My soul was beginning to experience the effects of not enough “beyond the backyard” beauty, so my daughter and I took a morning trek over to Cochran Shoals to walk the trails along the Chattahoochee River.
We saw daisies…
…and the mandatory Mallards…
But the highlight of the morning was seeing a bird that I have never encountered before – a Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
He was standing in the mud, a little ways off the Marsh Trail, and happened to move just enough to catch my attention. At first I thought he was a Blue Heron simply by the way he was standing and slowly stalking some hidden prey, but when I zoomed in with my camera I noticed that he had different face markings and a shorter beak.
No matter how hard I tried (and believe me, I tried!) it was impossible to get a clear picture of him amidst all the brush and branches. The best I could do was to balance my booty on a wooden rail and lean back, snapping pictures while I prayed to not fall in the mucky yuk.
When I got home, I looked him up in the field guide and was delighted to discover his true identity. Isn’t Yellow-crowned Night Heron a cool name? Sounds like some kind of super hero.
I wish I had been able to get a better picture of him, but now that I know where to find him, I will definitely be making a return trip. Besides, I’m sure my soul will be needing another dose of beauty soon.