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 field trip leader, Lois Stacey. birdercroakie@gmail.com; 803-215-1594

February 9, SaturdayHarris Neck NWR – Meet in the parking lot at the Harris Neck NWR just south of Savannah at 9am. We will drive the wildlife drive around the property and walk in to the various ponds looking for wintering birds. This is a great place for waterfowl as well as wintering woodland birds. You can find more information on Harris Neck NWR at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/harris_neck/

February 16, SaturdaySilver Bluff Kathwood Ponds – Meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff Audubon Center at 8am for our annual Great Backyard Bird Count walk. We will turn our count numbers in as part of the GBBC. We will walk around the ponds looking for ducks and small birds. Trip should last until about 11.

March 2, Saturday Lover’s Lane – Meet at Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Hwy at 8am to carpool. We will drive Lover’s Lane looking for sparrows (White-crowned will hopefully be found) and other wintering birds. Trip should end by noon.

March 9, SaturdayClark’s Hill Lake – Meet at the lower parking lot at the SC Visitor’s Center just beside the dam at 9am. We will drive to various locations around the lake looking for wintering waterfowl, gulls and others. Trip should end by noon.

March 16, SaturdayPhinizy – Meet in the parking lot at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am. We will walk around the wetland cells and the Equalization Pond looking for wintering ducks, bitterns and rails. This will be a 2-3 mile walk. Trip should end by noon.

April 6, SaturdaySilver Bluff Wings and Things – Meet at the Kathwood Ponds to carpool. We will walk and drive the property looking for all things nature. Our focus will be on early butterflies and dragonflies but birds will be here too as will other interesting things. We will look at whatever interests us. Bring a lunch and we will continue into the afternoon, possibly in a different area of the property. Trip will end by 3pm.

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Augusta Christmas Bird Count-December 22, 2018

Thirteen groups spread out throughout the count circle to spend varying amounts of time counting every bird we could find. Over the course of the day we found 113 species of birds which is about average for us. The Fort Gordon group found 11 Loggerhead Shrikes in their territory which is an amazing number of birds. Other groups found a Magnolia Warbler and a Painted Bunting, both of which are rare, the Magnolia Warbler is very late. Painted Buntings have been wintering in small numbers in the area for the last few years but are still fairly rare.

Flooded and muddy roads affected some teams ability to reach all of their areas but we managed to cover most of the territory. There are also three species that have irrupted this year; Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskin and Purple Finch and we managed to find all three. We did have some misses though; no one had Horned Grebe, Yellowlegs or Snipe (believe it or not) and we found no American Bittern, all species that we normally get for the count.

We will go at it again next December!

Lois Stacey North Augusta, SC

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