| 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 I20 take Martintown Rd. to West Ave. Turn right on West and go to Buena Vista. Turn left on Buena Vista.
Directions to other field trip venues can be
found on the Local Birding Sites
If you have questions concerning a field trip, please contact the listed field trip leader.
Anne Waters can be contacted at: email@example.com; 706-793-2788.
Lois Stacey can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 803-215-1594
March 15, Saturday. Crackernecck Wildlife Management Area near Jackson South Carolina. Meet at 9am at the ranger check point. On the Old Jackson Highwayin Jackson go past the post office and then at the ball field, turn right and drive until you see a sign pointing to the left where the road turns dirt. Turn here to reach the area. Trip will end about 12:30-1:00 pm. Calvin Zippler, Lois Stacey will lead.
March 22, Saturday. Yuchi Wildlife Management Area in Burke County. Meet at 9am at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park to carpool. It is about 50 min. south. This is an all day trip to look for smaller winter birds, including sparrows so bring a lunch to eat about noon. Trip will be over between 3-4 pm. Lois Stacey leads.
March 29, Saturday. Merry Ponds Birding Bust. We will be intensively birding the road into Merry in the morning then will go eat lunch probably at Wendy’s and then return and bird the ponds for ducks, geese and other water birds. Shorebirds should be passing through. This is an attempt to see just how many birds we can come up with from this great area. Of course you can join us for part of it if you wish. We will meet at Popeyes at 9am to carpool. $5 cost to enter the area. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead
April 5, Saturday. Wings and Things at Silver Bluff Sanctuary. Meet at 8am at the ponds near the entrance (by the maintaince shed).We will look for migrant birds but also look at dragonflies, butterflies and other “bugs”. We will make a special effort to see the Yucca Skipper around the yucca plants. If you want to stay for the afternoon part, bring a lunch. Field trip will end approximately 3pm.
April 12, Saturday.. Aiken Park. Meet at 9am at the pay station ($2) inside the entrance road. We will look for birds, and insects. Bring a picnic lunch to stay for the afternoon. Trip will end about 3:30-4:30.
April 19, Saturday. Lover’s Lane. Meet at Popeye’s at 8am We will look for migrants passing through on their way north and returning nesting birds. Trip will end approximately 12:00-1:00 pm.
May 3, Saturday..Pendleton King Park on Kissenbower Rd, Augusta. Meet at the parking area at 8am. This is the first time we have birded this area but 2 members of our group have found some nice birds here so we are going to explore this area with them. Trip will end at approximately 12-12:30.
May 10, Saturday. North American Migration Count for Aiken County. We go out in teams all day to count birds in Aiken County. Those who would like to help and do not have a pre-assigned area, are to meet at Silver Bluff at the ponds at 7:30 am. We will divide into teams to count. We will all meet at 1 pm at the nature center in the sanctuary for lunch (bring your own) and count down of birds seen so far. Then some teams go back out until dark. You may count part of the day if you would like to do that. People living in Aiken County may submit birds counted in their neighborhoods or at their feeders for the count. Submit birds to Paul Koehler or Anne Waters.
May 17, Saturday. Meet at Popeye’s at 8 am to carpool. Cost $5 to enter the area. We will bird the paved road looking for nesting and migrating birds. Trip will end about 12:30 – 1:00.
May 24, Saturday Di Lane Plantation WMA, Burke County. Meet at 8am at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park to carpool. It takes about an hour to get to the birding area. Bring a lunch. We will look for nesting birds. Trip will conclude about 4 pm.
May 31, Saturday. Lover’s Lane. Meet at Popeye’s at 8am. We will search for nesting birds and will look at the rookery where egrets and herons nest. They should be building their nests by this time. We can see them across the ponds and will have scopes for closer looks. Trip will be over about 12:30-1:00.
Anne Waters and Lois Stacey will lead most trips. You may contact them for more information on the trips.
Five people explored the Clark’s Hill area on the Feb. 22nd field trip. We had a total of 47 species. There was an immature Great Black-backed Gull in with Ring-billed Gulls below the dam and 2 Bonaparte’s Gulls above dam.
There were 10 Common Loons scattered out in front of the dam plus a feeding flock of 18 Common Loons up at Little River in Georgia. A 4th year Bald Eagle was hunting the Savannah River below the dam.
Juncos, Bluebirds, Sapsucker and Red-headed Woodpecker were spotted in the picnic area below dam on the South Carolina side.
There were not many ducks found on the lake. We had thought the snow storms in the north might have pushed ducks down here but we didn’t find many. We had 1 pair of Buffleheads at West Dam and 63 Ruddy Ducks up at Parksville, SC. There were also 4 Horned Grebes at Parksville.
Weather was beautiful, sunny and warm. We ate our picnic lunch looking over the lake enjoying the day. We finished up approximately 3 pm.
Eight people attended the field trip. This was the first day of the Rusty Blackbird Blitz and we submitted our checklist for that since we were in good habitat although we had no Rusties.
We had wonderful weather and bright sunshine for this trip and we were hopeful that we would be able to access the roads to the ponds. The managers of the site said the connector road was impassable but they opened the Haul Road gate so we had access.
On our way down the paved road we made a few stops and at the first we saw a raft of 8 Horned Grebes! This is a large number for here so we think they may be starting northward movements. At the second stop at Stink Ditch we had very good looks at a Merlin sitting in a small tree and then he flew across the road and sat in a large tree.
We didn't see much waterfall but we did see Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead and Ring-necked ducks. In the large expressway pond we also had a Common Loon.
There were flocks of Tree Swallows over most of the ponds as well as one Northern Rough-winged Swallow and the first Purple Martins. Spring is on the way! Join us on our next trip to see what is out there. Lois Stacey
Augusta-Aiken Audubon had an impromptu field trip to Lover's Lane on March 8 in conjunction with the Rusty Blackbird Blitz. We were joined by a reporter from the Augusta Chronicle doing a story on the Rusty Blackbird Blitz (article should be published Thursday or Friday!!).
It was a lovely day with blue skies and plenty of sun. We had a total of 61 species which is just wonderful!
There were Northern Shovelers and Ring-necked Ducks in the DSM swamp as well as a Great Egret in all his spring glory. We found American Pipits and a LOT of Killdeer in a recently turned field further down. A couple of Cooper's Hawks, a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk were seen during the day and an Osprey was on the Cell Tower nest. We hoped for Northern Parula but they were not in yet.
Along the levee we saw many woodpeckers; Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy, Northern Flicker and 11 Red-headed Woodpeckers!! It was a wonderful day. Come join us next time! Lois Stacey
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Local Birding Sites
Augusta Aiken Area Bird List