’t want to disturb that nest.

Gators and lizards.

Muhly grass in bloom.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

The Usual Suspects.

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The usual suspects along the trail: pied grebe, sparrow, palm warbler, cardinal, snowy egret and a hawk that looks half asleep.

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This very handsome common yellowthroat was posing nicely for me.

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An osprey bringing home padding for the nest.

The usual things at Circle B Bar Reserve in early January.

SkyWatch Friday

Pretty birds doing everyday things.

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A purple gallinule shining through the reeds.

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A pretty common yellowthroat in the shade.

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A cute grebe floating around.

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A little blue heron taking a gulp.

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A red-eyed vireo being shy.

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A downy woodpecker high up in a tree.

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A limpkin looking down at me from up above.

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A palm warbler reaching for the stars.

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A white pelican all alone.

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Moorhens imitating each other.

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Tiny hummingbirds humming in the firebush.

Some of the birds on my recent walk around Circle B Bar Reserve.

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