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.

Lois Stacey can be contacted at: birdercroakie@gmail.com; 803-215-1594

FIELD TRIPS

August 12, Saturday- Lover's Lane. Meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Hwy and Walton Way at 8am. We will carpool to Lover's Lane to look for post breeding birds. Field trip should end by noon.

August 19, Saturday - Phinizy Waders. Join us for Phinizy Swamp Nature Park's summer waders field trip. Meet at the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am. We will drive around the park looking for post-breeding disposal birds. We often get Tri-colored Heron during this trip and we never know what else might show up. This is a Phinizy Swamp trip and there is usually a small charge for non-members of Phinizy.

September 9, Saturday - Crackerneck. Meet at the sign in area at Crackerneck WMA (directions on our Birding Sites page) at 8am. We will drive along the powerline and possibly other areas looking for birds and bugs. Field trip should end by 1pm.

September 15, FRIDAY - Aiken Gopher Tortoise HP near Windsor. Meet at 9am on the at the Long Cane Rd parking area. This is a small parking area on Long Cane Rd near the intersection of Centerwood Rd. The approximate gps coordinates are 33.488456, -81.439512. Directions are from Highway 78 in Windsor turn onto Spring Branch Rd which will become Windsor Rd. Take Windsor to Centerwood Rd and turn right. Just past Spring Branch Baptist Church turn left onto Long Cane Rd. The parking area will be on the left.

NOTE: This is a change from the previously scheduled field trip to the YUCHI WMA in Burke county.

September 23, SaturdayLover’s Lane. Meet at the Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8am to carpool. Migration should be starting. Trip ends by noon.

October 7Fall Migration Count. We will count all of the birds we see or hear in Aiken County. If you do not have a pre-assigned territory you can meet us at Silver Bluff’s Kathwood Ponds at 7:30am to join up into groups to bird the property. If you have a place in Aiken County you would like to bird just let me know and we’ll work it out. If you would like to count your feeders that is also an option. Please let Lois Stacey know if you plan to help in any capacity! Please keep track of distance driven and walked as well as time spent birding and turn that plus your bird list in to Lois Stacey or Paul Koehler.

October 8, SUNDAY- Join Augusta-Aiken Audubon and Phinizy Swamp NP for our first Big Sit. We will have an area near the Raingarden Pond at Phinizy where we will spend the day counting all of the birds that we see or hear. The Big Sit has been a national event for a number of years, more information on rules and such can be found HERE We will be there all day, but you can stop by and spend as much or as little time as you like with us.

October 14, SaturdayPhinizy Swamp NP Fall Migration Walk – this is a Phinizy event. We will walk the property looking for fall migrants. Phinizy is a great location for birding and we often find rarities here. We will walk the approximately 2.5 mile Phinizy Loop. Meet in the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am. Trip should end by 1pm.

October 21-22, Saturday and SundayJekyll Island! This is one of the premiere birding locations on the Georgia coast. We will meet at the Jekyll Island Visitor’s Center Saturday Oct 21 at 7:30 am to carpool onto Jekyll Island. There is a $6 per car parking fee to get on the island. Over the course of the day we will bird along the Jekyll Island Causeway, the Jekyll Visitor Center Overlook, South Beach, the area around the 4H center and Soccer Fields, the Marsh Boardwalk and Clam Creek (or as much of it as we can get to). We will also visit the Jekyll Island Banding Station for a while to see how birds are banded and get to see these tiny wonders in hand! Some of you might even be enlisted to help for a short time at the station. Bring a lunch and we may eat at the Visitor’s Center and watch the marsh at the same time. This trip will last all day.

On Sunday Oct 22, we will bird Gould’s Inlet on St. Simon’s Island. We will meet at the Coast Guard East Beach location on St. Simon’s Island at 8am. We should have an incoming tide which will push the birds up the beach toward us. We will walk down the beach looking for shorebirds and Reddish Egrets which are very regular at this location. At about noon we will all head home.

November 4, SaturdayLover’s Lane. Meet at the Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway to carpool at 8am. We will look for arriving winter residents such as sparrows and thrushes as well as any migrants that are still coming through. Trip should last until about noon.

November 10 – FRIDAY! - Meet at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am to walk the loop and look for arriving winter waterfowl and other residents. The loop trail is approximately 2.5 miles. Trip will end about noon.

November 18, SaturdayMerry Brother’s paved road – Meet at Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. We will drive and walk the paved road looking for waterfowl and woodland birds. This can be a very productive route. If time allows (and road conditions are good) we will drive in and look for ducks in some of the other ponds. There is a $4 per person charge to enter the property. Trip will end about noon.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

June 2, 2017 Lover's Lane, Levee

Four of us spent a lovely morning having birding adventures on Lover's Lane/Augusta Levee. We are fully into breeding season now so birds are busy feeding babies and are not singing as much but we had some really good interactions with some of these busy parents. We had 39 species today which isn't bad for this time of year.

We started the day at Popeye's and watched a very irate Eastern Kingbird attacking a Fish Crow. Every time that crow came through the parking lot to get to the dumpsters the kingbird would come out and attack it. At one point they were claw to claw. It was awesome to watch just feet over our heads.

We drove over to Lover's Lane and had the Loggerhead Shrike on territory but we've still only seen one, I don't know if they are breeding there or not. At the Y we heard an Orchard Oriole singing. Over the course of the day we saw several, and heard more, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, several carrying food. One was near the area where we had a pair last year. Further down the road we heard a baby bird and had another cuckoo coming out of the area the sound seemed to be coming from but we were unable to find a nest.

As we walked down Lover's Lane we had a very, very unconcerned Prothonotary Warbler working the roadside bushes, apparently looking for food, possibly for babies. The bird continued in the open for 10 or more minutes just feet from us before heading deeper into the brush.

Near the swamp we kept hearing a strange call in the bushes and finally we saw them...one very young fledgling White-eyed Vireo calling and begging ts parent who also flew into the bush and was interacting with the baby.

It was getting hot and the birds were settling down but we did have one kettle flying over that contained two Turkey Vultures, two Black Vultures, Two Anhingas and a Mississippi Kite all soaring high overhead. Quite a mixed group!

Come out with us next time and see what kind of adventures we can have. Lois Stacey.

June 24, 2017. Dilane WMA "Wings and Things."

To paraphrase a famous movie..."The woods were alive with the sound of bird song..." Three of us went on the summer Dilane WMA trip today and we had a great day! Dilane is managed for Bobwhite Quail and they are doing an awesome job. By managing for quail they are also providing habitat for many other species including Field Sparrows and we had plenty of both today! We heard multiple birds at several stops, some quite close to us but we never did see any.

There were also Field Sparrows everywhere we went and we did finally get to see some of them. We also saw a probable young Bachman's Sparrow. At one point Mark saw a bird soaring over the trees and disappear only to come over the trees a little further down to provide fantastic looks at a Swallow-tailed Kite!

Eastern Kingbirds, Summer Tanagers, Towhees and the other regular denizens of Pine Woodlands were everywhere. We even had a pair of Common Ground-doves that just did not want to get out of the road, and when they finally did get out of the road perched nicely in a little dead tree. We had a total for the trip of 55 species, not bad at all for June!

This was a wings-and-things trip and so we looked at a few other things. We had a number of summer butterflies including the first Gulf Fritillaries I've had this year but numbers of species and individuals were not nearly as high as I have had out there before. We also had a few species of dragonflies including two new county records (Spot-winged Glider and Roseate Skimmer).

Come out with us and see what we can find next time.

Lois Stacey North Augusta, SC

July 29, 2017. Wood Storks and More

It was a very muggy and warm start to our Wood Stork field trip at Silver Bluff’s Kathwood Ponds this year. Our timing wasn’t great, the birds had fished out the first pond and management was switching pond levels the day we were there so there wasn’t a lot of shallow water.

We walked past the ponds and to the back pond and saw no Wood Storks initially. There were a number of Little Blue Herons, both adult, intermediate and immature. There were also a few Great Egrets, a couple of Anhinga and Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers. I got seriously overheated on the short walk, and with no Storks about, we decided to go up and watch the feeders at the office until it got a little later in the evening.

An hour or so later we returned to the slightly cooler ponds and found 4 Wood Storks which let us get very close for pictures. There were also more Great Egrets and some White Ibis. We walked around the front ponds and finished for the evening.

Lois Stacey

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