Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bartow - Polk Co - with the Caloosa Bird Club

This past weekend I hit the road with my good friend Carol - we headed to Bartow to meet up with our Caloosa Bird Club to visit the Circle B Bar Reserve. This was my first time visiting and I'm already looking forward to return - what a great spot this was! Take a look and see what you think - I bet you will be heading there soon.
The entrance to Circle B Bar Reserve - I'm already feeling spiritually connected.

Isn't it dreamy? And it never ceases to amaze me how some portion of Florida makes you feel as if you've stepped elsewhere.

The Sora - true to its nature - was being very secretive.

A Red-winged Black bird - quite a few of them were on the reserve, they could be seen in numbers and heard throughout.

A Glossy Ibis - I never realized how much iridescent green was in its plumage.....very rich.

Another promising trail - one of many that I didn't get to set foot on....this place is huge!

Tricolored Heron, Glossy Ibis and Coots in the background. This place was like this everywhere we went....we saw multiple birds along the way while listening to the birds talking/singing. There wasn't a single minute during that trip that we didn't see something, just amazing.

A Glossy Ibis.

A Purple Gallinule (LB#211) - how gorgeous is that!

The Sora - another one.

Sweet! A Black-bellied Whistling Duck! They were there in numbers and could be heard whistling too. (see another blog down below for more images of the Black-bellied Whistling Duck).

The Limpkin too was everywhere - I love this bird.

Of course, we can't forget about the little guys that were above our many of them.

And there he was, in its glory ..... the Yellow-throated Warbler.

Another very special sighting for me (LB#212) a Fulvous Whistling Duck - apparently not very common because when I reported it to e-bird, it wanted more information and clarification.

Wow and more Wow! An Anhinga in its breeding plumage.

I'd love to have 'baby blues' like that, wouldn't you?

A Forster Tern. This surprised me because I tend to associate Terns and Gulls as being seen only by the ocean/bay side but apparently this Tern is commonly seen on open water and in marshes. I like its black eye-patch and orange legs.

The shadow in the grass is the actual size of the wingspan of the Sandhill Cranes - they were seen on several occasion flying in the distance and heard as well - I had hoped to catch them in a photo but apparently it wasn't meant to be. Look in the distance in the water - as far as the eyes could see ..... ducks, ducks and more ducks.....I was quacking with glee.

The very common Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Part of our group - seeking shade and the comfort of the benches in the screened in structure.

Tree Swallows were happily feeding on the fly....constantly in motion across the road - back and forth - over and over .... just amazing.

This gator was on the edge of the road watching us, probably as much as we watched him.

Look at all those trails for the taking - and we only used a small portion of it ..... so much to see and so little time.

Another beautiful Anhinga.

The Apple Snails - readily available for the Limpkin consumption.

When it was time to return to the parking area for our lunch, the group divided into two portion and we opted for the 1.5 mile trek back through the Oak filled trail.

An Orange tree was spotted - a burst of color - the fruit out of reach.

Several Warblers and Vireos were seen on the trek back - too fast and fleeting for me to capture them except for this Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher which landed a few feet away from me, I took the time to watch him gather up its breath and soon after he flew away.

 Over 70 species were seen on that day - what a hoot this was. I highly recommend this place for a visit.
These photos and all the photos within my blog were taken with my bridge camera - the Canon SX50 and I'd like to take this time to thank Lillian Stokes for introducing me to this camera during one of her bird identification talk at Ding Darling last winter. This lecture as well as Lillian's knowledge and enthusiasm - opened the door for me to grow in ways that I had never envisioned ... this has helped me to identify the birds that I see on the field and further lead me to writing this blog which has been very gratifying ..... and for that I am truly grateful.


  1. Loved your summary of our day. Great photos. I didn't pay attention to what camera you were using and am curious about that. Keep posting!

    1. Thanks Dotty. The Canon SX50 is the one that I use and I am very satisfied.

  2. Wonderful post. Wish I'd been there....:)

  3. Thank you. Definitely a 'go to' place and worth the trip.

  4. What a great place for birding. Beautiful birds and wonderful photos. Enjoy your day and happy birding!

  5. What a beautiful post about one of my most favorite birding trips. It was made even more special traveling with you. I'm ready to go back soon.