Our weather has cooled somewhat in recent days but today's forecast looked promising so I headed for Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland in our Vue. This is a former cattle ranch that has been converted into a nature preserve run by Polk County. I thought I'd pack up my camera gear and head that way for a little bird photography before the day was too far gone. It's about an hour drive to the preserve located at 4399 Winter Lake Rd in Lakeland. I arrived just before noon and managed to get a map of what Circle B Bar has to offer from the attendant on duty in the nature center. Admittance is absolutely free.
Parking is in a central hub of the reserve and from there visitors must either cycle or walk the trails around the ponds and lakes. I spent most of my time walking Eagle Roost, Heron Hideout and Wading Bird Way trails. There is a large eagle nest along Eagle Roost but even with my gear, I couldn't get close enough for a good photograph. I did see lots of wading birds and took almost 600 photos during the 4 hours I was there. This was my first visit to Circle B Bar Reserve and it definitely won't be my last visit. It was a bit of a chore hauling camera, lens, tripod and camera bag along the trails but it was certainly worth the sweaty brow. The sun came out regularly throughout the afternoon but there was also enough cloud cover to keep things cool. Today's photos were all taken using my Canon 1DX, 600mm II lens, 2X extender and Gitzo tripod.