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

February 28, Saturday -Lover's Lane - meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 9am to carpool. We will bird looking for winter residents until about noon. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

March 7, SaturdayClark’s Hill Waterfowl and Small Birds. Meet at the Clark’s Hill Visitor Center at 9am. The Visitor’s Center is on the South Carolina side of the dam. We will carpool around the area checking the below dam areas and the lake for small birds, waterfowl and gulls. We may go to Parksville and over to the Lincoln County side. Bring a lunch or snacks as we will likely go into the afternoon. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

March 14, SaturdayMerry Brother’s Ponds. Meet at the Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way to carpool at 9am. We will carpool to the ponds and look for waterfowl. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

March 21, SaturdayCrackerneck WMA. This is a wonderful area that is only open to non-hunters twice a year. Meet at the sign-in area at Crackerneck at 9am. From the Old Jackson Highway in Jackson go past the post office and then at the ball field, turn right and drive until you see a sign pointing to the left where the road turns dirt. Turn here to reach the area. We will drive the WMA roads looking to see what we can find in the dove fields and woods and along the creeks and river. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

April 4, SaturdaySilver Bluff Audubon Center. Meet at the Kathwood Ponds on Silver Bluff Road (where the pavement ends) at 8am. We will either bird the area around the ponds or drive down Silver Bluff Road and bird beyond the gate. Route will be determined by weather and water levels in the ponds. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

April 11, SaturdayYuchi WMA Wings and Things. Meet at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park at 8am to carpool to Yuchi. This is a naturalists field trip and we will look for birds, butterflies and dragonflies as well as anything else we find. Bachman’s Sparrows, Common Ground Doves and warblers can usually be found here easily this time of year. Bring a lunch as we will go into the afternoon. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead. NOTE: This is an active hunting area so please dress appropriately in bright colors, especially orange.

April 18, SaturdayLover’s Lane. Meet at the Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8am to carpool. Migrants should be moving through and we will look for them. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.

May 2, SaturdayAiken 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 , SaturdayDilane 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, SaturdayCarolina 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

Merry Ponds, January 17, 2015

Seventeen people came along on our field trip to Merry Brother's Brickyard Ponds. It was a beautiful, sunny day with highs in the 50s and after a week or more of cloudy and rainy weather we were all ready to be outside!

We birded along the paved road and then up Haul Rd up to Boatramp Rd checking out the woods and ponds along the way. We saw a total of 44 species of birds including Gadwall, American Wigeon, Common Gallinule and a Great Black-backed Gull.

We also saw some interesting behavior as we watched a Red-winged Blackbird methodically open and eat the seeds from the pods of Trumpet Creeper. It was a very nice trip. Come and join us on our next trip!

Lois Stacey

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Tybee Island, January 24, 2015

We started the day with cloudy skies but no rain but when the clouds moved out it got very windy with gusts over 25 miles an hour. At one point it was actually difficult to stand to scope as the wind wanted to push us off the road. But we persevered and were well rewarded!

We saw a total of 64 bird species for the day including Bald Eagle! Ducks were scattered through the ponds but we found only one large concentration of them. While scoping that large flock that included Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall and American Wigeon we found an Eurasion Wigeon! This was a life bird for most of us.

There were a number of gulls on the beach at Tybee including a Herring Gull eating a Starfish and lots of Sanderlings and Ruddy Turnstones and among them was one Purple Sandpiper. Everyone got good looks at the bird.

There were no loons, gannets or ducks on the water and because of the very high winds on the beach we decided to make a trip to Fort Pulaski instead of walking the beach. A Western Kingbird had been reported there so we went to look for it. We actually found 3!

All in all it was a wonderful day with good birds and good friends. Come and join us on our next adventure!

Lois Stacey

Phinizy Center Waterfowl Trip, January 31, 2015

Augusta-Aiken Audubon led a field trip for Phinizy Swamp Nature Park this morning. This was their annual waterfowl driving trip. We were actually the third birding group at the park (as well as several individual birders) so there were a lot of birders there.

The 17 people who attended spent most of their time at the Equalization Pond where most of the ducks were. Blue-winged Teal, a few Gadwall, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup and Northern Shovelers were the main species seen. We had one bird that was possibly a Greater Scaup.

The ponds were also full of American Pipits today, we had over 100 individuals and got really good, close looks at several. Red-shouldered Hawks were in several places and the Osprey was on the nest.

We also saw an American Kestrel and Northern Harrier. Good comparison looks were had of Anhinga and Cormorants sitting on the baffle.

It was a bright, sunny day and a great day to be out birding.

Lois Stacey

Jackson Boat Landing Road, February 7, 2015

Ten people came out to our field trip to Jackson Boatlanding Road. We met at Silver Bluff and on the way out on Silver Bluff Road we stopped and got great scope looks at a Merlin! This was a life bird for most of the group!

We went on to Jackson Boatlanding Road which is a wooded dirt road leading a boat ramp on the river. The woods were much more quiet than normal but we still saw 41 species of birds including a Blue-headed Vireo and Black and White Warbler.

At the boat landing a few of the participants saw a Broad-winged Hawk flying over the river but it disappeared before we all saw it. We had a beautiful day and enjoyed the trip.

Come join us on the next one.

Lois Stacey

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