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 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.
I was standing on the edge of the lake at Chesnut Park looking around for ducks when an eagle started circling around me. It landed high in the cypress trees along the lake.
Not a great view but I could still see it through the branches. A juvenile eagle flew by and the adult eagle started screaming.
The young eagle landed in the tree right in front of me, several trees away from where the adult eagle was sitting.
A few minutes later another adult eagle landed into the tree and in a quick moment, mated. I was bummed that I couldn’t get a clear view with so many branches in the way. I would have had to go swimming in the lake to get a better view and there’s a lot of gators in that lake. A few minutes later all of the eagles took off in the other direction and I was standing there like “What just happened?” I’m not sure where they nest at this lake but I had heard over the years that it’s not in a visible location.
True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.
Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.
Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.
Lots of vultures here.
New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.
This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.
I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.
I found the owls in the same spot they were last year. The park is not too far from work so I stopped by one night before dark. Found one of the adults on a branch just above the nest. “My, what big feet you have!”
Found a baby sitting on the nest. A little fluff ball.
I looked for eagles along the utility towers across the bay where they usually hang out. I couldn’t find any mixed in with all of the cormorants.
The eagles are not nesting in the middle of the horse farm this year. There was a lot of new construction going on nearby so I was afraid they wouldn’t come back this year. I found them nearby in a utility tower. I think they took over an osprey nest high up in the tower.
It’s not often you can get up close to a bald eagle. Especially a juvenile one (the all brown one in the last shot). These eagles are all missing a wing and now live at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. They are in an open enclosure and just love to pose.
Pelicans were just starting to nest.
A night heron in the first shot. He crept up pretty close to me. The wild great blue herons were working on nests in the top of the trees over the alligator exhibit.
A burrowing owl trying to sleep.
Other animals were all just chilling out the morning I was there in early January. Lots of fun animals at the park. Unfortunately most are injured but have a home here at the park.
It’s amazing how the chickens and roosters all have their own personalities. I didn’t grow up around them. I grew up thinking chickens came from a grocery store!!! It’s funny to watch them walk around the farm like they own the place.
The eagle’s nest is close by so I stopped to see if there was any babies yet. I saw one adult sitting on the nest but after a few minutes, the adult on the nest flew over to another tree where the mate was sitting.
I didn’t think they would leave the nest empty like that if there were eggs or babies but on a more recent trip two babies were there so I’ll post those as soon as I edit them.
Late in the afternoon, all of the deer were napping deep in the woods. I could see a few of them from the boardwalk but they were trying to hide.
A little blue heron walking around near the boardwalk.
A lone ring neck duck in one of the smaller ponds.
I was looking around the boardwalk for gators and saw the above instead.
Furry faces in the trees.
The cypress trees are starting to turn.
A hawk on the way home.
I stopped by the horse farm on the way home to see if the eagles were back. They abandoned the nest in the old tree last year and did not have babies. Some say the old dead tree was rotting and about to fall over and that’s why they left. Most think it was due to new houses that were going up around the horse farm. The farm was surrounded by trees and last winter a developer came in and wiped out all of the tree and started a new neighborhood. I didn’t expect to find them and was thinking they were gone forever. As I was driving out a different way, I saw the above on a utility tower. There’s an old osprey nest in the tower. Only time will tell if they take over the osprey nest and have babies here. It’s sad to think they are out of that great tree but at least they would still be having families.