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

July 7, SaturdayAugusta-Aiken NABA Butterfly Count.– We will have two teams, one in Augusta and one at Silver Bluff. The teams will meet at 9am; the Augusta team will meet at Phinizy Swamp NP, the Silver Bluff team will meet at the center. The Augusta team will count at Phinizy, Lock and Dam Rd, Lover’s Lane and possibly part of Merry. This team usually goes into the afternoon and we will eat lunch at a nearby restaurant. The Silver Bluff team will count on several areas of the center including the Sparrow Field and is usually done by noon.

July 21, SaturdayMerry Exploratory – We will meet at Popeye’s at Walton Way and Gordon Highway at 8am. No one ever birds Merry Ponds in the summer but we are going to explore and see what we can find. Come with me on a mission of rediscovery! Trip will end around noon.

August 4, SaturdayPhinizy Waders – Meet at Phinizy at 9am. We will drive around the park looking for post-breeding dispersal birds. This is the time of year to find Tricolored Herons, Glossy Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills, if we’re lucky. Trip will end around noon.

August 11, SaturdaySilver Bluff Storks and More – meet at the Kathwood Ponds at 8am. We will walk the ponds looking for Wood Storks and shorebirds, and anything else that might have come in. Post-breeding dispersal birds should be around and we never know what we might find. Trip will end by noon.

September 15Crackerneck Wings and Things. Meet at the sign-in booth at 9:30. We will be joined for this trip by members of the Carolina Butterfly Society and our primary focus will be butterflies although we will look at other things as well. Trip may go into the afternoon, bring water and snacks.

September 22Phinizy Migration Walk. This is a Phinizy Swamp event and there may be a $5 cost. Details upcoming.

September 29, SaturdayWings over Water – Meet at Riverside Park boat ramp in Columbia County (4431 Hardy McManus Rd, Evans, GA) at 8:30 to paddle (canoe and kayak only) Betty’s Branch looking for birds and the other creatures that call this area home. Bring binoculars. If you do not own a canoe or kayak they can be rented on-site from Outdoor Augusta Riverside (706-399-4037 to reserve), if you are going to rent please arrive early enough to get the paperwork done so that you are on the water with us. OA opens at 8am. Everyone please assemble between 8 and 8:15 so that we can unload and get on the water by 8:30. We will paddle 3-4 miles (out and back) at least. Lifejacket required; bring water. Please confirm on Facebook or email me at croakie@comcast.net so that we know you are coming.

FIELD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

CrackerneckMay 26, 2018

There were 4 of us for the May Crackerneck trip. We drove and walked different areas around the property. As usual for May, the deerflies were out in force but didn’t seem to be doing a lot of biting. The birds however were calling like crazy! We started the day with a Blue Grosbeak sitting up pretty in the top of a large bush. Further down the road we saw Indigo Buntings, a male Painted Bunting and heard Northern Bobwhite calling from close by. As we were driving further down the road we saw some Turkeys in a field and crossing the road in front of us. While the rest of us were trying to find a calling Yellow-breasted Chat John found some really good butterflies for the area; Twin-spot Skippers! We heard Bachman’s Sparrows and Yellow-throated Warblers, Northern Parulas and the usual denizens of lowland swamp forests. We even had a couple of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds! We ended the day around noon with 43 species. Lois Stacey.

Lover’s LaneJune 9, 2018

Four of us birded Lover’s Lane looking for nesting birds. There were a lot of Common Grackles around, but there always are in this location. The Shrike that usually nests near Laney Walker was not there, but the local business has removed all of the trees there. We stopped and walked a bit along Lover’s Lane just at the Y, there were Cuckoos nesting here last year but no sign of them this time. We did have an adult Bald Eagle fly over, maybe they’re nesting somewhere in the area? There were a few egrets in the pond but the foliage in the area has grown up again and seeing in is hard. Further down the road we had Ospreys in the cell tower nest, nearly grown young looking out. The lower end of the road was pretty quiet but it was already starting to get hot. We did hear a Louisiana Waterthrush singing in the creek bottom along the levee. While it seemed pretty quiet we did end up with 41 species for the day. Lois Stacey.

Aiken Gopher Tortoise HPJune 16, 2018

Four of us started this really hot day in a really hot location with a fifth person joining us a little later. We walked the trail down the hill and along Spring Branch looking for birds and dragonflies. We were greeted at the parking area by a couple of Common Nighthawks flying and calling around us. Indigo Buntings and Brown-headed Nuthatches were also around. Halfway down the trail we had a singing Bachman’s Sparrow. Right after that we had a flyover Anhinga. It’s not every day you get those two species on the same list! There weren’t a whole lot of dragonflies around but we did find 3 species of pennants; Ornate, Amanda’s and Banded plus Golden-winged Skimmers, Eastern Pondhawks, Little Blue Dragonlets and Blue Dashers. We only found one spreadwing, a female. We also had Variable Dancers and Ebony Jewelwings near each other to make it easy to see the differences. After walking back to the cars we drove over to the other side and parked near the end of the trail to the RCWs. It was already getting hot so we didn’t want to have to walk the whole loop. We walked up to the colony site but it was very quiet, we had almost no birds or dragonflies at all! We also did not see or hear the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. It was very hot by this point so we decided to call it a day. Lois Stacey.

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