Chattahoochee River Birds

February 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm (Atlanta, Birds - Georgia, National Parks, Photography, Wildlife) (, )

Carolina chickadee singing

Living in the city, I get cabin fever sometimes and need a “nature fix.”  In a half hour I can be in a lovely forest setting along the Chattahoochee River, a National Park recreation area. Yesterday morning I visited the Island Ford portion and saw a cluster of bird activity before I’d even walked away from the car – a brown-headed nuthatch chipping out a nesting hole, a white-breasted nuthatch exploring a hole in the street light, a male ruby-crowned kinglet singing and flashing his very red crown, and a red-headed woodpecker alighting on a tall trunk.  

Brown-headed Nuthatch making nest hole in parking lot

It’s a great trout stream and one of the southernmost reaches of this cold-water fish.  The river is stocked, and it’s kept cold because water is drawn from the dam at Lake Lanier from the bottom, meaning the temperatures even in summer might not even reach 60 degrees.

Fly fishing on the Chattahoochee at Island Ford

It’s also one of the national park sites that allow dogs, so I got to meet many friendly pooches and their people.

This black lab carries a big stick

I also saw the leucistic red-tailed hawk that lives in the area.  That means it’s not an albino with pink eyes, but it’s nearly so.  It still has some black feather tips and dark eyes.

Leucistic Red-tailed Hawk

The recreation area spans 48 miles of the river itself, and more than a dozen parks along shore.  Enjoy the mid-winter views!

Male cardinal and early greens

Eastern Bluebird male

An early bloomer

Brown Creeper

Red-headed Woodpecker

Riffles on the rocks

Copyright Cindy McIntyre 2012

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