Back on the trail.

My first trip back to Circle B Bar Reserve since mid-March. It has been closed all of that time and had just re-opened the week before I went in late May. I was there very early and headed out to the trails. This red shoulder hawk was welcoming me back.

Not many people there at 7:15 and it was good to be back on the trails.

Not many birds either. Just the usual suspects posing along the trail.

Talk about feeling like you are being watched. The alligators were close to the trails. They were use to having them all to themselves for 2 months.

The clouds were rolling in but I didn’t care.

So much for the social distancing thing. This group came by and instead of walking by on one side of the trail in a single file, they crowded the trail. I stepped off to let them go by but I couldn’t go too far off without stepping into the marsh and getting eaten by a gator. It was time to head back to the car at this point.

Not before stopping to catch this pretty cattle egret.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

 

Last visit to my favorite place for a while!

In early March I hurt my back and ended up with a compression fracture. I had to take it easy for a while and after two weeks without long walks in a park I decided to take a road trip across central Florida to look for the whooping cranes. I figured it was easy to sit in a car and I’ve been saying I was going to go over there but just never took the time. This was also right before the big lock down. On the way home I decided to stop at Circle B Bar Reserve for a quick walk even if it was just a few minute in the parking lot. I felt pretty good (was wearing a back brace around my waist) so I walked a little ways down the main trail. It felt good to be out. I’m glad I made the effort because they closed the reserve down the next week for a while. I found the whooping cranes, more on those later. Above are sandhill cranes that were right up on the trail.

Lots of the usual birds there including the great blue heron yelling at an intruder.

It must have been soft shell turtle day because I saw three different ones on my short walk. They were up on the trail. They are usually skittish but one stopped for a pose.

I’m going to miss the tree twins.

A small part of the marsh at Circle B Bar Reserve on a beautiful day.

My Corner of the World

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

Hoodies in my hood.

I ran into Blondie on my walk around the neighborhood pond.

Later I came back with my camera (really to shoot the hoodies below and she just happen to be there).

It’s not often I see hooded mergansers in my own duck pond. Usually we just have mallards and muscovy ducks. I was heading home one Saturday afternoon and saw the big white circle on his head out of the corner of my eye and turned around. Luckily I had my camera in the car and was able to hide behind a tree for a few minutes when they swam by. They are very skittish.

The tricolored heron standing near the old fountain (that’s never turned on anymore) was looking at me like I was crazy.

Pink is always in

I found some old pictures that I had taken many years ago of my first encounter with roseate spoonbills. These were taken in 2009 with my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D60. I was out walking around at Lake Seminole Park and saw these guys walking along the lake. The water was low and I was able to hike out near the edge and stood in the muck watching these guys feed for at least an hour. I was using my old Sigma 150mm – 500mm lens so they were still pretty far out. Every once in a while they would look up at me but then continue to feed. I remember this morning well.

Some of the friends nearby were mallards and a black neck stilt.

I look over to my left and this tri colored heron was watching me like I was crazy.

 

Fun at the zoo in June.

The last remaining blue heron babies at the zoo in Tampa. Across the alligator exhibit I spotted a young tricolored heron looking grumpy. He still had that fuzz on the top of his head.

Some of the resident critters at the zoo.

One of my favorite birds in the aviary had babies this spring. The bottom 2 are offspring of the top one.

A wild mockingbird eating the berries.

 

A few fun things from Zoo Tamp in June.

Black bellies and yellow flowers

It’s always fun to see black bellied whistling ducks playing in the marsh. This time they were playing among the yellow bur marigolds in late December. Several families were hanging out in the same area. The adults have pink beaks and the juveniles still have gray beaks.

One was keeping an eye on a tricolored heron that was close to the group.

Flying across the marsh at Circle B Bar Reserve.

SkyWatch Friday