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Sun Feb 5, 2012, 03:09 AM

A good birding site - Lakeland, Florida, Circle B Bar Reserve

There is a relatively new place, the Circle B Bar Reserve just south of Lakeland, off US 98 on SR 540.

From the county information about the reserve:
Named after a cattle ranch that once existed on this property, Circle B Bar Reserve was jointly acquired by the Polk County Environmental Lands Program and the District to protect the floodplain of the lake and to restore the Banana Creek marsh system. The property is maintained by Polk County. Much of the property had previously been converted to pasture, but in 2005 and 2006, restoration projects were completed to restore much of the original hydrologic function of the lands. As a result of the marsh system restoration project, Circle B is now home to some of the most impressive bird activity on District property. The tremendous bird population includes a variety of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles. Alligators inhabit Lake Hancock and may be observed at a distance from shore or from a pier. Oak hammock, freshwater marsh, hardwood swamp and the lakeshore are among the unique characteristics of this property.


We've been a few times while visiting my parents who live in the area and the variety of birds is amazing. Osprey, wood stork, American egret, snowy egret, Great and little blue herons, limpkins, moorhen, purple gallinue, turkey, pelicans, blue wing teal ducks, wild turkeys, black ring neck duck, red shoulder hawks, coots, sora, glossy ibis, anhinga, cormorants - and that is just what we saw last Saturday in less than two hours!

Videos of the reserve:

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