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

July 19, Saturday: Butterfly Count. We will have two teams for the butterfly count. One group will meet at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am, the other team will meet at Silver Bluff Audubon Center at 8am. The Augusta team will eat lunch at a local restaurant, bring a lunch if you are joining the Silver Bluff team. You do not have to be able to identify the butterflies, spotters are always welcome. You can do only the morning if you wish or continue on into the afternoon. Paul Koehler leads the Silver Bluff team, Lois Stacey leads the Augusta team. Our results are turned into NABA, the North American Butterfly Association.

July 26, Saturday: Wood Storks and Swallow-tailed Kites. Meet at Silver Bluff Audubon Center Kathwood Ponds at 8am. We will bird around the ponds to look at the Wood Storks which should be here by now. At about 10 am we will carpool out to Allendale to look at the 'Kite Fields' for Swallow-tailed Kites which are often found here in large numbers in summer. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead.

August 16, Saturday - Phinizy by Truck. Meet at the Phinizy Parking lot at 8am. We will drive around the park in the back of pickup trucks to look for waders, shorebirds and others in the heat of mid summer. Trip ends by noon. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead.

September 6, Saturday - Yuchi WMA. Meet at the Phinizy Swamp NP parking lot at 7am to carpool to this Burke County WMA. This will be a naturalist's trip where we look at birds, bugs, plants and anything else we can find. Post breeding birds and early migrants should be around. Trip ends about 3pm, bring lunch. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead.

September 13, Saturday - Crackerneck WMA - This WMA along the Savannah River and Three Runs Creek is on SRS and only open to the public a few days a year. It is an excellent location for birding. Meet at Crackerneck at 8am. Directions: On the Old Jackson Highwayin 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 should be done around noon. Anne Waters, Calvin Zippler and Lois Stacey lead.

September 20, Saturday - Lover's Lane. Meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. We will look for post-breeding birds and early migrants. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead. Trip ends around noon.

September 27, Saturday - Phinizy Swamp NP Migration Walk. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey will help lead a Phinizy Swamp field trip to look for migrants at the park. Meet in the parking lot at 8am. This is a Phinizy Swamp trip and there will be a charge for non-park members. Trip ends about noon.

October 5, Saturday - Fall Migration Count. Meet at Silver Bluff Audubon Center at 7:30 to form teams. We will count every bird we find for the fall migration count.

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

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

DiLane Plantation WMA, May 24, 2014

Seven people came out for the field trip to DiLane Plantation WMA in Burke County, GA including two budding young naturalists. We had a total of 64 species for the day and some really nice finds.

DiLane is managed by DNR for Bobwhite Quail and we heard many and flushed two different groups of them along the road. Another nice bird to be seen here is Common Ground Dove. We had two walking down the road, two flybys and a number of others calling.

Apparently managing for quail is also good for Field Sparrows as we had well over 20 birds singing all over the place. We also saw two Bachman's Sparrows at the end of a closed road and got great looks at these shy birds.

There has been a lot of rain over the last few months and there is a lot of water at the site. The ranger reported an American Redstart pair were at one pond but we were unable to find them.

We did however have a really good bird at lunch. We stopped above two ponds connected by a flooded field and while eating we heard a Least Bittern calling from the thick reeds in the closest pond. What a great bird to find at this site!!

As we had time at the end of the day, we went 8 miles away to Big Dukes Pond WMA in Jenkins County to look at a rookery there. Unfortunately we did not get that close to the water at this location but we did see an Anhinga there which was our last new species for the day.

Along the way, we added 2 new Burke County dragonfly species (and 1 of those was new to me!!) and 3 species for Jenkins County.

Come on out with us next time!!

Lois Stacey

Lover's Lane, May 31, 2014

Seventen people took part in our field trip to Lover's Lane. We had lovely weather and while the trip ended in rain it held off until we were done and driving back.

We had a total of 64 species which is a great total for a post-migration field trip!

We spent some time surveying the egret rookery from the road and there were a lot of Cattle Egrets there as well as a good number of Little Blue Herons and Anhingas.

There were no rare or unusual birds seen during the trip but we saw or mostly heard a lot of the summer breeders. Indigo Buntings were one of the most common birds we had for the day but a Painted Bunting and several Blue Grosbeaks were also seen and heard.

It was a wonderful day to be out, come out with us on our next trip!

Lois Stacey

Aiken State Park, July 12, 2014

Ten people came on today's field trip to Aiken State Park. July is usually not very birdy and we only had 35 species for the day but some of them were great!!

At the pay station before the trip officially started we heard a t-see call. Soon we saw a hawk fly into a tree and it was a Broad-winged Hawk, and a second was calling from furtherback in the trees. This is a very unusual sighting for this time of year!

Otherbirds we saw or heard were Yellow-throated Vireo, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Black and White Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler and a Great Horned Owl.

When the birds aren't keeping our attention very well we turn to other things. We saw 24 species of dragonflies and damselflies today which is great! Aiken SP isn't a great place for butterflies most of the time and we only had 5 species.

All in all it was a good trip. Come out with us next time!! Lois Stacey.

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