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 30, Saturday- Birdathon.

May 7, Saturday - Migration Count. - Meet at Silver Bluff Kathwood Ponds at 8am unless you already have a pre-arranged territory.

May 14, Saturday - Crackerneck Wings and Things. - Meet at Crackerneck WMA (directions on the Local Birding Sites Page of the chapter website) at 8am to bird the area. This is a state hunting property located on the Savannah River Site and is only open to non-hunting activities a few times a year. We will drive around the property looking for woodland birds, butterflies, dragonflies and anything else that catches our fancy. Bring a snack or lunch as we will go into the afternoon. Trip should finish by 4. Anne and Lois lead.

May 28, Saturday - Dilane Plantation WMA, - Meet at Phinizy at 8am to carpool to Dilane. We will drive the property looking for summer nesting birds including Northern Bobwhite. Bring a lunch and we will continue into the afternoon. Trip should end by 4pm. Anne and Lois lead. NOTE! This is an active hunting area, please dress appropriately.

June 4, Saturday - Lover's Lane - Meet at Popeye's at the corner of Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8am to carpool. We will look for summer residents as well as check out the heron rookery. Trip should end around noon. Anne and Lois lead.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

April 9, Lover's Lane

WOW!! What a great day to be birding. Eight of us started out at Popeye's on a day that started nice and calm but promised howling winds before the day was out. At Popeye's we had a Loggerhead Shrike flying back and forth across Gordon Highway, possibly nest building in the area.

The 8 of us headed out for Lover's Lane and along the way we managed to pick up 5 more people! Our first real stop was at the Y (our usual stop) and there we had some really good birds.

We heard the first Orchard Oriole of the year and saw the first Prairie Warbler. An immature Bald Eagle flew over and we saw two Snowy Egrets in the rookery that seemed to be gathering sticks for a nest. The rookery isn't really going yet but we had 13 Little Blue Herons hanging out there. Chimney Swifts were flying overhead and a Black Vulture was in the Vulture House.

A little further down we had a couple of Black and White Warblers and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. A Prothonotary Warbler was heard near the swamp and several Northern Parulas were heard and one was seen. A few of us got a glimpse of a Barred Owl flying from perch to perch too. A late Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was seen as well as a Red-headed Woodpecker.

Both Vultures and several Red-tailed Hawks were trying to fly in the high winds that started about 9am. Not including the singing vireos that we could not identify (Red-eyed, Blue-headed or Yellow-throated, we just couldn't tell) we had 56 species for the day!! That's a great day no matter how you figure it. Come and join us next time and see what we can find. Lois Stacey.

April 16, Aiken State Natural Area

Six people came out on a glorious day to look for migrants at Aiken State Natural Area on Saturday. We started out with at least 3 Hooded Warblers calling at the pay station as we arrived. There was also a Pileated Woodpecker almost on the ground pounding away at something.

We started our walk at the swimming lake area and it was very quiet. We walked over the hill to the second pond but it was still quiet so we drove around the loop listening for birds. We stopped a couple of times and got good looks at a Hooded Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker and White-eyed Vireo.

The best stop on the loop though was at the pavilion at Fishing Lake. We got really nice looks at Yellow-throated and Black and White Warblers, just over our heads! We also heard a Prothonotary Warbler way back in the woods. We continued on to Cabin Lake where we had our best bird of the day. We heard a Louisiana Waterthrush when we got out of the cars and we walked around to the river.

It was very quiet overall here too, but on our way back to the cars we heard a Broad-winged Hawk. Just a few minutes later he flew over! We donít see these birds often. For the day we had 40 species. Lois Stacey

April 22, 2016, Yuchi Wildlifa Management Area

There were only 3 of us for this special Friday trip to Yuchi and what a day! We met in the Phinizy parking lot and had the first Painted Bunting of the year, apparently they were just arriving that morning. The weather was beautiful as we set out for Burke County.

We started our day at the Vogle boat ramp hoping for some migrants. The trees along the road were full of birds and we had Red-eyed and White-eyed Vireos, Black and White Warblers and Northern Parulas. As we drove to the ramp we had Blue-birds and Barn Swallows. The ramp itself was pretty quiet but on the way out we heard Bachmanís Sparrows singing in the pines.

We drove down River Road with a few stops. We had a Blue Grosbeak sitting on top of a tree and heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Eastern Wood-peewee and Prairie Warbler were singing along the way. We watched a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers building a nest right next to the road!

We went down Brigham Landing Rd and had several Ovenbirds and Summer Tanagers. We heard Kentucky Warbler and got good looks at Yellow-throated Warbler and Northern Parula. At the boat ramp we had a singing Louisiana Waterthrush and saw a Swainsonís Warbler!

We drove back out Brigham Landing Road to Hwy 23 and along the way had Eastern Meadowlark in the pasture and Loggerhead Shrike and Eastern Kingbird on the wires. Red-headed Woodpeckers were chasing each other and we had Northern Bobwhite calling. At one point there were two Common Ground-doves sitting on the barbed wire fence!

The last birds we saw were a pair of Eurasian Collared-doves by the fire station. We ended the day with 66 species! Migration is a great time to bird so come with us next time. Lois Stacey.

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