Cool or Creepy?

My daughter and I ventured out this morning for a stroll along the Chattahoochee River.  We discovered a beautiful park on the outskirts of Atlanta, about a half hour from our house.  Most of the people there were garbed in exercise apparel, intent on getting in a good work out; we showed up with cameras slung around our necks, ready for a bit of carefree exploration.

We snapped several pictures of turtles, ducks, and geese, but these fellows really captured our attention.

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There were 6 or 7 of these large birds perched on tree limbs, sunning themselves.  Occasionally, one would dive down to the river and return with a fish. As we were watching, we kept hearing a splashing sound in the water, which we initially assumed was the sound of fish jumping.  Turns out, it was the sound of these birds pooping!  (Sorry, couldn’t think of a nicer way to say that!)  And let me tell you, they poop a lot!

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When we got home, we looked them up in our guide book and found out they are Double-crested Cormorants – a name which literally means “Sea Crows.”  I still can’t decide whether they are cool or creepy, so let’s just say they are creepy in the coolest kind of way.

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We also saw this handsome Red-headed woodpecker perched high above us.  I tried my best to persuade him to come home with me and hang out in my backyard, but he seemed quite pleased with his current accomodations.

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By the way, the trail we walked is called “Cochran Shoals” – in case you’re ever in the Atlanta area and want to check it out.  We have already added it to our list of favorite places.