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

May 19-21Phinizy birding festival – see Phinizy website, Birding Weekend

May 27, Saturday Crackerneck WMA. Meet at the Crackerneck sign in area at 8am to carpool through the property. Bring a lunch as we may go into the afternoon. This is a great place for birding that is only open to non-hunters a few times a year.

June 2 – FRIDAYLover’s Lane. Meet at 8am at Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway to carpool to look for summer residents. Trip should end by noon.

June 24, SaturdayDilane Wings and Things. Meet at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am to carpool to Dilane WMA in Burke County for a Wings and Things trip. This is a great place for birds and butterflies especially. Bring a lunch and we will spend the day. We should head back by 4pm or so.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

April 8, 2017. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

What a fantastic day for birding! 7 of us started the day at the locked gate at the park listening to Eastern Meadowlarks sing at the airport. The person who was supposed to open the gate had not done so but Kim saved the day and unlocked it for us!

It was pretty cold to start but by the halfway point we were shedding layers. The birds didn't seem to mind though. We had 59 species for the day!!

We started in the brush along the parking lot with Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-eyed Vireos and those three species stayed with us all day. We had at least 15 each of the gnatcatchers and kinglets. There was also a House Wren in that area and one lone Indigo Bunting male who never sang but posed several times for us. We walked through the woods and got good looks at multiple Northern Parulas and Yellow-throated Warblers. A few Yellow-rumps were getting breeding colors. At the bridge through the woods we had a big flock of Chimney Swifts, the first for the year. At the green trail we heard a Summer Tanager, another first.

There were a few ducks still in the equalization pond as well as Great, Snowy and Cattle Egrets and Little Blue Herons. There was a huge flock of swallows, at least Rough-winged, Barn and Tree. We had an uncooperative Marsh Wren along the 3 Ton Bridge singing his heart out and scurrying through the grass. We walked around to the parking lot and ended the trip with 58 species, but as I was driving out I heard a Prairie Warbler and pulled over. Those people who came out behind me stopped too and we managed to get awesome looks at our 59th species of the day.

Interesting misses; no Red-shouldered nor Red-tailed Hawks and no Song, Swamp nor Savannah Sparrows.

We did have 8 species of warblers.

This is a great time to bird. Come out with us next time.

Lois Stacey

April 9, 2017. Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park

Another beautiful day for a field trip. We had our first ever club field trip to Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park on Sunday. This is the premiere location fo r migration birding in Georgia. We were early for migration, peak is about two weeks away, but this weekend fit the schedule best.

Four people were there for the trip. It is approximately 1.4 miles to the top of the mountain along a paved road with trees all along it. We didn’t have a lot of species, only 26, and we only had one real migrant, a Black-throated Green Warbler, but we still had a good day.

We saw Blue-headed Vireos and heard Yellow-throated Vireos. There were Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Robins everywhere. We saw quite a few low-rumped Warblers, at least one in near breeding plumage. The big surprise though was how many Turkeys we heard from below the path! They were gobbling all the way up the mountain.

Along the way we also had a large Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a perch below the path. It then flew up into a tree literally at eye height right beside the road and sat for a few seconds, then to a perch over the path and then further up the mountain. You don’t get views like that very often.

We will be going back next year closer to peak migration. Come with us and see another great birding spot. Lois Stacey

May 13, 2017 Congaree National Park

The weather service called for thunderstorms for the morning of our field trip but being crazy birders we decided to go ahead with the field trip. The rain held off until we were ready to drive home.

8 birders met at Congaree to walk the boardwalk. We didn't see very many birds, the canopy is fairly thick, but we did hear quite a few. The birds we did see however were Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Parula, Acadian Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and great looks at a Veery!

On the way back to the visitor's center we heard a Wood Thrush which is a good find. Other birds heard were Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Crested Flycatcher and several species of Woodpecker.

Our initial plan was to walk the 2.4 mile long boardwalk but part of the boardwalk was closed so we walked another loop trail which added 2 more miles! It was a nice day though, if you discounted the mosquitos which were pretty bad. Come out and join us for our next adventure. Lois Stacey

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