I love going to Circle B Bar Reserve early in the morning when it’s foggy (as long as it burns off quickly). It makes the reserve look different than other days. You can see all of the spider webs across the marsh and it makes you realize just how many spiders there are out there.
Black bellied whistling ducks flying out across the marsh.
The bur marigolds were blooming in mid-November and the marsh was a blanket of yellow.
A few of the little critters flying around.
It was a quiet day for birds, except for some of the usuals including purple gallinules and swamp sparrows.
It was nice to see the deer close by in late February.
Taken with my phone, you can see them wandering around near the picnic area next to the lake.
Usual birds include a bluebird, swamp sparrow, carolina wren (singing his heart out) and a purple gallinule (showing off his big yellow feet).
Lots of color in February (which is really our fall). I’m not sure what the pink seed pods are but I’ve seen the squirrels eat them.
He was so close to the boardwalk that I had to take this with my phone to get him in.
I was leaving the park and saw some vultures fighting in the outfield of the ballfield (no one was playing). I parked and got out to see what they were fighting over. Whatever it was had been cleaned off.
A northern parula going for a mulberry at Possum Brand Preserve. This is one of two trees there but only one blooms in the fall.
I’m not sure what the second picture is. I thought it was a red eyed vireo like the 3rd one but the yellow around the eyes is throwing me off.
Yellow-rumped warblers are pretty easy to spot. Mostly drab colors but that pop of yellow on his backside gives him away.
A house wren with a teeny snack in his beak. These guys are usually pretty shy and stay deep in the bushes but this one popped out for a minute.
The grebes are always looking up. Ready to take a dive if a hawk flies by.
The anhinga was across the pond but I managed to catch him with his catch.
After leaving Possum Branch I headed for a quick walk at Chesnut Park. I found a purple gallinule at the end of the dock there. Last year a pair had babies there in the spring so hoping for another crop this year.
I spotted this great blue heron with breakfast.
At the beginning of January, if finally looked like winter at the pond at Chesnut Park. The bald cypress leaves had fallen and blanketed the pond with brown and orange.
At Possum Brand Preserve, some of the cypress trees still had their leaves but they were already brown.
When you are driving down the road and see an eagle sitting on a pole (and your camera is in the car) you turn around and go back and get a shot. Especially since it was such a beautiful sky. This one was sitting in a short tower behind a gas station on my way to Chesnut Park one morning.
Do we wish we could hang upside down so easily?
A yellow rumped warbler hiding in the bushes.
I’ve been seeing a purple gallinule hanging around the dock lately. This one has a snack in his beak.
This little gnatcatcher was being too cute not to take some shots.
I think this may be a juvenile northern parula. He’s got just a hint of gray on his back.
I don’t see swamp sparrows often.
This gnatcatcher was trying hard to get that bug.
This should not really be happening at the park but this young girl was beside herself when the titmouse flew onto her hand. People come early in the morning and leave seed along the boardwalk rail. It’s usually titmouse, cardinals and squirrels that are eating the seeds.
I found these young juvenile purple gallinules feeding along the trail. One was almost completely purple and the other hadn’t quite got his bright purple feathers in yet.
Views from the trail including that small alligator cruising along the lake.
The long walk around. I took the long way around Eagle’s Roost Trail to avoid the crowds later in the morning. I had the trail all to myself. This was right before my hip started hurting so I’ve only made a short trip back since then and stayed close to the parking lot area,
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.
Everyone was eating breakfast at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in late October.
A great blue heron off in the distance.
A young purple gallinule showing off his big feet.
A kingfisher sitting still. I took this from the car since I knew the second I opened that door he would be gone.
A tricolored heron guarding the sign.
A few of the smaller gators along the drive. I never seem to see the really big ones there.
More along the drive. I was having hip pain in late October so I decided to head over to the wildlife drive in Apopka and stay off me feet for a while. I ended up with hip bursitis which has slowed me down for a while in early November. It was taking forever to heal since I can’t seem to sit still very long.
It’s fairly rare to see purple gallinules in Pinellas county. Occasionally one pops up in a weird spot but doesn’t stay long. I usually only see them in central Florida, at Circle B Bar Reserve or Lake Parker. Now there seems to be several families living near the dock over the lake at Chesnut Park. They’ve been reported there for several weeks and they have a juvenile with them. They were really close to the dock.
The juvenile doesn’t quite have his bright colors yet.
This squirrel was missing his tail.
Little critters along the dock.
These dogs at the end of the dock looked at me like “We don’t know what they are staring at. Would you play with us?”