A walk after work

Baby ducks were everywhere on my walk around Carillon Park after work in late April. It looks like those baby moorhens were sitting on cotton in the first picture but that is some kind of algae growing in the lake.

There was also a limpkin trying to feed 2 little babies.

A few of the other birds on my walk. A yellowlegs, a parrot eating something high in a tree and an anhinga with a snack.

Other critters at the lake.

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A walk after work

Lots of turtles at Carillon Park. The ponds have sunning boards for the turtles to hang out on.

Magnolias along the boardwalk.

An ibis taking a bath. It was so hot I wanted to jump in with him.

A few bunnies along the trail.

Colors in the fountain.

 

I haven’t seen a lesser yellowlegs in a long time much less at this park.

A quick walk around a park nearby work before heading home in early May.

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Cool morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Celery Fields at the end of the day

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Yes, pied grebes are everywhere in central Florida.

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Sparrow watching me.

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Yellowlegs walking around in a pond. I don’t see these guys very often.

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Cattle egret flyby.

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I saw these ducks up ahead in the pond. When we got close, they all took off flying. I realized as they flew by that they were all northern shovelers. It’s not often we see them around.

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The sun had gone behind a dark cloud and we were heading towards the parking lot when I saw a red shoulder hawk fly by. I saw him land on a pole with another hawk and they started going at it for a few seconds. Not a good shot but at least we know there won’t be a shortage of hawks next year.

Our New Year’s day trip to Sarasota ended in a quick walk around the Celery Fields before hitting the highway to head back home. It was getting late and the sun had gone behind dark clouds before going down. I hadn’t been to the fields in over a year so I wanted to see if it had changed. It was a lot more overgrown in the ponds than I remembered. There wasn’t a lot of birds around and the few that were there were pretty skittish. We saw a lot of hawks on our walk and one bald eagle from very far away.

The Celery Fields used to be a celery farm many years ago and is now run by Sarasota county as a storm water collection zone. It’s right off the highway and easy to get to if you’re in the Sarasota area. It’s been known as a sandhill crane roosting area at certain times of the year, I think primarily in the fall. We did see a few of the cranes during our walk but they were far back in the ponds.

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Black neck stilt with his reflection

These were taken a few weeks ago at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland.  The black necked stilts usually stay far away from the trails. In the past, I have only seen them way out across the marsh. For some reason on this morning, one of them was feeding very close to the trail. Right in front of the main intersection. He stayed busy not paying attention to the long line of photographers taking pictures of him. He kept getting closer and closer.  I was glad it was a nice clear morning and not a ripple on the water.

Camera Critters

Looking for baby sandhill cranes – Skywatch Friday

My goal for my recent trip to Circle B was to find the baby sandhill cranes that had eluded us the weekend before. As soon as I walked out on the trail, I saw the family far out in the middle of marsh.

The family was moving quickly towards the tree line away from the trail. Both babies were there but I could only get a few quick pictures of one before they were gone in the tall grass.

Hairy or downy woodpecker?

Palm warblers were everywhere that morning.

Yellowlegs walking by a handful of blue winged teals. I love the purple tint on the teal on the far right.  They were keeping an eye on the shorebird.

Typical Florida great blue heron picture. He was sitting high up in a tree on Alligator Alley. He has this determined look on his face.

Early in the morning the sun was coming through the famous dead trees at the beginning of  Marsh Rabbit Run trail. These trees usually have black bellied whistling ducks, woodpeckers or egrets sitting on them. This morning they were empty.

Just a few shots of a recent trip out to the reserve to look for the sandhill crane babies. This was taken several weeks ago so they are probably pretty big by now. I was glad I caught a few seconds of them before they headed out.

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Lots of birds at Circle B Bar Reserve – Skywatch Friday

Red shoulder hawk sitting in a tree on Marsh Rabbit Run trail. I have seen him sitting here for the last 3 visits to the reserve.

Great egret flying into the mud pit.

The US Fish and Wildlife still has the wood stork listed as endangered. I didn’t realize this until I read on another blog how someone was visiting Florida and wanted to find the endangered wood stork. I see them everywhere. They hang out in the ditches along the road near my work. I always see them at Circle B Bar Reserve. We must just have a higher concentration of them here in central Florida. I guess it’s all relative.

Yellowlegs. Not sure if this is a greater or lesser. I would have to see them next to each other to really tell them apart. Lately I’ve been seeing a few of them hanging around the mud pits at the reserve.

The coolest thing we saw that day! A turkey. Look how colorful he is! He strutted across the trail right in front of us.

This immature night heron almost looked like a ghost bird hanging around in the shade. But his yellow beak and feet and those glowing eyes made him stick out.

The windmill at the end of Wading Bird Way. It was a perfect day, even if we couldn’t find the baby sandhill cranes.

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