August has passed, and birds are beginning to head south. Groups of migrating American Robins are beginning to appear on lawns. There was another report of the groundhog from the north end of the neighborhood and twice we’ve caught a glimpse of a groundhog-size critter disappearing into the grass on the Nature Trail. Also, we were lucky a few days ago to have a rare daylight visit from one of our resident possums.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Champion Tulip Poplar – Liriodendron tulipifera
juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
A newsletter from the South Fork Conservancy reports that Atlanta Audubon has documented over 75 species of birds on the South Fork of Peachtree Creek! It’s just off Lindbergh, very close to us, and you can go on a guided bird tour of the trail this Saturday, September 3. Atlanta Audubon has more information on their Field Trips page. You’ll need to scroll down to the calendar and click on the “The Confluence” under September 3rd. If you want to join them, they ask that you RSVP.
Two days ago our friend Cindy (one of our bird ID experts) sent an email with these terrific photos of two Barred Owls taken in her back yard in a Sandy Springs subdivision. She was generous enough to let us post the pictures along with her story which follows.
“My husband & I live in the southern Roswell neighborhood of Northcliff, near the Chattahoochee River. It’s a heavily forested, residential area with people & dogs walking, biking, running & playing in the river. Wildlife is abundant in the area, but setting up a couple of bird feeders & bird baths [has helped] to bring the critters closer to you for observation.”
“Two owls sometimes visit our backyard late in the afternoon or early evening while I water plants & clean birdbaths. They usually perch on a low tree branch to watch me as a handful of brave chickadees brazenly scold the much larger owls. We are thankful to get to observe these owl friends from time to time — especially in our own backyard.”
“I am a 4th generation Atlanta native & my background is in education & environmental science. My love of nature & the outdoors was influenced by my grandparents, who maintained a backyard organic garden for decades, long before ‘organic’ was cool. As a child, I cherished visiting them — watching birds & playing with worms, skinks & garter snakes while doing our outdoor chores.”
We have Barred Owls in Peachtree Park, but we haven’t been as successful as Cindy getting a picture. However, we were able to record them calling in our back yard – check out our post title Who Cooks for You? from September.
We first met Cindy when she came to certify our yard as a wildlife sanctuary with the Atlanta Audubon Society. It was fun and Cindy taught us a lot emphasizing these key attributes: “items like a water feature (birdbath), native plants that provide food, places for wildlife to hide (like brush piles or shrubby area) & places for wildlife to nest & raise young.”
Join the fun and let’s get some more yards certified in Peachtree Park!