Hot summer days in July are well known in Florida to produce summer thunderstorms every afternoon. If you want to get a good hike in you must start early in the morning. It just so happens that most of the wildlife can be seen in the morning as well!
It had been a terribly dry winter and spring in Central Florida and I was excited to see how the Reserve recovered with all the current rainfall. It did not take long to see the results of all the rain!
All of the culverts were rapidly draining water from one pond to others. There were many shorebirds, gators and other wildlife active and visible throughout the property. We even startled a crawfish crossing one of the paths! As far as you could see there was life exploding.
The rains also brought out the flowers and butterflies – Passion Flowers were blooming all around and there must have been no less than 10 varieties of butterflies. Marsh Rabbit run was closed due to nesting alligators but I wanted to walk to where it was blocked to see if I could spot a Purple Gallinule that I had seen in that area on my last visit. As I was looking through my binoculars trying to find them I was also on the lookout for gators. It was not till I put down the binoculars and looked down at the channel along side of the path that I realized there as a 12 foot gator no more than 8 ft from me almost completely hidden in the lush grasses. I politely excused myself and let the gator have her space (after grabbing 1 hurried photo).
We were greeted on the trail by a pair of Sand Hill Cranes that were not interested in moving out of our way so we circled around them and came upon a pair of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and a very cooperative Limpkin.
Out last trail of the day would be Alligator Alley and we found very large tracks where a gator had recently crossed over. there were many gators to be seen if the time was taken to look for them. There were also many Osprey and Squirrels. Out on the lake the wind was picking up and there were barely and alligators visible, and storm clouds were building so it was time to head back to the truck. Please with the many sightings for the day we arrived back just as the rains began to fall. A wonderful morning….and more rain. This is a Florida Summer!
For more information on Circle B Bar Reserve please visit: http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/circlebbarreserve.html
For a guided birding, photography or wildlife viewing trip please visit our website for contact information http://www.notaclueadventures.com
For additional photos from this trip : http://notaclueadventuresphotos.shutterfly.com/pictures/1230