Brown-Headed Nuthatch and the Atlanta scene

January 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm (Atlanta, Birds - Georgia, Photography) (, , , )

Brown-headed Nuthatch, Atlanta

I haven’t been birding since I arrived in Atlanta two months ago.  I’ve seen (and heard singing) Carolina wrens, American robins, song sparrows, and a fleeting hawk in my neighborhood, along with juncos, house sparrows and pigeons.  So I made a sightseeing trip north along Peachtree Street, aiming for the Chattahoochee River.

First stop, Starbucks to use a gift card, then Barnes and Noble to check out picture books on Atlanta (nothing very artsy – perhaps a future project?), and to familiarize myself with the area.  Finally I arrived at one of the riverside parks run by the city of Roswell, GA.   I had plans to visit the High Museum of Art during their “Pay as you wish” day in honor of MLK’s birthday.  I wanted to be there around noon, so I didn’t make it all the way to the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  But I did have a nice flurry of birds once a Carolina wren took exception to my proximity to its foraging place under an upturned canoe on shore, and created such a ruckus that other birds came to check it out.

My favorite sighting  was the brown-headed nuthatch.  At first I couldn’t identify the calls, since they are nothing like the toy horn noises of the red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches I know from living in Maine.  Then one posed right in front of me, and it was the best image of the day.

Carolina Wren

I opted out of the High Museum once I saw the looooonnnngggg line (an hour wait) and went to the nearby Tap pub for lunch – a lump crab cake with fried egg and bernaise sauce.  It was the best, very very best, crab cake I’ve ever had.  First of all, it was full of actual crab meat instead of bread crumbs.  Second, it wasn’t Maryland crab which has a metallic taste, but probably Southern crab, which is sweet.  And it was spiced wonderfully.

I went to check out the museum line and it was longer than before.  Many families took advantage of the chance to see the Picasso-Warhol exhibit from the Museum of Modern Art without dropping a $100 bill, so I decided $18 wasn’t such a bad deal on another day when the museum wouldn’t be crowded and there would be no wait.   I saw nicely dressed folk going into the adjacent Alliance Theatre and followed.  I was just in time to see the play God of Carnage, a Tony-award winning play starring four actors, most of whom have had parts in movies and TV.  It was about two families trying to come to terms with their sons’ playground fight – both funny and pathetic.

Then after walking around Midtown taking pictures, I had dinner at the Landmark Diner in Buckhead – which is decked out in shiny aluminum and neon in the style of old.  The mahi-mahi special was surprisingly excellent, with a citrus sauce delicate enough to complement the fish without overpowering it.  Fresh squash, homemade mashed potatoes, an appetizer (fried artichoke hearts) and dessert (huge tiramisu cake with lady fingers) – all for $15.99.  And enough left for dinner the next day.

The photograph will need to wait til an early morning when there aren’t tons of cars parked in front.  Reminds me of photographing Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, Maine – aiming for the slow hours to avoid the parked cars.

I’ll end this post with two more bird pix.

American Goldfinch, winter plumage

I had many goldfinches at my feeders in Maine – year-round.  I also had a pair of eastern bluebirds that nested in my bird box, and several pair of cardinals in the neighborhood.  Below is one of each – male bluebie and female cardinal.

Photos taken with Nikon D-80 and zoom lens

All images copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

See other bird photographs in my Smugmug gallery



  1. Bob Zeller said,

    Boy, you sure nailed that Brown-headed Nuthatch. Wonderful. Will you be going back to Mesa Verde? 🙂

  2. Cindy McIntyre said,

    I won’t return to Mesa Verde, though Colorado was gorgeous. I have a great job and superb supervisors here in Atlanta, so I’m hoping to stay awhile.

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