I realized after standing there for a while on the trail and watching the black bellied whistling ducks flying around in circles what they were doing. The groups of juveniles would take off together and fly around in a small circle and land back in the marsh near their parents. They were practicing for that flight back up north in the spring. They would all whistle together as they flew around me and landed. It was fun to watch them in the early morning fog.
Lots of activity the morning I was there in early January. I hadn’t seen that many whistlers together in the marsh in a long time. They were all very busy feeding and flying around. There were a few young ones left that still had their pin feathers in. I hope some of them stay over through the spring. I miss hearing that whistling sound when they are not here at Circle B Bar Reserve.
A limpkin family walking down the trail in the fog.
Hiding behind a tree.
Cruising by with a snack.
Lots of limpkins at Circle B Bar Reserve in late December.
As I walked down Marsh Rabbit Run trail, I heard the black bellied whistling ducks yelling. It’s rare that they are quiet in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it. Then they all started to fly away and I saw on the right of the trail what scared them away.
The alligator got half way across the trail and then backed down into the water. I waited a while before heading on. Maybe he decided there was too much traffic on the trail to cross.
Other stuff along the trail.
Looks like he was close but was actually in the middle of the lake. Cropped in.
A foggy start to the morning but ended up being a beautiful day in early December at Circle B Bar Reserve.
The reserve was covered in fog when I first walked out on the trails in early March. I could hear the sandhill cranes calling out but could not see them very well.
After the fog lifted, I saw several on my walk.
Spider webs blanketed the trails.
The usual residents.
A bittern close to the trail.
It can look dark and foggy early in the morning but it doesn’t stay that way long in early spring in central Florida.
On foggy mornings you can really see the spider webs. You don’t notice them when the sun is out. Everything is covered in them.
The light was bad but it was fun to walk around in the fog. At least it looked like winter even though it didn’t feel like it.
The cypress trees are starting to turn colors (it finally looks like fall here) but the little one was completely covered in webs. I’m not sure if that will kill the tree.
I was driving over to Lakeland in early January to walk at Circle B Bar Reserve. The sun was just coming up in Tampa and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The closer I got to the park, the foggier it got. I was bummed thinking the light was going to be bad for taking pictures. It was challenging to get any bright shots but it was cool to see the reserve all covered in fog. It felt like I was in a different place. The fog eventually burned off some time after 10 and the sun came out.
“Don’t bother me. I’m eating breakfast.”
“Maybe it needs ketchup.”
“Or maybe I should just leave and not eat it.” said the Great Black Backed Gull.
The above ring billed gull always seems big until I see it next to the great black back gull.
My 2nd Great black backed gull sighting and I just stumbled upon him. He didn’t even notice me. He was busy picking at a fish. He’s the largest gull in the world and fairly rare in central Florida. There’s been one hanging out on a beach not to far away and last spring I made the trip there to find him. It was a foggy morning on the beach in early March. Before stopping to check on the baby owls, I had stopped by the beach to see if anything was there. This was a weird foggy morning. You could barely see when I first got there. When I got to the owl’s nest the fog was starting to lift and the sun was peeking out. Right before lunch, this creepy thick sea fog rolled in and it felt like I was in a shower. It hung around for a while and then cleared up after lunch. You just never know around here.
Check out more sky pictures at