I thought this was a new bird

No, none of the above are the new bird. These are old birds I saw before I found the new one.  I had heard about a northern harrier being seen pretty consistently at Circle B Bar Reserve for a while but I was trying not to chase new birds since I don’t seem to have much luck finding them after everyone else has seen them. Finally after several weeks of hearing about this bird I headed over for a walk fully expecting not to see it.  All of the usual birds could be found as I walked down the trail. A red winged blackbird, a turkey vulture, a red shoulder hawk and even a cooper’s hawk that was trying to hide in the trees.

The usual birds were flying close by. A night heron and a great blue heron.

A common sight in the winter at the reserve, black bellied whistling ducks cruising around.

Across the lake, I could see 2 eagles sitting up to the right of their big nest.

A little blue heron found a worm in the water.

Here he is. My first northern harrier. I wasn’t standing there alone. There were at least 20 other people in the area looking for the bird. He showed up far across the marsh and then slowly started cruising towards the trail.

He flew by several times and then perched on a dead tree right in front of the trail. It’s his face that makes him different. From the side he almost has an owl-like face. Harriers are not extremely rare in central Florida but this is the first one I’ve heard of at any of the main parks so it was easy to find him. He was only here for the winter but maybe he’ll come back next year. After digging around in some older posts, I realized that I had seen a harrier back in 2016 at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The shot was a far away blurry pin dot shot so I’m not really counting that sighting (am I?).

My Corner of the World

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

A chance encounter with an eagle.

I heard the eagle screaming along the trail and started running, looking up in the trees. I found him sitting there looking around. He stayed there for a few minutes looking all around and including right at me. He was sitting fairly low right along the trail. At one point he hopped down a few branches.

After a few minutes, he  took off. Flying across the marsh. He flew by so close that I cut off his wings.

Later, at the other end of the reserve, I saw an eagle flying into the tree that has a nest that sits across the lake.I was wondering if it was my eagle, that I had just seen up close. I wondered if he was heading home.

The eagle has landed

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Way up high, in the sky….   Circling over my head, this is extremely cropped.

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Coming in for a landing.

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Checking things out.

At this point, I can’t tell what’s going on at the eagle’s nest near my house. The weekend before this, I didn’t see anyone on the nest, but one of them could have been laying down sleeping and I just couldn’t see them. This morning in early February, I was thinking the same thing. No sign of life, then this guys comes flying in as I was leaving. I’m hoping they are just getting a late start on the family this year. Other eagle nests in the area are already getting little babies. I’ll keep checking.  If you haven’t seen the baby eagles yet at the Fort Myers eagle cam, you should check them out. They are growing fast.  This is about 2 hours south of Tampa.

SkyWatch Friday

The eagles are back on the nest!

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Just a few pictures of the eagles near my house. I finally saw them both on the nest recently. One was on the nest and the other was sitting on top of the dead tree the nest is in. I’m hoping they are getting ready for eggs or there may already be eggs on the nest. I’ll keep you posted.

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The loud peacocks that live on the farm where the eagle’s nest is were looking at me like I was crazy.  They were thinking “That crazy lady is back with her black box on her face”.

SkyWatch Friday