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

September 22, SaturdayPhinizy Migration Walk. There is a $5 charge. Meet in parking lot at 8am. We will check wooded areas for migrants.

September 29, Saturday - Paddle Meet at Riverside Park in Evans to paddle Betty’s Branch. If you do not have a boat you can rent them from Outdoors Augusta on site. They know we are coming so you can call ahead and reserve a boat, tell them you are with the Audubon group. The phone number for Outdoor Augusta is 706-399-4037. They open at 8am, please try to be there at that time to get paperwork done. If you have a boat, please arrive so that you can unload and be ready to launch at 8:30. Life jackets are mandatory, bring water and binoculars. This is a great area for nature. We will see how this goes and if it is a success we may do it again. We will paddle up to 6 miles on flat water with little current. Please confirm on Facebook or email me at croakie@comcast.net so that we know you are coming. Lois Stacey.

October 6, Saturday - Migration Count. Contact Paul Koehler at Silver Bluff if you have a regular territory and will be doing that. We will meet at the Kathwood Ponds at 7:30 am to form teams to bird the property. We count all birds we see or hear in Aiken County. If you live in Aiken County and would like to count the birds at your feeders please let Paul know that you are doing that. You can contact him at pkoehler@audubon.org. We will meet at the Silver Bluff Education building at 1pm for bring-your-own-lunch and countdown and then some people will continue into the afternoon.

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

Merry Ponds- July 21, 2018

You should have been there! Four people came along on our Merry exploration on a very nice July morning. The weather was actually pleasant when we started. Merry is rarely birded in summer so we weren’t sure what we’d find and I had forgotten about the rookery we found in April. That was where we ended up spending most of our time although we saw Pied-billed Grebe babies in another pond.

The rookery was full of Anhingas including nestlings. They are gangly little things! Most of the birds were Cattle Egrets and most were off the nest. There were a few Little Blue and Green Herons and Snowy Egrets as well. The best was White Ibis! This may be the first time White Ibis have been documented to be breeding in Richmond County. Most of them were fledged but we did see one little bird who was not old enough to fly yet. They have short, multi-colored bills when young! I’d never seen a White Ibis that young before.

Thunder was moving in while we watched the rookery and then rain started so we called it a day. You should come with us next time! Lois Stacey.

Phinizy Waders Trip- August 4, 2018

Thirteen people came out for the Phinizy Waders trip. We had a great time! We drove around the cells looking for post-breeding dispersal waders and found plenty. We had nice comparative looks at Snowy, Little Blue and Cattle Egrets as well as an immature Tricolored Heron. We had a flyby adult Yellow-crowned Heron and an immature perched on the fence.

There were Solitary and Least Sandpipers, Killdeer and Lesser Yellowlegs in one of the ponds and a Spotted Sandpiper on the Equalization Pond. We got great looks at young Common Gallinules too. Wood Ducks flushed out of one pond and a few people got quick looks at a King Rail. The total for the day was 41 species, not bad at all for the middle of summer. Lois Stacey. Silver Bluff Audubon Center - Augus, 11 2018

Silver Bluff, August 11, 2018. This was our annual visit to the lowered Silver Bluff Audubon Kathwood Ponds. Unfortunately, the lowered pond was fished out and the next pond hadn’t been lowered yet so we had no Wood Storks in the ponds, but we did have good comparative looks at some other birds. We were able to compare immature Little Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets. We also had one Tricolored Heron that just sat on the pipe. There were a few shorebirds around so we looked at Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers.

We walked around between ponds 2 and 3 and then got into the cars and drove around to the cabin. As we were driving down the pond 1 road there were Wood Storks in the swampy pasture! We had three very close to the road for really nice looks. At the corner we had a few small birds in the bushes and three fly-by Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

Some of us stopped on Silver Bluff Road by the fields because Kites had been seen there and there were two Swallow-tailed Kites and 8 Mississippi Kites hawking insects near the tree line. We also had a Loggerhead Shrike singing along the wood fence. All-in-all a very nice day. Lois Stacey.

top of page

Home
Meetings
Local Birding Sites
Membership
Newsletter
Board Members
Birding Links
Georgia-South Carolina Audubon Chapter Links
Augusta Aiken Area Bird List
Chapter History