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

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

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.

Augusta-Aiken Audubon NABA Butterfly Count, July 19, 2014

Butterflies have been hard to find for the first part of the summer in Augusta (and much of the southeast). Between that, cloudy skies and intermittent rain we didn't hold out much hope for a good count this year.

The Augusta group started the day at Phinizy Swamp NP under cloudy, cool conditions but as we walked through a grassy area we were surprised by lots of little dark skippers flying up and away from us. In that little field we had over 20 Ocola Skippers which is a very good number for us.

While we were under 100% cloud cover all day it did brighten up considerably and when it did the butterflies started to fly! We had one group in Augusta (Phinizy, Lover's Lane, Foster's Lane and the Boral road into Merry); one group at Silver Bluff Audubon Center and one group roaming other local parts of Aiken County (Red Cliff Plantation, Gum Swamp Road, etc).

Between the three groups we managed to spot 34/35 species of butterflies for the day (one group had definite White Checkered-skippers, the other group had unknown White/Common Checkered-skippers).

That's not bad considering the conditions. Looking forward to next year's count. Lois Stacey.

Wood Storks abd Swallow-tailed Kites, July 26, 2014

We had a huge turnout for the Storks and Kites field trip. 19 people showed up at Silver Bluff for the storks portion of the trip. We had a total of 88 Wood Storks as well as several other species of waders and three species of shorebirds. One of the Wood Storks was banded but we were unable to identify the numbers on the band (hopefully some of our photographers were able to get a pic of it).

Most of the group continued to the intersection of Hwy 125 and Millet Drive in Allendale County to look for Swallow-tailed Kites. We met other birders from around the state at the site and the kites were right at the edge of the field when we arrived.

There were at least 66 Swallow-tailed Kites in the area and some were very close. The highlight was an immature bird still begging for food and being fed by at least one adult. The youngster perched in a tree just feet from us for wonderful views and photo opportunities!

This turned out to be a wonderful field trip. Make plans to come with us next year! Lois Stacey.

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