Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland, FL - 29 Dec 2010
perched atop the antenna across the street and overlooking the drainage pond. A Northern Mockingbird was perched nearby and raising bloody hell with the bird that was encroaching on its territory.
After getting some wonderful digiscoped images of the hawk, we headed off to the reserve. Upon our arrival there I immediately heard the 'zeeb-zeeb' of a Clay-colored Sparrow near the entrance. The parking lot was abuzz w/ the calls of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Red-shouldered Hawks, and the loud chip notes of Palm Warblers.
Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Wood Storks, and the stray Roseate Spoonbill. Small flocks of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were scattered all over. Numbers were up from last year, when the birds began to arrive regularly as a result of the temporary hunting ban at the reserve. I spent a few minutes trying to get some digiscoped images before heading on. A Northern Harrier floated effortlessly just a foot above the water, passing over oblivious coots and Canada Geese swimming below, before settling down on a small island and scattering a half-dozen Least Sandpipers.
Wood Storks, Double-crested Cormorants, flocks of American Crow, and 1/2-mile long strings of American White Pelicans that moved like a ribbon being dragged behind an airplane. A Bald Eagle soared among the Turkey Vulture kettles and passed in front of a crescent moon that was still in view this late in the morning.
scanned the drying marsh ahead of us we finally spotted a bird moving slowly through the thick underbrush. I set up the scope and waited for the bittern to move into the open so that I could get some digiscoped images from about 30' away. The gorgeous bird paused for minutes at a time before moving on, disappearing from view when we got distracted by other nearby birds. At one point I was digiscoping the American Bittern while hearing a pair of Barred Owls across the marsh conversing to each other, a pair of bugling Sandhill Cranes, and several pairs of Red-shoulded Hawks screaming as they soared above the open fields.
Turkey Vultures, Anhingas, and small groups of Blue-winged Teal that swam in the canal to my left.
At one point I came upon a small flock of Palm Warblers working the trees to my right. Among them was a single Prairie Warbler that provided only a few brief open views before it disappeared from sight. As I looked for the bird a Blue-headed Vireo popped into view and provided a few nice portrait images before it flew off.
working down along the trunk of a tree much like like a White-breasted Nuthatch.
Wilson's Snipe was foraging alongside the ditch, but it was moving away and not providing very good views. Returning to the car I could only wish I had more time here today. This place was crazy with birds, and I could only hit it for a few hours.