The count area included well-known green spaces such as Piedmont, Centennial Olympic and Gresham city parks. On the north side, a group trekked through a lush hardwood forest surrounding Atlanta’s water intake on the Chattahoochee River. On the south side, birders walked a long stretch of the PATH Foundation’s South River Trail, combed the relatively new Constitution Lakes park off Moreland Avenue and ventured onto the grounds of the old, long-abandoned Atlanta Prison Farm.
“I didn’t know a lot of these places even existed,” said Charlie Haynes, a group leader who lives in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood.
In all, we tallied 84 species — a “resounding success,” Carter declared. Among the highlights: high-flying flocks of sand hill cranes; several redheaded woodpeckers, brown creepers, purple finches, pine warblers, pine siskins, red-tailed hawks and red-shouldered hawks; three American woodcocks; wood ducks; hooded mergansers and a green winged teal.
“Are there birds in the concrete and asphalt of Atlanta? The answer is ‘yes,’ ” Carter said.
IN THE SKY: The moon will be new on Jan. 11, said David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer. Venus rises out of the east about an hour before sunrise and appears near the moon Wednesday morning. Mars is low in the southwest just after dark and sets a few hours later. Jupiter rises out of the east about an hour before sunset. Saturn rises out of the east about midnight and will appear near the moon Saturday night.