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

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. Lois leads.

June 25, Saturday - Lover's Lane Meet at Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am to carpool. We will look for nesting birds and may find some just fledged babies too. Field trip should be over by noon. Lois leads.

July 9, Saturday - Butterfly Count. We have two groups that go out to count butterflies and you can choose which group and how long to stay. One group will meet at Silver Bluff Audubon Center at 9am to count that property. Some people may stay into the afternoon so you might want to bring a lunch or snack. Details can be discussed at the meet up. The other group will meet at Phinizy Swamp NP at 9am and will count in Augusta. We will eat lunch at Wendy’s and if you want to continue into the afternoon we will go until around 5 unless rained out or the bugs stop. Paul Koehler is the contact for the Silver Bluff group, Lois Stacey is the contact for the Phinizy group.

July 23, Saturday - Savannah NWR. We will meet at the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive parking area and will spend the day driving around there and possibly walking some trails as well. Our primary goal is Purple Gallinule but we could also see Glossy Ibis. We will also look for butterflies as there are some that we don’t get up here. It is likely to be hot and possibly buggy so bring plenty of water, bug spray, a hat, long sleeves, etc. Bring lunch and we will stop and eat somewhere along the way. We may drive over to Hwy 17 and check the mudflats and the trip should be done between 3 and 4. Lois leads.

July 30, SaturdayStorks and Kites. We will meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff at 8am and will take a look at the Wood Storks. Last year there were also Roseate Spoonbills here. About 9am we will leave and carpool over to the Allendale area and look for Swallowtail Kites. We may check several places. Trip is usually done by 2. Lois leads.

August 13, SaturdayPhinizy Wanderers trip. We will meet at the parking lot at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park at 8am. We will pile into trucks and cars and drive around the property looking for post-breeding dispersal birds. After breeding many young birds spread out of their normal ranges. We often get Tri-colored Herons at this time of year and there should be lots of other birds to see as well. This is a great way to get to the back of the park during the hottest part of the year. Trip should be over by noon. Lois leads.

August 27, SaturdayLover’s Lane. Meet at Popeye’s at Gordon Highway and Walton Way at 8am and we will carpool to look for post breeding birds and early migrants. Lois leads.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

Crackerneck WMA May 14

Five people came out to Crackerneck WMA for our field trip. This is a wonderful area, part of the Savannah River Site and is only open to non-hunters a few times a year. This trip was supposed to run into the afternoon but because of conflicting activities we ended about noon.

A large part of this area is Mixed Pine woodlands and we saw a lot of the birds that frequent the area. Summer Tanagers, Orchard Orioles and Eastern Wood-Pewees were common. Indigo Buntings were nearly everywhere we stopped and we got good looks at Blue Grosbeaks as well. We also had some lowland species such as Northern Parula, Yellow-throated Warbler and Yellow-throated Vireo. We heard a barred owl fairly close but couldn’t see it until we got just too close to it and it flew. We never even saw it come in!

Down on Three Runs Creek we had a Louisiana Waterthrush that was very unhappy that we were there and flew around and around us but never stopped for a look. We also had really good looks at an Acadian Flycatcher. That was a life bird for nearly everyone on the trip! Our total for the day was 47 species. Not bad! Lois Stacey.

DiLane Plantation WMA May 28

What a gorgeous day to be birding! Six intrepid birders showed up for this field trip to Burke County. Dilane is managed for Northern Bobwhite and we heard several although none of them came out into the open.

Orchard Orioles, mainly young males, were seen and heard in several places. Summer Tanagers were all over the place and we got 4 species of flycatcher; Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird!!

We heard lots of Indigo Buntings and a few Painted Buntings too. We got quick looks at a Yellow-breasted Chat and good looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo taking nesting material to a tree.

There were White Ibis and Wood Ducks and Pied-billed Grebes at Thirty Acre Pond. The best stop though was at Steiner Branch where we spent some time with an immature Barred Owl. He was heard calling first and then he glided into an open tree. We watched him looking for food and calling for his parents. While we watched him a Prothonotary Warbler flew into a different bare tree for great looks!

We drove down the road a bit and when we came back the owl was still there and still calling while a parent kept watch. We had a total of 57 species for the day and ended with a quick stop at Pineland Bakery.

 
Lois Stacey. 

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