A typical morning in central Florida.

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I still haven’t seen any news on this great blue heron nest. A while ago there was a great blue heron always sitting on the nest for weeks. Then it was abandoned.  Weeks later when I was there, I saw this great blue heron looking around. So are they trying again?  They’ve had babies in this nest for several years now.

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I found the limpkin family again on this trip but they were further away from the trail. The babies were growing up so fast. They now look like the parent, only smaller.

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Northern Parulas were all along the trail but they stayed high up in the trees.

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A green heron prowling around in the muck.

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A glossy ibis doing the same thing.

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The dragonflies were out.

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A few crawling critters were out on the trail.

Just a few things I saw on my walk in mid-March at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Another episode of “Don’t play with your food”

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Underneath the great blue heron’s nest was another great blue heron trying to eat lunch. I stood there for 10 minutes watching him fight this snake.  It looks like he was trying to make a salad.  He kept dropping the snake and when he picked it back up, he would have a beak full of weeds as well. I never did see him swallow it. I got tired of standing there and kept on moving down the trail.

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On a sad note, this nest is a bust.  The great blue heron sat on this nest right on the trail for a month and then she was gone. I haven’t heard if anyone knows what happened.  Did she leave because the eggs didn’t hatch?  Did the eggs get damaged? The other active nests are farther behind this one. This one was such a good spot and had produced babies for several years now.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

More great blue heron hanky panky

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This great blue heron flew over my head and landed high up in a tree. It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing up there. He was breaking off a branch to take back to the nest.

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He flew over to a nest across the marsh and gave it to his mate.

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It was over in a few seconds. Hopefully this tree will have babies in it soon.

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The barred owl that’s been sleeping in the big tree near the parking lot at Circle B Bar Reserve was sleeping the morning I was there in early February. He did wake up and preen his feathers for a few minutes before going back to sleep.

SkyWatch Friday

Looking high up – Skywatch Friday

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The great blue heron couple are already on the nest. She must be on eggs since there is now always one of them sitting on the nest. This was early December so we should be able to see any babies by mid-January. Last year they had two babies but only one survived.

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After a while, she stood up to stretch.

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She’s either turning over the eggs or fixing that stick that was poking her.

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I found an eagle preening himself high up in the tree.

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Through the moss, he stayed there for a while and then flew off.

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While I was watching the great blue heron nest, the eagle flew back with something in his talons.

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He was heading for a nest with some padding.

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Later I saw this bird flying high up. It’s not a red shoulder hawk or a cooper’s hawk. It looks like a northern harrier from my Stokes Birding guide. If so, it’s a first for me. Or he could be a merlin. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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Another angle. He took off and this was the last shot I got.

Another beautiful morning at Circle B Bar Reserve.

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On the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve

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I always say I’m not going to take any more pictures of blue-gray gnatcatchers. But they are so cute and this one posed for just a second.

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Snowy egret standing next to the moss. He was screaming “Doesn’t this look like a Florida picture?”

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The nest motel tree in the middle of the lake. The great blue heron on the right was bringing sticks to the one on the left. They were working on a nest. There were also cormorants sitting on nests in the same tree on the other side.

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Why do the little birds always bother the big birds? This hawk was sitting there minding his own business and the black bird started to dive bomb him.

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One of the sandhill crane couples walking through the marsh. I have since heard they were on a nest.

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This great egret is just starting to get his green breeding feathers around his beak.

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This male anhinga is also starting to get his breeding colors around his face.

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Soon the eastern phoebes will be heading north for the summer. I’m going to miss seeing them around the intersection of Marsh Rabbit Run trail and Heron Hideout trail.

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What a life these guys have. Sleeping the afternoon away in the sun.

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The caterpillars were out.

A Saturday morning walk around Circle B Bar Reserve in late February.

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So many birds at Circle B Bar Reserve – Skywatch Friday

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Right as I got on the trail this glossy ibis went flying over my head.

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Female anhinga. She was posing too nice not stop and take a picture. She was so close to the trail and I only had my fixed 300mm lens with me so this was all I could get of her. She was not skittish.

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I would like to think this is a savannah sparrow with that small yellow streak over her eye.  Let me know if this is wrong. All info says these are pretty common but I haven’t seen one before with the yellow on the face that I can remember.

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Pretty limpkin posing for me.

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This glossy ibis was too busy to be bothered by me. When the sun hits their feathers you can really see the color.

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Blue gray gnatcatcher high up in the trees.

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My attempt in getting a flying shot of a tree swallow. Those little buggers are fast. They were buzzing all around my head. I was torturing myself for a while before I gave up.

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I walked right past this pileated woodpecker at first. I heard his high pitch call and walked back a few trees. He was high up in the trees.

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There were baby great blue heron sightings that had been reported earlier in the week. I got to the nest first thing in the morning and waiting for a half hour for the mom to stand up.  I left the nest and walked the other trails and came back and stood another half hour. It was cloudy and cold so I think she was hunkered down for the morning. I snapped this just for the record.

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When I got home and zoomed in on the above photo, I realized the baby was peeking out of mom’s rear end. The baby is pretty big at this point. By the time I get back there he should be standing up pretty good.

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