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

FIELD TRIPS
June 24, Saturday Dilane Wings and Things. Meet at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am to carpool to Dilane WMA in Burke County for a Wings and Things trip. This is a great place for birds and butterflies especially. Bring a lunch and we will spend the day. We should head back by 4pm or so.

July 8, Saturday - NABA Butterfly Count. We will count butterflies and turn our counts in to the North American Butterfly Assoc. There will be two groups; one will meet at Silver Bluff Audubon Center in Jackson, SC at 9am. They will count butterflies around the property. The second group will meet at Phinizy Swamp NP in Augusta, GA at 8am. We will count butterflies at the park and along Lock and Dam Rd. Anyone with the Georgia group who would like to continue into the afternoon may. We will eat lunch at a nearby restaurant. We will then count along Lover's Lane and possibly part of Merry Brickyard Ponds.

July 29, Saturday - Wood Storks and more. We will meet at the Kathwood Ponds at Silver Bluff Audubon Center at 4pm. We will walk around the ponds looking for feeding Wood Storks, egrets and herons and shorebirds around the ponds. Field trip will end by sundown.

August 12, Saturday- Lover's Lane. Meet at the Popeye's at Gordon Hwy and Walton Way at 8am. We will carpool to Lover's Lane to look for post breeding birds. Field trip should end by noon.

August 19, Saturday - Phinizy Waders. Join us for Phinizy Swamp Nature Park's summer waders field trip. Meet at the parking lot at Phinizy at 8am. We will drive around the park looking for post-breeding disposal birds. We often get Tri-colored Heron during this trip and we never know what else might show up. This is a Phinizy Swamp trip and there is usually a small charge for non-members of Phinizy.

September 9, Saturday - Crackerneck. Meet at the sign in area at Crackerneck WMA (directions on our Birding Sites page) at 8am. We will drive along the powerline and possibly other areas looking for birds and bugs. Field trip should end by 1pm.

September 15, FRIDAY - Yuchi WMA. Meet at the parking lot at Phinizy Swamp NP at 8am to carpool to Yuchi WMA in Burke County. We will drive around the property looking for fall migrants and post-breeding birds. Field trip should end by 2pm.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIELD TRIPS

May 13, 2017 Congaree National Park

The weather service called for thunderstorms for the morning of our field trip but being crazy birders we decided to go ahead with the field trip. The rain held off until we were ready to drive home.

8 birders met at Congaree to walk the boardwalk. We didn't see very many birds, the canopy is fairly thick, but we did hear quite a few. The birds we did see however were Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Parula, Acadian Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and great looks at a Veery!

On the way back to the visitor's center we heard a Wood Thrush which is a good find. Other birds heard were Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Crested Flycatcher and several species of Woodpecker.

Our initial plan was to walk the 2.4 mile long boardwalk but part of the boardwalk was closed so we walked another loop trail which added 2 more miles! It was a nice day though, if you discounted the mosquitos which were pretty bad. Come out and join us for our next adventure. Lois Stacey

May 27, 2017 Carckerneck WMA

What a gorgeous Memorial Day Saturday! Six of us came out to Crackerneck WMA in Aiken County for a birds and butterflies trip. Part of our focus for this weekend was to count butterflies for the North American Butterfly Association Memorial Day Count. We did really well too! We stopped at the first food plot which is planted with corn this year, and along the edge we had 11 Checkered White butterflies which are not often seen in this area. They seem to be having an irruption year.

At that stop we also had good looks at a wonderful male Summer Tanager. Bluebirds were everywhere on the property too. At one point there was a Yellow-breasted Chat sitting in the top of a tree but about the time everyone got where they could see it a Great-crested Flycatcher flew in and chased it off, taking its perch.

Further along the road we got good looks at Northern Parula and Prothonotary Warbler and heard an Ovenbird. Unusual for us, we had no Anhingas at Skinface Pond, in fact it was pretty quiet in that area. We headed to one of my favorite parts of the property, the road along Three Runs Creek with Pine woodland on the other side. We usually get good birds here, but as we entered the area the cars were covered with scores of Deer Flies so we put the windows up and tried to drive out of them. They were very persisitent, but when we got to higher ground they finally went away.

As we entered the afternoon the birds got more and more quiet, but almost to the exit we heard another Ovenbird and it came out for great looks and then wandered around on the ground for a while. We stopped at a patch of Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed, on the way out and saw a Black Tiger Swallowtail butterfly as well as a Black Swallowtail. We had one gorgeous Coral Hairstreak, which I have most often found on this plant.

For the count we had 23 species of butterflies, not bad! We also had 48 species of birds for the day. Lois Stacey.

June 2, 2017 Lover's Lane, Levee

Four of us spent a lovely morning having birding adventures on Lover's Lane/Augusta Levee. We are fully into breeding season now so birds are busy feeding babies and are not singing as much but we had some really good interactions with some of these busy parents. We had 39 species today which isn't bad for this time of year.

We started the day at Popeye's and watched a very irate Eastern Kingbird attacking a Fish Crow. Every time that crow came through the parking lot to get to the dumpsters the kingbird would come out and attack it. At one point they were claw to claw. It was awesome to watch just feet over our heads.

We drove over to Lover's Lane and had the Loggerhead Shrike on territory but we've still only seen one, I don't know if they are breeding there or not. At the Y we heard an Orchard Oriole singing. Over the course of the day we saw several, and heard more, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, several carrying food. One was near the area where we had a pair last year. Further down the road we heard a baby bird and had another cuckoo coming out of the area the sound seemed to be coming from but we were unable to find a nest.

As we walked down Lover's Lane we had a very, very unconcerned Prothonotary Warbler working the roadside bushes, apparently looking for food, possibly for babies. The bird continued in the open for 10 or more minutes just feet from us before heading deeper into the brush.

Near the swamp we kept hearing a strange call in the bushes and finally we saw them...one very young fledgling White-eyed Vireo calling and begging ts parent who also flew into the bush and was interacting with the baby.

It was getting hot and the birds were settling down but we did have one kettle flying over that contained two Turkey Vultures, two Black Vultures, Two Anhingas and a Mississippi Kite all soaring high overhead. Quite a mixed group!

Come out with us next time and see what kind of adventures we can have. Lois Stacey.

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