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.

Anne Waters can be contacted at: 706 793 2788.

Lois Stacey can be contacted at: croakie@comcast.net; 803-215-1594

April 25, Saturday - BIRDATHON TO BENEFIT SILVER BLUFF AUDUBON CENTER. The Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society is sponsoring a Birdathon on Saturday, April 25, to raise money in support of the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary. Our goal is to see and record as many different species of birds as possible in Georgia and South Carolina over a 24-hour period (midnight to midnight). To find out how to participate and support the Birdathon Click Here.

May 2, Saturday – Aiken County Migration Count. Meet at 7:30 at Silver Bluff Kathwood Ponds unless you already have a territory. We will count every bird we see and report them to the Carolina Bird Club to be compiled with others around the state. Bring a lunch, we meet at 1pm to count down.

May 9 , Saturday – Dilane Plantation WMA Wings and Things. This is a wonderful area in Burke County that is managed for Bobwhite Quail and Turkey. Meet at the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park parking area at 8am to carpool. We will look for these and other nesting birds. It is also a great place for butterflies and we will look for dragonflies as well. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead. NOTE: This is an active hunting area so please dress appropriately in bright colors, especially orange.

May 16, Saturday – Phinizy Swamp Beaver Dam Trail. – Meet at Phinizy at 8am. We will walk the Beaverdam Trail along the bluff and over the creek looking for nesting birds and late migrants. We will loop over the green and blue trails and back to the parking lot through the woods. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

May 30, Saturday – Carolina Sandhills NWR. – This is a huge National Wildlife Refuge near McBee, SC. We will meet at the gas station at exit 1 from I-20 in North Augusta at 7am to carpool. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the refuge. This area is home to a number of Red-cockaded Woodpecker colonies and we will check at least one for the birds. There are also extensive woods, a wildlife drive, ponds and a beautiful seep area that contains several different Pitcher Plants, Sundews, Orchids and Lilies. We will explore as much of the area as we can looking for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and wildflowers. Bring a lunch and water. We will head back in the afternoon and may not be back until late. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

Silver Bluff Audubon Center. April 4, 2015

We had a huge group for our field trip to Silver Bluff today. There were at least 20 people! The highlight for most was the Bald Eagle nest including an adult eagle and possibly 2 nestlings.

A good number of first-of-the year birds were also seen today. Eastern Kingbirds, Green Herons, Yellow-throated Vireos, Purple Martins and several others.

While there was a threat of rain it didn't appear and we had a gorgeous day. We walked around the ponds and then drove out into the rest of the center to look for the Yucca Giant-skippers. We didn't find the butterflies but we saw others including a number of Swallowtail species as well as some dragonflies.

Most of the time we saw or heard birds that we had already seen around the ponds but we did hear a Bachman's Sparrow in the clear cut near the creek so the clearcutting and planting of that area has created good habitat for them.

Come out on our next field trip and let's see what we can find! Lois Stacey.

Yuchi Wildlife Management Area. April 11, 2015

We had a wonderful field trip to Yuchi WMA today. We started the day at the Vogtle Boat Ramp and had a good number of warbler species including Northern Parula, Yellow-throated and Black and White Warblers. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Red-eyed Vireos were also prominent. A Summer Tanager showed off in a tree. The best bird though was a Swainson's Warbler that we all got good looks at!

We started up River Road and had Bachman's Sparrows and Prairie Warblers everywhere. We got good looks at the warbler but the sparrows wouldn't cooperate. Along the road we saw a Broad-winged Hawk flying over the road and calling.

At the pasture area we had a Greater Yellowlegs in the pond, Purple Martins flying around and an Eastern Meadowlark calling. The biggest surprise was a pair of Swallow-tailed Kites flying over the fields!

We had quite a number of butterflies for the day including Pipevine Swallowtails and Red Admiral. There were quite a few dragonflies too including Harlequin Darners and a number of different skimmers.

We had a really good day and saw 54 species of birds! Lois Stacey.

Lover’s Lane, April 18, 2015

Eight brave souls attended our field trip to Lover's Lane. The weather report said we should have a break int he rain all morning. George was wrong!! We had light to moderate rain all morning but we still found some really good birds!

Cattle Egrets, Little Blue Herons and Green Herons are starting to fill the rookery at the back of Brickyard Ponds. We had very few small birds at all but we did have our first of the year Painted Bunting and Blue Grosbeaks.

In the flooded fields along the road we had several shorebirds including Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers and Greater Yellowlegs. Also in the fields along there we had at least 15 White-crowned Sparrows and there were probably more than that out there.

Just near where the pavement ends we had a flock of mixed swallows including Barn, Cliff, Tree and Northern Rough-winged. The rain got heavier about then so we called it a day. But in 2 1/2 hours of rainy birding we managed to see 45 species! Come out next time and see what we can see! Lois Stacey

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