Riding the “rails”.

The Sora rail was the talk of the reserve back in early April. I’ve only seen a few rails and they were all at Circle B Bar Reserve. This was a rare sighting for this area so a handful of people were coming to the park to find him. There were actually 3 there and they stayed for a few weeks. They stayed close to the reeds and were digging around in mud looking for food. Since then we’ve had some rain so the ponds are filled back up. Maybe that’s why they eventually left.

The Virginia rail on the left was a nice surprise. I had heard one was there but didn’t see it.  I saw the sora on the right far out in the marsh heading towards the reeds and snapped a shot of him and when I cropped this up I realized the Virginia rail was behind him.

Lately there’s been a glossy ibis hanging around the pond. This is another bird that I usually only see in central Florida so it was weird to see him here.

You can always see gators and bunnies here.

It was nice just being outside.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Honeymoon Island “Dead Tree” trail.

Out on the nature trail at Honeymoon Island, there had been a prescribed burn recently. I didn’t see a date on the sign but green was already starting to sprout.

There are a lot of dead trees all along the trail now. The pine trees seem to dying quickly. This trail use to be shady but now it’s mostly in the sun (although there wasn’t much sun the morning I was there).

I saw very few osprey. Years ago I would walk down the trail and see 20 to 30 osprey. Most of the nests were gone as well. They should change the name of the trail from Osprey trail to Dead Tree trail.

There was still a lot of color though. It was a quiet day. No sign of the eagles or owls. Only the 3 osprey I saw and a few catbirds. Maybe I just hit it on a tough day.

SkyWatch Friday

Along the trail.

Color on the trail.

Crawling critters including that tiny alligator right on the trail.

Small birds along the trail. A green heron, a house wren making a face at me and then chirping and a blue headed vireo.

Having a snack.

A perfect start to a day at Circle B Bar Reserve.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Foggy start to the morning

Walking out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve, the fog was just starting to lift.

On the other side of the marsh, the sun was trying to break through.

Great blue herons in the fog.

A few critters along the trail. That big one always sleeps in that same spot across the ditch.

Lots of the usual birds along the trail.

A bright red flash of fall in the moss. It usually starts to look like fall around here in January.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

Gator day at the park.

I had my first real close encounter with a big one recently at Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve been visiting this park for over 10 years and until recently, I always joked that the gators were fake. They never seemed to move, just sleeping on the other side of the pond. I was at the park early and the water levels along the trails were high. The first picture was taken with my 300mm lens so I wasn’t that close. The second one was taken with my phone. That’s my shadow at the bottom. There were people coming up behind me and once the big guy crossed the trail, we all headed down together. Our theory was safety in numbers. By the time we got to were he had crossed, we saw him swimming half way across the lake.

Another big one on the same morning, taken with my 300mm lens.

A few tiny ones on the trail.

One of the “really” big ones across the lake, on the other side of the bank.

Otherwise, it was a slow morning with the usual turtles and warblers.

It finally looks like fall in late December.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Cute little birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

Lots of cute little birds around the nature center in mid February: palm wabler, blue gray gnatcatcher, female indigo bunting and several female painted buntings.

Of the course everyone wants the shot of the male painted bunting. We knew there was at least one there but after searching over an hour, I was about to give up when this guy above stopped for a second before taking off again. I snapped this quickly before he was gone only to get a blurry shot.

Red leaves in the winter.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Beauties and Beasts

dsc_6942

A juvenile little blue heron in the swamp.

dsc_6938

dsc_6936

A very young night heron.

dsc_6910

Another young little blue heron across the lake. Trying to blend in.

dsc_6923

A downy woodpecker working on a hole.

dsc_6964

“This tree smells funny.”

dsc_6907

dsc_6905

It looks like fall, but looks are deceiving. It was still over 80 degrees in late October.

dsc_6957

dsc_6946

dsc_6906

Creepy crawlers along the boardwalk.

dsc_6930

Weird bugs in the water right below the boardwalk. They looked like water roaches.

Stuff from my late October walk at Lettuce Lake Park.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Other stuff at Lettuce Lake

DSC_8884

Looks like fall in the spring.

DSC_8853

Is that a squirrel up there eating the leaves?

DSC_8888

This one was hiding his meal. I guess he thought I would steal it.

DSC_8970

Another one cleaning his tail. Or maybe he was still hungry.

DSC_8840

An osprey sitting in a nest across the lake.

DSC_8827

A pileated woodpecker in the trees.

DSC_8905

DSC_8903

Flowers were already blooming in early March.

More things from my trip to Lettuce Lake Park in March.

SkyWatch Friday