Morning Marsh Adventure (The First Hour)

Literature is littered with deep and thought provoking opinions and imaginative poetry and long novels about pleasure.  What is more stimulating:  the expectation of pleasure, the moment of the pleasurable experience or the fond recollection of pleasure?  I’m not smart enough to know the answer, but I know what I like.  When it comes to a day in the marsh, I am stimulated by all of the above.

The morning was cool and the sky was mostly clear with a few wispy clouds here and there.  It was a little before dawn and already the eastern sky was starting to glow with the aura of a new day.  On Friday we returned to the Circle B Bar Reserve and it felt like a visit to an old friend.  They left the gate open for us and I eased down the drive which was covered by the canopy of hundred-year old oak trees draped in Spanish moss.

(If you plan to visit, see the “Additional Resources” section for a link which will provide a trail map.  Also, see previous posts about the reserve here:  A Walk In The Marsh, Lakeside, Autumn Motivation.)

As we parked the truck and walked from the parking lot, the full moon shone brightly through the tree branches and moss to light our path.  A Northern Cardinal chirped in the brush to the right and a gray squirrel scampered across the path in front of us.  The day is beginning and we’re glad you’re with us!  Hope you brought some water to drink.

Moon

Moon

 

The cries of Limpkins filled the air.  It’s an eerie, primeval sound which is totally in character for this bird which looks like some sort of prehistoric Kiwi.  (Listen here:  Limpkin Call.)  This odd fellow likes to perch in trees and they feed on Apple Snails, which are abundant in this area.

Limpkin

Limpkin

Limpkin

Limpkin

 

Sunrise provides warm light across the water, trees, marsh and a multitude of creatures which are beginning to stir.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Anhinga, Double-crested Cormorant

Anhinga, Double-crested Cormorant

 

Another sound pervasive throughout the marsh is the trumpeting of Sandhill Cranes.  Many are residents throughout the year but there are also many winter visitors.  We have found a sort of “fly-way” from Lake Hancock to the marsh and birds are starting to transit between both areas in their never ending search for food.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Wood Stork

Wood Stork

 

Looking across the marsh, it’s easy to see why so many birds are attracted to this area.  Plenty of water, mud, weeds, insects and trees.  A great place to raise a family.  I spotted half a dozen families of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, always with Mom and Dad on guard and the chicks between them.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Great Egret

Great Egret

We’ve been here over an hour but it seems like we just arrived!  There is so much to take in that it’s overwhelming.  It’s time for a short water break as we enjoy another view of the marsh in the morning.

Marsh View

Marsh View

The next hour of our adventure will resume shortly.  We hope you’ll join us!

 

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit.

 

Additional Resources:

Circle B Bar Reserve

Categories: Birds, Florida, Photography, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Post navigation

9 thoughts on “Morning Marsh Adventure (The First Hour)

  1. Thank you for the birdcall soundfiles. I suspect I’ll be referring to your blog whenever I hear something I can’t identify.

  2. Great post Wally! I’ve only been to Circle B once, but I loved it there. I love the photo with the trees loaded with Cormorants and Anhingas; it is beautiful!

    • It’s an addictive sort of place! And only 15 minutes from the house. Hard to resist! I caught the birds as they were just waking up.

  3. Appreciate the link to the limpkin sound. That moss-draped tree he was sitting in is a good visual match. . The sandhill crane’s face colors are beautiful. I’ve never seen one before. The wood stork in flight is simply beautiful. And the moon. . . . wow.

    • Wish you had been there, Sister! That sound was just like that all morning! Plus a lot more – check out the “Crane Quartet” coming up later.

  4. TexWisGirl

    the sandhill in flight with the moon in the background is awesome! such pretty views throughout. i ADORE black-bellied whistling ducks. so neat to see the young ones at this late time of the year in your area!

We value your Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: