Augusta-Aiken Audubon July, 2019<u> Newsletter


	July, 2019                        Gene Howard, Editor,
	Volume 48, No. 4                 genehoward38@gmail.com
     

JULY MEETING: The Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society will meet on July 11, 2019 at 7:00 PM. . The meeting location is the North Augusta Community Center, located at 495 Brookside Ave. in North Augusta, SC. The public is invited to all meetings, programs, and field trips sponsored by Augusta-Aiken Audubon.

Program: Jen McCarthey will present: VULTURES, REVERED AND REVILED. Vultures have played roles of cultural significance around the world and they play an even bigger role in our ecosystem and health. Learn about what makes them so valuable on an economic and ecological scale.

Jen McCarthey Tyrrell is the Bird Friendly Communities Coordinator with Audubon South Carolina and has worked with vultures in captivity and in the wild since 2000. Her passion and appreciation for the under-appreciated vulture comes from years of hands on experience and educational work.

NEWSLETTER

THIS IS THE LAST ISSUE OF THE NEWSLETTER. Due to repetition of information, the Board of Directors of the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society has decided to discontinue the bimonthly chapter newsletter. All information included in the newsletters can be found on the Chapter website (www.augustaaikenaudubon.org) and the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Group on Facebook.

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FIELD TRIPS

Trucks are running at Merry – please be aware if you bird Lover’s Lane or Merry Brickyard Ponds that heavy trucks are again running the roads there. These are private roads owned by the Meridian Brick Company and the working trucks have the right of way. Please park well to the side of the road and step to the edge when you see these trucks coming. The trucks are driving more slowly than they used to as well. I believe the new route is from the far end of Lover’s Lane at the turn to the creek all the way back down to the access road just below the dig on Foster’s Road, across Boat Ramp Rd, down Haul Road and the paved road to the plant. Lois Stacey.

July 6, SaturdayAugusta/Aiken Butterfly Count. We will have two groups, one starts the day at 9am at Phinizy, the other starts at 9am at Silver Bluff Audubon Center. Both groups will count butterflies at various locations in their area. The Phinizy group will eat lunch at Wendy’s, the Silver Bluff group should bring your own lunch. The counts will be compiled and turned into NABA and will be available nationally. Even if you can’t identify butterflies, all eyes are welcome. Come out and help us find them.

July 27, SaturdaySavannah National Wildlife Refuge – Meet at the Laurel Hill Drive at 8:30 am. We will drive the area looking for waders, Purple Gallinules, Least Bitterns and Swallow-tailed Kites as well as anything else we can find. Bring a lunch and we will eat along the way. Bring insect repellent and sunscreen as well, it may be buggy and hot. If we finish early enough we may drive down to Harris Neck NWR (about an hour’s drive) and look for waders there as well.

August 3, Saturday Phinizy Waders – this is a Phinizy Swamp NP event and there will be a charge. Join us for our annual drive through the park looking for post-dispersal Waders and other summer birds. This is the best time of year for Tri-colored Herons at the park and it is a great way to get into the back parts of the park during the heat of summer. Meet at the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am to carpool.

August 10, Saturday Silver Bluff Audubon Center – Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at 8am. We will walk around the ponds looking for Wood Storks and other waders and if time allows we may continue elsewhere in the park.

September 7, Saturday – Augusta-Aiken Audubon will join the Carolina Butterfly Society in a Butterfly Walk at Crackerneck WMA. Meet at the Crackerneck entrance gate at 9:30 and bring your lunch. We will spend the day looking around the property for butterfly species such as Appalachian Brown and Intricate Satyr as well as more common species.

Lois Stacey North Augusta, SC

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area Wings and Things. May 25, 2019.

Well, not the weather we were expecting when the trip was planned but what a great trip! We started the day with six adults and two children and Wade caught up to us later. There were a lot of birds singing which was surprising considering the temps. We ended up with a total of 40 species including Bachman's Sparrow and Northern Bobwhite. A couple of single Turkeys were also seen crossing roads. White-eyed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos and Yellow-throated vireos were all singing and Indigo Buntings were everywhere. There were a few Yellow-bellied Chats and Summer Tanagers around and we had 4 species of woodpeckers too. On the way out we found an Ovenbird in almost exactly the same spot we had one a few years ago.

This was also a Wings and Things trip and we saw lots of things! We walked back to a little vernal pond and had quite a few species of dragonflies in this very small pond. There was a tandem pair of Spot-winged Gliders ovipositing and a Wandering Glider in the same area for great comparison looks. Most amazing were two Roseate Skimmers! We just don't expect this species until later in the summer. There were also thousands of baby frogs/toads there. There were tadpoles in the water but I think these guys must have very recently exited that stage as they weren't much bigger than ants but you couldn't walk without stepping on them.

Along the road we had lots of butterflies too. The kids got good looks at an American Lady and we saw Tiger Swallowtails and Horace's Duskywings all over the place. For some reason though the nectar sources that used to be along the road are all gone.

Among other things we saw were a number of deer crossing the road and a Fox Squirrel in the trees. There were whirligig beetles in the little pond too. We drove around Skin Face Pond and had more dragonflies both along the pond edge and in the back where it's swampy. This area was where we found Bar-winged Skimmers which is a species that is habitat specific so we don't see them often.

We quit about 1pm and the temp was already 97. In addition to the 40 species of birds we had at least 17 species of butterfly and 18 species of dragonfly with Debo finding an additional species after we split up. Lois Stacey.

Lover's Lane. June 15, 2019.

What wonderful weather for a June field trip! Usually we are melting on our June trip to Lover’s Lane but this time we enjoyed lovely cool(ish) temps.

We started the trip mostly at the intersection of Lover’s Lane and Columbia Nitrogen Roads. There was lots of bird song as we walked along the road. We were greeted by at least 2, possibly 3 Orchard Orioles and we managed to see one of them in the very top of a tree. There was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the vicinity of the intersection, they have nested in that area for several years. We didn’t see a nest and it wasn’t carrying food, but it is probably nesting in the area again.

We drove a little further and found about 40 or so Cliff Swallows on the wire. Indigo and Painted Buntings were also on wires here and there. There were a number of White-eyed Vireos singing and we got quick glimpses of several of them. The best bird of the trip was a Swainson’s Warbler down in the swamp. He was very territorial and we may have heard a second (and possibly third) bird. There is plenty of water down there and the vegetation is thick. Maybe they have returned to the area permanently.

When we got to the creek crossing, we found a Silvery Checkerspot butterfly. This is one of few known locations along the Savannah for the species and we thought they might have been mowed out of existence. It was nice to know they were still there. We had a report from another birder of multiple Yellow-crowned Night Herons flying back and forth over the levee so we drove down to the Butler Creek Bridge but we didn’t find any. We did have a few Little Blue Herons and a Red-shouldered Hawk though. We ended the day with 44 species. Lois Stacey.

Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society
4542 Silver Bluff Rd.
Jackson, SC 29831
Phone: 803-471-0291
Email: augustaaikenaudubon@gmail.com

President: Brandon Heitkamp
Vice President: Lois Stacey
Secretary: Mary Pallon
Treasurer: Gerald May

AAAS Web Site: www.augustaaikenaudubon.org/

Prothonotary Warbler
(Gene Howard)