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

November 17, Saturday - Merry Ponds. Meet at the Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. There is a $4 charge to enter the property. We will bird along the road and along the ponds (road conditions permitting) looking for winter arrivals including ducks. and sparrows. This trip will likely go into the afternoon but no later than 3pm.

December 1, Saturday Lover’s Lane – Meet at the Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8 am to carpool. We will look for wintering birds along the road and in the Merry Ponds. Trip should last until about noon.

December 8, SaturdayPhinizy Swamp Nature Park - – Meet in the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am. We will walk around the wetland cells, looking for wintering birds including waterfowl. Trip will last until about noon.

December 15, SaturdayJackson Landing Road – Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff to carpool. We will drive Jackson Landing Road looking for wintering passerines. We have had Winter Wren and Brown Creeper along here in the past. Trip should last until about noon.

December 22, SaturdayAugusta CBC. Contact Lois Stacey at birdercroakie@gmail.com (or 803-215-1594) if you plan to participate.

December 24, TUESDAYAiken CBC – Contact Calvin Zippler at zipplerc@bellsouth.net about this count.

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Lovers Lane-October 20, 2018

What a beautiful fall day for a bird walk! We met at Popeye’s and then drove over to Lover’s Lane. They have removed all of the trees along the fence line right at the start of Columbia Nitrogen Rd so we didn’t stop but there were blackbirds all over near the swamp and that was our first stop. It was a very birdy day, but we only got 43 species.

There were huge flocks of Common Grackles everywhere and we heard a lot of woodpeckers. Sparrows have arrived, we had nice looks at Savannah Sparrows in the fields and heard White-throated near the dirt road. House Wrens are back too.

There was no waterfowl on the Merry Ponds that we could see, but there were lots of small birds in the brush along them. As we walked down the dirt road past the cell tower we heard and then saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch! It’s a big-time irruption year so we should be seeing these quite a bit this winter. There were Wood Ducks in the borrow ditches along the levee too. We ended about noon just as the rain was moving in. Great timing!

Please be aware that Meridian Brick (formerly Boral, formerly Merry) is now digging in the last field on Lover’s Lane (the one with the big silver gate and the silo that backs up on Phinizy). Dump trucks are not yet running up and down Lover’s Lane, but if you bird the area please be aware of the activity and watch out for the trucks.

Lois Stacey

Phinizy Swamp -November 3, 2018

WOW! What a great trip. There were 13 of us this morning for our trip to Phinizy Swamp. And to start it off, Wade got there before we even started! We headed across Butler Creek and out to the wetlands. As we walked through the constructed wetlans we had a few waders, the Yellow-rumps are here in force, and sparrows here and there. When we got to cel l 3 we found Killdeer and Snipe! Cormorants and Anhingas were flying around and there were a few Coots and Gallinules in the grasses.

We were walking and talking and saw a bird with a white breast sitting out on the edge of the cell, without looking at it I and several others, assumed it was a Northern Mockingbird until someone actually put binoculars on it. Would you believe it was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, in the OPEN?! There were actually two there and we had another further along. We heard a couple of King Rails along the way too.

When we got up the rise to the Equalization Pond there was a Marsh Wren right out in the open singing in one of the clumps of grass just beyond the fence. I think everyone got great looks. There was one female Lesser Scaup in the pond and a small flock of mixed ducks beyond the baffle that included Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal and Ring-necked Ducks. At the steps half the group continued around the pond to look for birds to photograph while the rest of us went through the woods back to the cars.

Just after crossing the Bridge through the Woods we had 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets, Pine Warbler, Chickadees, Titmice, Pine Warblers, Sapsuckers and a Brown Creeper. We ended up with 52 species, not including whatever the photogs might have gotten around the EQ Pond. And the weather was gorgeous! Lois Stacey.

Silver Bluff-November 10, 2018

Another great day of birding! Our field trip this morning was at Silver Bluff Audubon Center and as I usually do I left home early so that I would have some time to bird the road in. As I was scanning the fields I noticed a Bald Eagle and he was eating something large. It was a Canada Goose. As other attendees came along I stopped them to see the bird too. As we were standing and looking at the Killdeer and Pigeons I scanned the field and found a Horned Lark (there were Pipits flying over too). We decided that we were counting that as the start of the trip.

We went down to the ponds and walked around them. Not a whole lot of species but there was one Ruddy Duck and a small group of Hooded Mergansers, a couple of Great Egrets, Song and Swamp Sparrows, a Marsh Wren and a Green Heron along the way. Only one Yellow-rumped Warbler but several Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also seen.

After we walked the ponds we drove around to the cabin. We had one nice little flock that included Chickadees and Titmice, more RC Kinglets, a Black and White Warbler and some Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. On our way out we stopped and looked for the Horned Larks again for those who didn't see them the first time. We found at least 5 as well as several dozen American Pipits. All in all a pretty good day!

Lois Stacey North Augusta, SC

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