They’re Back – White Pelicans

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

White Pelicans on the Wing at Circle B Bar Reserve

Yesterday morning, while looking out the door at church, I noticed a flock of birds flying toward the west. They were heading in the Circle B Bar Reserve direction. One squadron after another went by and it dawned on me that it was most likely the White Pelicans. I watched them for over 15 minutes and they just kept coming.

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 KJV)

So, today, Dec. 21, 2010, we went to the Circle B to see if they really were the White Pelicans. Last year there were around 7,000 of them that spent part of their winter here with us in Florida. See – Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve – 12/23/09 in which I made a video of the numerous Pelicans that we saw then. Yep! They are back! I am sure more than 1000 of them flew over my head today as they prepared to land about a half mile from my location.

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) by Lee

Woodstork Tree at Circle B by Lee

Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. (Psalms 104:17 KJV)

I took lots of photos of them and some more video, but won’t bore you with them. We have had two hard freezes in the last few weeks that has killed or severely damaged much of the vegetation out at the Circle B. That and a lack of rain makes the place look quite drab right now. Many areas where we photograph and watch birds were sparse on numbers. Still had a great birdwatching adventure today even if it was about 40 degrees when we got there.

Wilson's Snipe at Circle B by Lee

Wilson's Snipe at Circle B

Some of the highlights were the White Pelicans, of course, but also finding a Wilson’s Snipe right beside the road and not spooking while being photographed by several people, “Wood Stork trees” (trees lined with the storks), watching a Snowy Egret working the water with its feet in search of breakfast, getting close to the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and finding a White-eyed Vireo.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee

Here is a list of the 36 species of birds that we spotted today: (in order they were spotted)

Great Blue Heron 2

Morning Doves 7

Red-bellied Woodpecker 4

Blue Jay 1

American White Pelicans 1,000+

Wood Storks 100+

Eastern Kingbird

Sandhill Cranes 21

Tufted Titmouse 1

Northern Cardinal – female

Boat-tailed Grackles 15+

Wilson’s Snipe 1

Killdeer 15+

White Ibises 20+

Glossy Ibises 10+

Little Blue Heron adults and immature (white)

American Coots 100’s

Anhingas 10

Mockingbird 3

Red-shouldered Hawk 2

Tricolored Heron 1

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks 75+

Common Moorhen (or Gallinule) 20+

Blue-winged Teal 10

Mottled Duck 4

Pied-billed Grebe 2

Green Heron 1

House Wren 1

Blue-grey Gnatcatchers 5

White-eyed Vireo 1 (new catch for me)

Osprey 5

Turkey Vultures 10+

Pileated Woodpecker 1

Cattle Egret 3

Pine Warbler 1 Yellow

Myrtle Warbler 1

Here is the shorter video of the Snowy Egret stirring up breakfast. He catches something and then keeps trying for more.

Other birdwatching trips to the Circle B Bar Reserve

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