Birdwatching at Circle B – 4/22/11

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) and young by Dan's Pix

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) and young by Dan’s Pix

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

We were finally able to find a little bit of time to go birdwatching the other day. Our adventure took us back out to the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, FL. It was a cloudless morning, around 64 degrees, when we arrived. Dan had his camera along, but I only used my binoculars. One thing nice about the Circle B is its closeness to home. With fuel prices rising, birdwatching nearer to your local areas may become more necessary.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) by Dan's Pix

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) by Dan’s Pix

We are fortunate, because Circle B is becoming a premier birding spot here in Florida. With 1,267 acres to roam, there is plenty to see. Unfortunately, many of our “winter visiting birds” have packed their bags and gone back North. Fortunately, we still have our “residents” that keep any trip out there interesting.

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) by Dan's Pix

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) by Dan’s Pix

One of my surprises was the lack of Wood Storks this trip. Usually there are plenty of them hanging out in the trees early in the morning. Never spotted a one, yet two days later in town we spotted one flying over. They are here, but just wanted to make themselves scarce that Friday.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Dans Pix

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Dans Pix

Another surprise was finding the American Bittern. We knew there were some out there, but kept missing them. This time I spotted one, whipped out my phone, and called Dan to bring his camera to my location while I kept the Bittern in view. He got one shot just as it had caught something.

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) imm by Dan's Pix

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) imm by Dan’s Pix

One of my favorite birds was an immature Little Blue Heron. When they are young, they are white instead of blue. As they mature, the become “blotchy” as the blue starts to come in. This one was right along the walk path and we were able to view it very well.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) with young

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) with young

We also found some Glossy and White Ibises, Tricolored Herons, Great Blue Heron, more Little Blue Herons, Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, Cattle Egrets, the American Bittern, Green Heron, Limpkins, Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Tufted Titmouce, Carolina Wren and maybe a House Wren, Red-bellied, Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers, Common Gallinules, American Coots, Black-bellied Whistlers with young ones, 3 sets of Sandhill Cranes with young, Red-shouldered Hawk (light phase), Anhingas and Double-crested Cormorants, Redwing Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles.

All in all it was a great morning to be out enjoying God’s Creation of birds and other critters. We also observed 4 young alligators about 2-3 feet long and a Black Racer about 4 feet long stretched out along some bushes.

See our other birdwatching trips to Circle B – Click Here

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