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

November 8, Saturday- Dilane Plantation WMA - This is our annual sparrow trip! Meet at Phinizy parking lot to carpool at 7am, it takes about an hour to get to Dilane. We will drive along WMA roads looking for birds. Sparrows will be the main focus but we often see a large number of Red-headed Woodpeckers and other birds. This is a beautiful area. Bring lunch, we will finish in the afternoon. Anne and Lois lead. PLEASE MAKE NOTE: This is an active WMA and hunters may be present. Please take proper precautions and wear bright colors, preferable orange.

November 15, Saturday - Lover's Lane. Meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. We will look for winter residents and waterfowl. Anne and Lois lead.

November 22, Saturday - Merry Brickyard Ponds. - Meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 9am to carpool. There is a $4 fee to enter the brick ponds. We will look for waterfowl which should have started to arrive. Trip will end about noon. Lois and Anne lead.

December 13, Saturday - Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Meet in the parking lot at 9am. We will take trucks and drive around the park looking for waterfowl, rails and bitterns as well as other birds. Trip should end about noon. Anne and Lois lead.

December 20, Saturday - Augusta Christmas Bird Count. If you do not have a previously assigned area meet at the Popeye's at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 7:30. If at all possible, please contact Anne Waters ahead of time to let her know you would like to participate. This allows her to set up teams and limit the number of people who have to meet up at the Popeye's. She may be reached at 706 793 2788.

December 24, Wednesday- Aiken Christmas Bird Count. The Aiken Christmas Bird Count will be held on Christmas Eve as usual. Please contact Calvin Zippler if you would like to participate. He may be reached at 803 295 7460.

January 17, Saturday-Merry Brickyard Ponds. Meet at Popeye's at 9am to carpool. We will search the ponds for wintering waterfowl. Note there is a $4 charge to enter the property. Anne and Lois lead.

January 24, Saturday - Savannah and Tybee Island. This is just for advanced notice, details will be made available closer to time. We will meet at one of the two locations at 9am and bird both the beach at Tybee and the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. This will be an all day trip and we will eat lunch at a local restaurant. Put it on your calendar, it is always a good trip!

January 31, Saturday - Phinizy Center Waterfowl Trip - Anne and Lois will lead a driving trip for Phinizy Center at the park. Meet at 9am in the parking lot. Phinizy Center charges a fee for non-members.

Anne Waters and Lois Stacey will lead most trips. You may contact them for more information on the trips.

Anne Waters can be contacted at: 706-793-2788.

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

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

Lover's Lane, September 20, 2014

Six people came along on our Lover's Lane Migration field trip. Migration is in full swing and we were hoping to find migrants. We found a few but it was quieter than we expected. However it was a beautiful day to be out!

We worked our way down Lover's Lane and found a number of White-eyed Vireos . With one of them we had an immature Black-throated Blue Warbler! Further down the road near the swamp we had a flock of tanagers. There were at least 8 Summer Tanagers in one flock, all together and with them was a Scarlet Tanager and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. None of us have ever seen that many Summer Tanagers together.

It was a cool moment. We ended up with 41 species of birds for the day. Come and join us and see what we find next!

Lois Stacey

Aiken State Park, October 11, 2014

Anne and I were the only ones to show up for today's field trip. We had a beautiful day to explore the park too. We started at the picnic area and had a nice flock including a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Further around the loop we had the first Yellow-rumped Warblers of the season. We still had a few lingering summer birds including two Eastern Wood-pewees. Overall we had 33 species of birds. We also had a good number of species of dragonflies including a Fawn Darner and an interesting little skimmer. We had a wonderful time! Come out with us next time to see what we find.

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Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, October 18, 2014, 2014

We had a wonderful field trip to Phinizy Saturday. 14 people attended including some very new birders. We started in the parking lot and crossed the road to check for some chipping. We found a couple of House Wrens and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Then we headed onto the Beaverdam Creek trail which can be very good for migrants. We wandered into the midst of a very nice and cooperative migrant flock. The birds worked the same general area for quite a long time as we tried to identify the birds in the trees.

Tennesee Warblers were definitely moving through as we had at leas t 7 by the end of the day. Yellow-throated Warbler, Black and White Warbler and the best of the day Blackburnian were also seen.

We went through the other side of the woods on the way back and added Yellow-rumped Warbler and two Summer Tanagers to the same flock, still working the same area. We also watched Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding on Poison Ivy berries.

We finished a little early so some of us drove down Lock and Dam Rd t o see what might be on the fence. There were a number of Palm Warblers and the first of the fall Savannah Sparrow.

Come and join us on our next outing to see what we can find.

Lois Stacey

Silver Bluff Audubon Center, October 25, 2014

Ten people came out on the field trip this morning. It was a bit nippy to start but soon warmed nicely.

The ponds at Silver Bluff were full of shorebirds and the brush was full of sparrows! Fall has arrived. We started with lots of Least Sandpipers, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs and the ever present Killdeer. We had some Wilson's Snipe and a Solitary Sandpiper too. We walked around the first pond and started up betwee n one and two and had a lot more Least Sandpipers!

Judy was happy that we saw the Eagle (sitting over his nest, courtship season is starting!) and I was happy that there were sparrows everywhere! As we walked up the dike we scanned the sandpipers for some Dunlin which are not normally found inland but were reported Friday and eventually we found 4 of them as well as 3 Western Sandpipers.

At one point the shorebirds all got up in the air and looking around for the culprit we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Several Great Egrets and a single White Ibis rounded out the trip around the ponds.

It as a little early so those who wanted to continue got in the cars and drove Silver Bluff Road. We made a big loop up Bluff Landing Road and back down Kathwood Road looking for woodland birds. We found lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. We also had a few sparrows and some Kestrels. It was a wonderful day and we ended with 55 species!

Come out with us next time and see what we can find.

Lois Stacey

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