Dan and I have been out to the Circle B twice in the last few weeks. We were there on the 14th and again this last Saturday, the 24th. The birds are definitely getting back down here. What an increase in Wood Storks, several hundreds, and the Roseate Spoonbill started arriving this last week, according to one of the volunteers.
The visit on the 14th, which was briefly mentioned in Stork II, was the first time I tried out my new “Zip”. As has been mentioned before, I have a slight handicap and this is a great assist. Anyway, after unloading it, off we went for a nice 73°F birdwatching adventure on a clear day. Just outside there were about 20 Black and Turkey Vultures hanging out at the brook, which is part of the reserve. Overhead a Great Egret, Osprey and some Boat-tailed Grackles flew by. The Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Red-Bellied, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, and the elusive, but calling Carolina Wren greeted us on the way to the marsh. Once we got there I was amazed at all the Wood Storks and the others birds that had arrived.
Here is what was spotted (or heard) then in order I spotted them: Turkey and Black Vultures, Blue Jay, Fish Crows, White Egrets, Carolina Wren, Mourning Doves, Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Wood Storks – lots, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Tufted Titmouse, Green Heron, Downy Woodpecker, Glossy and White Ibises, Tricolored Herons, Moorhens, Mallards, Ospreys, 2 Spoonbills, Double-crested Cormorants, Anhingas, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks-lots, Great Egret, Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbird, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Cattle Egrets, Belted Kingfisher (finally got sort of a picture of it), Northern Mockingbird, Grey Catbird, Blue-grey Gnatcatchers, Northern Harrier, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, and the Common and Boat-tailed Grackles. Not a bad 2 hours of birding. A total of 40 identified.
On Saturday, we birded for about an hour before we met a group of about 10-12 AWANA boys from our church. We had been asked to join them as they went birdwatching. We figured we would get pictures before they came, as youngster can be enthusiastic and might spook a few birds. Actually, they did right well and got to see lots of birds. I got to go with them further than normal because my “Zip” was with me.
What we saw were about the same birds as before with the following changes. I finally got a picture of that elusive Carolina Wren. I have heard it for months, but never got a look, let alone a photo. It’s not that good, but it’s a prize for me. Up in a tree we spotted what we thought was a Hawk, but when looking at pictures, realized it was the juvenile Bald Eagle. There were a lot more Roseate Spoonbills (20-30), Tufted Titmouse, Sandhill Cranes, Blue-winged Teals have arrived, Snowy Ibises, Pied-Billed Grebes, possible Mottled Ducks, Purple Gallinules, Bald Eagles (a juvenile and adults-3 in one tree), and more unknowns. So, in the two trips the total is 48, not counting the unknowns. I almost forgot the hugh alligator. Someone said about 14 feet long.
Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high? From there it spies out the prey; Its eyes observe from afar. (Job 39:27,29 NKJV)
I haven’t added Dan’s photos yet.