“Don’t play with your food” and a broken rule.

I watched this great blue heron play with this fish for a while. He kept flipping it over, dropping it and then picking it up several times on to flip it again. I was hoping to catch him swallowing it but after I while I gave up.

Even the black bellied whistling ducks that were close by stopped to watch him.

I broke a cardinal rule when out on the trails.  Not paying attention to what’s around you. I saw the heron above with his fish and was moving around trying to get a good shot in between the trees before he swallowed it. After snapping a few pictures, I saw the above out of the corner of my eye. He was inches from my head. He probably wouldn’t have done much damage other than to my mental well-being but I should have looked around first. Their bite on humans is mostly like a bad mosquito bite. The trees along the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve are full of these silk orb weavers. “Look up for spiders and snakes and down for alligators before taking shots.”

Another walk on Alligator Alley

All lush and green, this was taken in early April before the drought started taking a toll on the marsh.

I did not change the color on this glossy ibis. They were in their breeding feathers and the colors were so deep. When the sun hits them you can really see the patterns.

So many purple gallinules lately. They are so much fun to watch.

One lone baby limpkin. Mom was close by looking for food.

Far out in the marsh, this great egret caught a stick with his fish.

Mom moorhen feeding the baby.

Now that’s lunch! He caught the fish but then moved locations. I caught him right as he was swallowing it.

Early April at Circle B Bar Reserve.

SkyWatch Friday

Cool morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

DSC_7623

The very common palm warbler. They were falling from the sky. I’ll try not to take too many pictures of them this winter, even though they are the most accommodating birds.

DSC_7629

Even though you can’t see his legs in this shot, this is a yellowlegs. He’s a shorebird that should be at the beach. He was all alone in a small marsh.

DSC_7637

Another missed baby black bellied whistling duck opportunity. They were far out in the marsh and getting ready for a nap. They were probably going to stay in that spot for hours.

DSC_7647

I counted six but I think there were more hiding in the reeds.

DSC_7657

Phoebes where everywhere and you could hear that distinct call all over the reserve.

DSC_7673

This common yellowthroat sat still for 20 seconds. Long enough for me to get the above. Then he took off.

DSC_7710

A barred owl was sleeping close to the trail and everyone was stopping to watch him. He would not wake up and he was hidden behind a lot of branches. We kept going down trail and an hour later when we came back, he was still sleeping.

DSC_7739

“This is how I eat my dinner. Bang the fish on the branch so he won’t wiggle when he goes down my throat.”

DSC_7779

Yes, I have a ton of blue-gray gnatcatcher shots. But they are so cute and there were so many of them.

DSC_7820

The great blue heron doesn’t bang his fish before swallowing. He flips it over a few times and swallows it wiggling.

More of the usual stuff from Circle B Bar Reserve. The first weekend in November was perfect. Although we were a little cold starting out. 50 degrees at 8am. I didn’t even take my jacket off until we got in the car at noon.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for