Field Trip Schedule

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.

Lois Stacey can be contacted at: birdercroakie@gmail.com; 803-215-1594

January 20, Saturday Savannah NWR – We will meet at 8:30 am at the Visitor Center on Hwy 17 instead of at the wildlife drive. We will drive around the wildlife drive looking for ducks and other winter birds. We may also walk along some of the dikes along the drive. Bring a lunch and we will eat somewhere around the refuge. If we have time, we will walk a bit of the trails across the road from the wildlife drive. THERE IS NO TYBEE VISIT ON THIS TRIP! Trip will last until late afternoon.

Ok people, since the government can't get their act together we are in limbo for Saturday. If the government shuts down so will Savannah NWR. However, we will probably not know until the last minute, and usually some people go down the day before. I also don't always know who is going and who isn't, therefore I'm going regardless.

In short, WE WILL HAVE A FIELD TRIP ON SATURDAY! If Savannah does indeed have to close we will make other arrangements. We can bird Hutchinson Island, Ft. Pulaski and/or Tybee or we can do Hutchinson and then drive down to Jekyll. Any way, we will still meet at the visitor center at Savannah NWR at 8:30. If the gate is closed please pull off to the side and we'll get organized as best we can. If you are coming but are not sure you'll be there by 8:30 please call me so that I know to wait for you. My phone number is 803-215-1594. Lois Stacey.

January 27, SaturdaySilver Bluff Audubon Center – Lower Silver Bluff Road and the sparrow field. Meet at the education building at 8am and we will carpool. We will bird on our way to the sparrow field and then we will walk the mowed trails looking for birds. If we’re really lucky we may flush an American Woodcock. Hopefully there will be sparrows and other grassland birds as well as woodland birds around the edges. Trip should last until about noon.

February 3, Saturday - Jackson Boat Landing Rd. Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff at 8 am to carpool. We will look for winter residents including woodpeckers, kinglets and Brown Creepers. Trip should last until noon.

Februqry 10, Saturday - Phinizy Waterfowl trip. (This is a Phinizy Center trip). Meet at Phinizy Park parking lot at 9am to drive around the wetland cells looking for ducks and other wintering birds. There may be a charge if you are not a member of Phinizy. Trip should end about noon.

February 17, Saturday - Great Backyard Bird Count -Silver Bluff. Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at 8am to bird the area looking for winter residents. Our results will be turned in for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Trip should end by noon.

February 24, Saturday - Merry Ponds. Meet at Popeye’s at Gordon Hwy and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. We will look for ducks, geese and other birds. If roads are impassable we will bird the paved road. There is a $4 charge to enter the property. Trip will last until noon.

March 3, Saturday - Clark’s Hill. Meet at the South Carolina Visitor’s Center (lower parking lot overlooking the dam) to carpool. We will check out several areas for wintering birds including loons. If birding is good we may go into the afternoon so bring a snack just in case.

March 17, Saturday- Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Meet at the Phinizy Swamp parking area at 8am to walk the property looking for wintering birds and early spring arrivals. Trip will last until about 11.

March 24, Saturday - Dilane WMA. Meet at the Phinizy Parking lot at 8am to carpool, bring lunch. Woodland birds of many habitats will be our targets. Trip will run into the afternoon.

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

December 2, 2017. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Best field trip of the year!! 15 people (!) showed up for today's Phinizy field trip and it was a fantastic trip too. Before we got out of the parking lot we had a small flock of birds that included a Black and White Warbler, a Blue Headed Vireo, Yellow-rumps, RC Kinglets and a Golden-crowned Kinglet that gave us great views of its head stripes. We went across the Cattail Trail and to the Rain Garden Pond. There wasn't a whole lot in there, a Mallard, a few Ring-necked Ducks, Coots and Grebes but there was a Gadwall that was less than 10 ft away from us. You almost never get that close to a Gadwall.

We walked into the Constructed Wetlands and scoped cell 5 for Snipe but none were there so we walked on to the T junction. Paydirt!! In Cell 3 there were at least 50 Snipe, 2 Least Sandpipers, a Dunlin and an American Pipit as well as the usual Killdeer, Coots and Gallinules. Then we heard a King Rail call down the cell and another immediately answered from behind us. Then a little later they called again and were answered by a third calling from our feet. Then the one down cell was seen so everyone got their scopes on it and were trying to get pics when the one at our feet suddenly walked partly out into sight. Then it flew down the edge of the dike and disappeared so we started looking at the one farther away again when someone noticed the flier appear at the edge of the trail about 100' or so down from us. It just stood there like it was trying to decide if it was safe to cross and just kept standing there. I think it was at least 5 minutes so everyone got fantastic looks and good pictures of it before it ducked back into the grass. As soon as we looked away it took the plunge and ran across the dike into cell 5. What an absolutely amazing experience. You rarely get looks at a King Rail, and for all of us to see it so well and so long is just unheard of. You should have been there!

While we were standing there, only 3/4 miles and 90 minutes from the start of the walk we passed 50 species! We walked around to the Equalization Pond and through the woods and ended the day with 57 species. It was a great fall/winter morning of birding.

December 16, 2017. Augusta Christmas Bird Count

Thank you to all who participated in the Augusta CBC. We fielded 13 teams and found 117 species of birds. We had some great species too...a Glossy Ibis was found at Phinizy, this species has never been found on the Augusta count before this year! In addition for only the second time we had Pectoral Sandpipers, 67 of them! A Little Blue Heron (5th time) was also found and 3 groups had Sandhill Cranes! We had a number of misses as well; no Redhead ducks, Northern Pintails, or Horned Grebes were found. Overall, this was an average count for us (high is 123, low is 105). Next year's Augusta CBC will be Dec 15, mark your calendars!

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