Field Trip Schedule

FIELD TRIP SCHEDULE

Augusta-Aiken Audubon's field trips are open at no charge to all chapter members and the public. We encourage everyone to come out and join us! Some tips to make the trips more comfortable: bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended as is having raingear nearby.

Morning trips in fall and in spring usually begin at 8 a.m. and end around noon. Winter trips usually begin at 9:00 am and end around noon. Summer filed trips during the hot weather usually begin at 8 am and end around 11 am. Check this webpage and the newsletter for field trips that begin at different times.

For many of our fieldtrips we meet at Popeye's Resturant at the corner of Walton Way and the Gordon Highway (Hwy 1) in downtown Augusta.

Another site for field trips is the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Directions to the park can be found on the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy website at www.phinizyswamp.org .

The Brick Pond Park in North Augusta is another favorite fieldtrip venue.

From Augusta take the 13th street bridge to North Augusta. 13th Street becomes Georgia Avenue. Turn left at the light just beond the City of North Augusta Municipal Buildiing. Immediately turn left on Center Drive. Center Drive ends at Railroad Avenue. Turn left. Just before the Bridge, turn left on Brick Pond Park Road which leads to the parking lot.

From I-20 take the Matintown Road Exit. Drive South East on Martintown Road and turn right on Georgia Avenue. At the Cty of North Augusta Municipal Building turn right and turn left on Center Drive. From Center Drive follow the directions above.

Directions to other field trip venues can be found on the Local Birding Sites
page on this website.

If you have questions concerning a field trip, please contact the listed field trip leader.

Anne Waters can be contacted at: 706-793-2788.

Lois Stacey can be contacted at: croakie@comcast.net; 803-215-1594

September 17, SaturdayCrackerneck Wings and Things – Meet at the sign in at Crackerneck WMA at 8 am. (directions are on our webpage in the Local Birding Sites section). We will drive the area looking for birds, butterflies and dragonflies. Bring lunch or a snack as we will go into the afternoon. Trip should end by 4pm. Lois Leads.

September 24, SaturdayAiken State Park – For National Public Lands Day we will meet at the parking lot on the right just past the pay station (near the swimming pond) at 9am. In a change from past field trips we will walk the 2.2 mile Jungle Trail looking for fall migrants. This area may be buggy so bring spray, water and wear long sleeves and pants. Depending on time we may drive to a few other areas and check them out. Trip should end by 2pm. Lois leads.

October 1, SaturdayAiken County Migration Count – we will count all of the birds we can find in Aiken County. If you have a preassigned route feel free to start at whatever time you like. If you don’t have a route meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff at 7:30am. If you live in Aiken County and would like to count your feeder or yard please contact Lois at 803-215-1594 (or on Facebook). We will meet at the visitor’s center at 1pm for a BYO lunch.

October 15, SaturdayPhinizy Swamp Nature Park fall migration walk. This is a Phinizy Swamp trip and they may charge a small fee. We will walk the property looking for fall migrants.

October 22, SaturdayAugusta Canal – Meet at the park at Eisenhower Drive at 8am and we will walk part of the Canal Trail looking for migrants and arriving winter birds. Trip should end by noon. Lois leads.

October 29, SaturdayLover’s Lane – Meet at Popeye’s at the corner of Walton Way and Gordon Hwy at 8am to carpool. We will look for migrants and arriving winter residents. Trip should end by noon. Lois leads.

November 5, SaturdayAugusta Canal Authority event – don’t know details at this point. This is not an Augusta-Aiken Audubon event but I will be leading trips along the canal. I’ll update you when I get more info. Lois.

November 19, SaturdayMerry Ponds – Meet at Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 9am (NOTE TIME CHANGE). We will carpool and see what ducks have started to arrive (weather and roads willing). If roads are impassable we make go to an alternate location. There is a $4 charge to enter the property. Trip should end by noon. Lois leads.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

August 27, 2016. Lover's Lane

Eight people came out for a late summer trip to Lover’s Lane. It was overall a quiet day but we did have a lot of Mourning Doves. They love to hang out in the farm fields in this area. Along the road we had 5 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, most probably migrating through as hummingbird migration starts in August. These little birds will fly over the Gulf of Mexico to get to South America so they are very obvious as they forage to fatten up for their trip.

We ran into a couple of small, fast moving mixed flocks that included Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Red-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas and White-eyed Vireos. We saw one Black and White Warbler as well. These may be post-breeding dispersal flocks or early migrants. We also had two unidentifiable Epidonax flycatchers which are almost surely migrants. Come out and see what we can find next time. Lois Stacey

Fieldtrips for the Fiscal Year.

Every year our Chapter is required to give an outreach report to National Audubon which includes field trips. From July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 we had 33 field trips to 21 locations. Some locations included multiple birding sites. 273 people attended the trips and we saw 183 species.

Also, ebird has added profiles so you can now see how we are doing and see our most recent ebird lists. Our profile can be found at: http://ebird.org/ebird/profile/NDM2MDMy/US

September 10, 2016. Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

Well, that was a different field trip! Eleven of us explored the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve today on a beautiful not quite fall day. This was a wings and things trip which was a good thing as birds were nearly missing from the trip! However, we still saw lots of stuff and learned some more. There were a lot of plants blooming along the way and there were a lot of insects to see. We saw several active Gopher Tortoise burrows but we saw none of the animals.

Right after we started out we saw a Ceraunus Blue butterfly which turned out to be a new Aiken County record. In addition we saw quite a few Cloudless Sulphurs, Little Yellows and Sleepy Oranges. A few duskywings with at least one Zarucco Duskywing were seen as well as a number of Palamedes Swallowtails and a few other Sallowtails. We also visited the Long Cane side of the preserve where we saw a flying butterfly (a few people got quick looks but no pics when perched) that would have been an additional Aiken County record if we had gotten pics. Not bad for one field trip!

We also saw a lot of dragonflies. Amanda's Pennants were flying in several places. On the Long Cane side, where there is water, we hit paydirt. We saw a Seepage Dancer along the road as well as several Variable Dancers. There were also Spreadwings at the pond and everyone got good looks at all of these. There were a few Eastern Pondhawks around including one eating a Little Yellow dragonfly on Ken's shoulder! Carolina Saddlebags were everywhere but the best of the day was when John and Rhonda saw and photographed a Shining Clubtail. Unfortunately, it flew away before the rest of us could see it.

We also saw one very cool bee-mimic/cicada mimic Robber Fly and saw several Hanging Thief robber flies, one with prey.

Come with us next time and see what we can find! Lois Stacey

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