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

October 20, Saturday - Lover’s Lane. Meet at the Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8am to carpool. We will look for migrants and arriving winter birds. Trip should end around noon.

November 3, Saturday - Phinizy Swamp. Meet in the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am. We will walk the 2.5 mile loop looking for winter arrivals. Sparrows and ducks may have started to arrive. Trip will end around noon.

November 10, Saturday - Silver Bluff. Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at 8am. We will explore the property which may include the Kathwood Ponds, Silver Bluff Road and possibly areas beyond the gates. Our route will be determined by bird activity. Trip will last until about noon.

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.

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Phinizy Migration Count - September 22, 2108

This was a Phinizy Swamp Nature Park event. We met in the parking lot and took a walk through the wooded areas of the park. It was fairly hot and there were not a lot of birds, we ended the day with only 25 species. We did have a few migrants including a Black and White Warbler and an American Redstart. The bird of the day though was White-eyed Vireos which were everywhere. We had a total of 6 of them in just the front of the park.

Birding by Boat - September 29, 2018

Four of us attended the inaugural Audubon paddle event. We paddled Betty’s Branch and Euchee Creek looking for birds on a beautiful day. We had Canada Geese flying by as we launched. We got good looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in a small bush along the bank and saw lots of Titmice. Pileated, Red-bellied and Red-headed Woodpeckers were seen and heard too. The water was high so we paddled up into Euchee Creek where we had swallows, more woodpeckers and Judy and I heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

A little further on we found a flock of 49 female/eclipse Blue-winged Teal with one female Northern Pintail. They were very cooperative and just sat on the water letting us watch them for a while. Then they took off and flew low back and forth giving us great looks.

Time was getting on at this point so we turned around and retraced our steps having seen and/or heard 40 species. We will definitely be doing this again in spring!

Big Sit- October 7, 2018

The Big Sit – our second year – was held at Phinizy. We moved our location so that we were on the edge of cell 3 which gave us a much better viewing area. As you would expect being out before dawn the first bird of the day was Barred Owl.

As the sun came up there was lots of bird activity as the blackbirds and swallows came up out of the marsh grass. As the sun rose the King Rails called from all over the marsh and Common Gallinules started moving around. We had an American Bittern sit out in the open for 20 minutes or so too and saw another flying later in the day. We had a few warblers in the buses around us including Palm and Yellow Warblers.

We got our 50th species at 9:30am (and we never moved from our seating area)!! It was a beautiful, sunny but HOT day and soon after that things got quiet. We spent the next few hours watching one Little Blue Heron harassing another repeatedly and got to see an Alligator lunge at something on the bank (twice!) and miss (twice!). That usually got the birds calling again and we got Sora and Virginia Rails after these attempts.

From 9:30 until we finally had enough of the hot at 2:15 we only picked up 7 more species. But that total is 12 more than we had last year! The new location is so much better. Lois Stacey Facilities Planning Spec BAE Systems 803-643-2588 lois.stacey@baesystems.com SCBP

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