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.
July has been full of birds. We think our yard has never been as full of birds as this past month. A cake of suet lasts about a day and a half and we’re filling large feeders every 4 days. Catbirds are everywhere, and we are getting up at sunrise to beat them and the robins to our ripening figs.
Birds are still fledging, and some bird houses up and down the street and on the Nature Trail are hosting their third brood of this season. Two of the photos below, shot through our window, are of a baby catbird who wasn’t quite quite ready to fly and wound up in boxwood for a few hours. His parents continued to feed him and eventually he got his wings and left.
Gray Catbird in the blueberries
American Goldfinch on Agastache
Carolina Wrens – nature trail
Cooper’s Hawk right outside the door
Gray Catbird juvenile stranded in the boxwood
Gray Catbird feeding the stranded juvenile
Eastern Bluebird juvenile begging
House Finch gathering
American Goldfinch on Coneflower
What’s missing are butterflies and dragonflies. They were everywhere this time last year and this year we are seeing very few. Maybe the birds are eating the larvae. We are hoping that mosquito spraying is not involved in their disappearance.
It’s May and, as always in this month, there’s a lot going on. Pollinators are busy and some species of birds are raising a second brood. We’ve seen a few Hummingbirds, but they are still infrequent visitors to our blooms.
The neighbor across the street reports that the resident box turtle was seen hiking up their driveway. And one of the most interesting reports came from a neighbor on West Paces Ferry who sent us a photo taken in her yard of a Groundhog (aka Woodchuck or Whistlepig). She contacted Georgia DNR who confirmed it as a Groundhog saying that while it’s unusual for them to be this far south in Georgia, it’s not unheard of.
Native Bee on Agastache
Juvenile American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Native Bee on Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Brown Thrasher – Toxostoma rufum
Butterfly Weed (Milkweed)
Carolina Chickadee – Poecile carolinensis
Eastern BLuebird – Sialia sialis
Eastern Gray Squirrel crossing the street
Gray Catbird – Dumetella carolinensis
House Finch – Haemorhous mexicanus
Native Bee on Spotted Cranesbill (Native Geranium)
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinali
Summer Tanager – Piranga rubra Providence Canyon State Park
Our wildlife photos for December are mostly of birds. Of the 22 species shown below, some are migrants, some are winter residents and some are here year-round. With all the unseasonably warm weather there have been lots of ladybugs. We were unable to get a photo of our pal the opossum, but take it from us, he’s a handsome guy.
It’s been warmer today, but the bird feeders were about as busy as they get. Lots of House Finches, Goldfinches, and Northern Cardinals. Also present were Eastern Bluebirds, Brown-headed Nuthatches, White-breasted Nuthatches and Brown Thrashers.