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 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 no later than December 15, 2014 if you would like to participate. He may be reached at 803 642 2264.

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

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

DiLane WMA in Burke County, November 8, 2014

What an AWESOME field trip! Seven of us went to Dilane Plantation WMA in Burke County today for our annual 'sparrow' field trip. This is a very large hunting area that is managed for Bobwhite and that creates wonderful habitat for sparrows.

Including the Eastern Towhees and Dark-eyed Juncos we had 8 species of sparrow here today. And what sparrows we had! The absolutely best bird of the day was a Clay-colored Sparrow found with some Chippies. This bird is rare in Georgia.

In addition we saw 4 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks which according to the ranger have been breeding on the site for the last two years. We also had a Sedge Wren in one of the fields and a Sharp-shinned Hawk at our first stop.

We totaled 50 species for the day although we had some big misses. We usually have 15 or more Red-headed Woodpeckers here and today we had none! We still had plenty of woodpeckers with a lot of Flickers, 6 or so Pileated WP, Downy WP and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

One of our last birds of the day was a Turkey running down the road ahead of us. Come with us next time and see what we find!

Lois Stacey

Lover's Lane, November 15, 2014

Another great trip! Six people showed up for today's trip on a cold but sunny day. We headed out to Lover's Lane and decided to go up the Foster's Lane portion of the road first. We made a quick stop at the intersection and then our second stop was at the pond.

We heard a fussing when we got out of the cars but couldn't find the bird. A little while later we had a Marsh Wren pop out of the edge! While looking around the area to see what else might be there we had an almost adult Eagle fly in and hover over the pond like an Osprey would. We had never seen that behavior before.

We kept going up the road and had several sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers when a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew across the road in front of us. We went to the end of the road and turned around and went back to go up the Levee portion of the road.

We had a House Wren and a couple of White-eyed Vireos along here as well as a Hermit Thrush and a very cooperative Brown Creeper! While stopped at the creek at the end of the road we had a Sedge Wren fussing in the grass at the base of the levee!! What a great bird and the first time we've had one in this area. We ended up with a 4 wren day, not bad!

With this cold front, and another coming in later in the week, our trip to Merry Ponds next week should be great! Come and join us.

Lois Stacey

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