'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, Ibis, nature, old dogs new tricks, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography


I saved this set of pictures from our trip to the B on the 7th. I was watching a glossy ibis in the shrubbery, a not so common site. And it was nearly at eye level, another uncommon reason to be paying attention. As I watched the white ibis flew in and landed in front of the glossy, which caused no alarm at all. They then proceeded to raise their wings in complete harmony with each other, and basically mirror each other’s movements as I watched in amazement. I stood there shooting bursts until I figured enough already, and as I turned my attention elsewhere they continued their dance in total harmony.

Whoa, where did she come from?
I watched in amazement, and thought how lucky I was for this series to land in my lap. So to speak.
They saw their audience, but didn’t seem to mind.
Maybe they thought this was their best side.
Nap time, perhaps.
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, bucket list, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

Back to ‘the B’…

We had such a fun day at the B a few weeks ago, but I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the painted buntings. On this trip we saw a cameraman sitting and watching, and sometimes shooting, in the garden area. I was pretty sure he was photographing buntings, but was afraid to approach for fear the trike would scare them off. It was right at the start of the day, and when I first get the trike out it seems to have a bit of a knock that goes away after a bit. But then he motioned us over and said that they weren’t shy at all.

They were on a lawn and in the shadows, and trying to will them into the sunshine just simply didn’t work. I had a harder time holding steady than usual too, and I could have gone back to the car for my tripod but that didn’t occur to me.
There were only a few of the zillion shots that were usable. I used my old Tamron 18-400 lens with the adapter, thinking I’d be ready for anything. Might have outsmarted myself.
The sweet little Mrs. was also present…
It was so nice to have these sandhill cranes posing so nicely for us. They were all over the neighborhoods in Spring Hill, but when I see them now they always seem to be along side a busy road. Even if there was a place to pull over I’d be afraid that my attentions might cause them to step into the road. So this was a treat.
They are beautiful birds, but their overall gray-ish color makes them blend into the roadside scenery sometimes. It can be startling as you are driving and you don’t notice them until they are very close.
Those noisy grackles seemed to be having a disagreement up in the tree top.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to the anhingas since they are always displaying their feathers like this. But I couldn’t ignore this one.
I now know where to look for the eagle nest, but it is too far away to get in closer than this.
A bit further up the trail we have the ‘big boy’ hangout. Huge alligators across a smallish stream and on the far bank sunning themselves. When I say huge I mean HUGE.
In this same area is this great blue heron nest. I couldn’t see any activity in the nest, but I didn’t watch for very long.
We spotted the windmill that day too.

We are so lucky to have this great place to go to see wildlife. And each time we go back we see different birds, and sometimes animals, and so we return again, and again.

a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Lookin’ up…

It’s hard not to take photos of the Great Blue Herons at Circle B, they are everywhere. And they preen themselves, or stand still and scan the water for lunch, right at the side of the trail. It’s like they don’t even notice us. But sometimes you have to look up to see them.

He seems very intent on something.
I do wonder what this is all about.
Serious hunting.
Anhinga in the tree. Drying its feathers. You can’t miss them either.
Note the sharp, pointed beak, with which he spears his lunch.
But sometimes the anhinga you thought you saw turns out to be a cormorant. Note the hooked beak.
See what I mean.
Just don’t forget to look down.
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Yesterday I had a comment or two about the ability of the new camera, a Canon r7 mirrorless camera, to take a huge number of shots in a burst. I usually have it set to do just that if I’m photographing birds, or wildlife at all really. Just in case something exciting happens. So let me explain that I feel hardly any responsibility for these photos I’m posting today. The feature photo is the first in a sequence of 10 photos that the camera took in less than a second. My contribution was to see the lighting and reflections, and I anticipated the Tri-color Heron would take off. I wanted the tracking in the camera to follow the bird, and it did. these are the 10 consecutive frames that it took. Makes me happy to think that my investment in this camera has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be. I used the r 100-400 lens, made for the mirrorless Canon cameras, and not expensive at all. Or as these things go.

The feature photo is the take off, this is frame #2.
Stretching his wings in frame #3.
Full wing extension in frame #4.
The dive for the prize in frame #5.
Putting the brakes on with his wings in #6,
#7, will he come up with lunch?
I thought/hoped he caught his prey, but apparently not. #8
Not this time, #9
And then he flew away, out of the nice light.

We spent the beginning of the walk looking into the morning sun. I didn’t bring my visor so it was tough. It was lucky that this sequence happened in such nice light. I will give lots of credit to luck, and that’s okay.

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The Gray Ghost…

There you have it, the inspiration for many a photographer to head to Circle B Bar Reserve. It’s a Northern Harrier, and I didn’t expect to see it at all. Or ever. We were on our last stretch of trail, which is wide open to see the sky in all directions, but our intention was to make it back to the car before the battery in the scooter gave out. But we forgot all about that when we saw this bird, circling in the distance. I zoomed my lens to the full 400mm, but in the bright light and at that distance I couldn’t see if it was in the frame or not. But I took the shots anyhow. I’ve seen photographers standing with their cameras on their tripods, just waiting, hoping to see him. If they did I’m sure they got better pictures than this, but for my circumstances I’ll take it.

This Pied-Billed Grebe was a first to see here also, but one visited my lake a few years ago.
You’ve heard of a bump on a log…
Heading out on this trail with all it’s roots may be what challenged the battery of the scooter, but now we know where to look for the eagles.
We never did figure out what this egret was so intent on, but we all passed by not 8 feet away and he didn’t even flinch.
Another photographer asked what bird this is, and I answered that it was a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Then she turned around and proved me right.

It was a fun day, but I crashed when I got home and sat down. It wasn’t a nap, I was done for the day. Now to check out some more of the 1334 pictures from yesterday. I was shooting in the fastest burst mode of the new camera, which is great if the bird takes off or something. But when they are still you just have the tiniest little eye blinks or head tilts to decide which is your best shot. But I’m not complaining.

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The Usual Suspects…

No, I didn’t see any painted buntings yesterday. I was at Circle B Bar Reserve later than usual and I think it may have been nap time for a lot of the usual suspects. It was a very nice day to be out however, so I enjoyed my day. Tomorrow I’ll probably see another photographer’s photo of a painted bunting taken on Friday, but that’s okay. One of these days it will be my turn.

Yes, there were quite a few anhingas, but not as many as usual.
I walked right past a bunny, so another photographer stopped me and pointed it out.
In my quest for a painted bunting I did spot a cardinal.
Ever lurking along the shore, and lots more of them out on the water in the distance.
It really is startling to be looking out at the scenery and find that someone is looking at you from 10 feet off shore.
Dragonflies are in the air, but never seem to land. So when this one landed on the path I took a picture, just because.
I wanted to see his face, so he landed on some vegetation and smiled.
A glossy ibis, sunning itself.
Wild pigs have not been common to see, and this one seems to have some babies tucked away somewhere.
This one finally lifted his head, taking a break from his snuffling.
I only saw one osprey, way off in the distance, but as usual enjoying his sushi for lunch.
I was looking around for birds and was startled when I turned to pay attention where I was walking and this raccoon was almost too close to get a shot. Much to the amusement of a couple on the path up ahead.
It seems to be a rule, when you get a chance to get a nice close up of a creature there is always a stray frond of grass waving through your shot. I tried to take it out in photo shop, but obviously I didn’t succeed.
This egret had the right of way.
This snowy egret’s eye color matches her golden slippers.
This handsome turtle seemed to be posing for me.
A tricolor heron again, but they are a favorite of mine and not seen every time I go out.
This is an example of the scenery as you look out on the lake along Alligator Alley.
According to signage this is a professional photography staging area. I hadn’t seen it before.
This is my last shot, and not the sharpest of all the shots I took but one of the few that showed any of this owl’s face at all.