Circle B Bar Preserve
4399 Winter Lake Rd., Lakeland, FL 33803
Dave Bruns will be leading the focus group!
Meet in parking lot on North side of Popi's Restaurant near Walmart on SR 70 & I-75 at 5:30 AM
Depart 5:45 AM sharp in car pools to arrive as close to sunrise as possible
Depart Circle B at 10:45 AM and stop to eat on way home
Return to Popi's parking lot around 1:30 PM
The Circle B Bar Reserve, on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock, is a former cattle ranch that today boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. You can see several distinct ecosystems in this reserve of 1,267 acres. The park offers a wide variety of nature and landscape photography. There are 9 well-maintained trails that range from .2 to 1.3 miles. A Nature Discovery Center has many hands on exhibits.
As you enter this property, you'll see large oaks with branches full of Spanish moss and resurrection ferns. The size of the oaks and the deep green of the resurrection fern after a rain often overshadow the value of this habitat to wildlife. The hammock provides shade and shelter to wildlife during the heat of the day, from insects to cavity nesters such as the great horned owl.
The most diverse wildlife areas are scattered seasonal freshwater marshes. These shallow wetlands harbor many insects and reptiles, which attract animals higher in the food chain, such as wading birds and alligators. Banana Creek Marsh area is composed of about 400 acres. Since earthwork restoration has been completed and some vegetation has been planted, new nesting and foraging sites for a variety of birds has been enhanced.The ongoing restoration in the Banana Creek Marsh has provided foraging and breeding areas for a number of species never recorded on the site before. In 2008, the Reserve was added to the Great Florida Birding Trail. Be on the lookout for alligators, eagles, osprey, red shouldered hawks, wild turkey, barred owls, wood storks, white ibis, sand hill cranes, moorhens, pied-billed grebes, black-necked stilts, red-bellied woodpeckers, bobwhite quails, eastern meadowlarks, Savannah sparrows, American kestrels, great blue herons, American white pelicans, sandpipers, spoonbills, great egrets, ducks and other waterfowl and wading birds. You might also see otters, bobcats, grey fox, armadillos, squirrels (gray and fox varieties), frogs, turtles, black racer snakes, five-lined race runner lizards and other reptiles. Many migratory birds can be found here in the winter months.
Circle B is the home of the famous Humpback alligator that drew worldwide attention. A video clip of a mammoth alligator sauntering across a grassy trail went viral and brought worldwide recognition. For more info on the park go to http://polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve#panel5
Subjects will be a variety of distance so bring any size lens you feel like carrying. Most people hand hold at this park, or use a monopod. Carrying a tripod is also an option.