| 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 I20 take Martintown Rd. to West Ave. Turn right on West and go to Buena Vista. Turn left on Buena Vista.
Directions to other field trip venues can be
found on the Local Birding Sites
If you have questions concerning a field trip, please contact the listed field trip leader.
Anne Waters can be contacted at: email@example.com; 706-793-2788.
Lois Stacey can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 803-215-1594
June 1, Saturday. Loverís Lane. Meet at Popeyes at 8 am to carpool. The heron-egret rookery should be active by this time so we will look at it with scopes then look for other nesting birds along the dirt road. The field trip will end at approximately 12 noon. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead.
June 15, Saturday. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, SC. Meet at 9am at the entrance to the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive. We will bird the drive in cars looking for Purple Gallinules who should be nesting. We also might see Swallow-tailed Kites. Bring a lunch which we will eat along the drive. We will also view the roadside spoils mudflat on hwy 17 looking for shorebirds. We wil go to the visitor center and the butterfly garden beside the center. The field trip will be over about 3-4pm. Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead.
June 29, Saturday. Wings and Things at The Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary. Meet at the ponds at 8am. We will look for nesting birds but also dragonflies, butterflies and other bugs. As the title says, Wings and Things. We will continue into the afternoon when bugs become more active so if you want to stay for the afternoon, bring a lunch to eat in the field. The field trip will end at appoximately 3-4pm. Lois Stacey and Anne Waters lead.
July 13, Saturday. North American Butterfly Count. We will be counting butterflies as part of the national count by the North American Butterfly Association. There will be 2 teams; 1 in SC and 1 in Ga. The SC team will be led by Paul Koehler. Meet for that team at 9am near the butterfly garden at the education building at Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary. The Ga. Team will be led by Lois Stacey. Meet at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park in the parking lot at 9am. Both teams will be out all day but you can help with the morning or afternoon part only if you wish. For the SC team, bring a lunch. The Ga. Team will eat at a fast food place about noon. You do not have to be able to identify the butterflies to participate. Spotters are very helpful in finding the butterflies, especially the smaller ones.
Three people took part in our first ever field trip to the Georgia Botanical Gardens in Athens. The gardens are run by the University of Georgia and it is an amazing site. There are gardens as you would expect including a native plant garden, shade garden, herb garden, a stream and bog, rose garden and flower garden. There are also miles of trails that run through the woods and along the river. This makes it an excellent spot for migrants. In the last few years it has become one of the best places to bird during migration.
We ran into the Athens birders right after we started and our first migrant of the day was a beautiful male Cape May Warbler! The other birders went one way and our group went another but we passed each other again going opposite directions further down the path. We walked through hardwood forests and along a beautiful stream with spring wildflowers blooming along it. We then went along the river and through a powerline cut and back through the woods to the gardens proper. We ate lunch and then explored the gardens. We're planning a fall trip back to the area so watch for it!
For the day we ended up with 58 species. We had 4 species of Vireo (Blue-headed, Red-eyed, White-eyed and Yellow-throated), Indigo Buntings, lots and lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and 13 species of warbler; Cape May, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated, Pine, Hooded, Black and White and Kentucky Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, Louisiana Waterthrush, American Redstart, Northern Parula and Ovenbird. We also had both Scarlet and Summer Tanagers.
It was a wonderful day and a beautiful location. Join us next time.
Four people came on the field trip on May 4th which began in the light rain. Fortunately the rain stopped after about a half hour and held off the rest of the field trip although it was cold and windy.
There were a lot of birds in the newly leafed out trees along Loverís Lane. In all we saw 68 species which included 10 species of warblers and 7 migrants. A migrant is a bird we see here only during migration. Solitary Sandpipers were in a wet weather pond. In the trees we had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow, Blackpolls, Redstarts, Black-throated Blue, and Black-throated Green Warblers.
A Northern Waterthrush came out. Several Yellow-breasted Chats were heard and one came out and gave us a close look. There were approximately 70 Bobolinks in the grain field along here. A Bluebird had 3 babies who sat on a limb and we could see their yellow gape on their bills.
There were quite a few Orchard Orioles, Catbirds, Eatern Kingbirds and Blue Grosbeaks. Also Painted and Indigo Buntings. Two late species were the Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Savannah Sparrow which should be gone by now. A lot of Cedar Waxwings are still about too.
A Barred Owl treated us to looks at him in the swamp and Mississippi Kites flew over the levee. We also saw 4 White-tailed Deer along the road.
It was a very interesting field trip as usual. Come join us. We usually see good things even on a rainy morning.
The Wings & Things Field Trip was attended by 6 people. We began at 9am at the park entrance where we paid our fees. It was cloudy with one period of light sprinkles about noon but otherwise it was good weather to be outside and the clouds kept the temperatures down. We heard a lot of birds early and saw several nice ones. In all we had 43 species of birds.
Some included: Black & White, Hooded, Kentucky, Parula, Prothonotary, Yellow-throated and Pine Warblers plus Louisiana Waterthrush. Also had singing Yellow-throated Vireos. There were Acadian Flycatchers, Eastern Wood Pewees and Eastern Phoebes. Summer Tanagers are bright red and singing. A beautiful Yellow-billed Cuckoo saw up in bare limbs. A Barred Owl called. Spotted Sandpipers were around the pond, and a group of White-breasted Nuthatches were active around the canoe launch area.
We only had 2 butterflies: S. Pearly Eye and Palomedes Swallowtails. But we had 21 different species of odes with more damselflies than dragonflies. Some of these were new species for many of us, including Lois who is our ode expert. We spent a lot of our time looking at these small insects. Some of the damselflies were especially small so taking a photo of them to see more details and catching them in a net to study were two methods used. Lois had a permit to be able to do this.
13 were damselflies: Variable Dancer, Citrene Forktail, Blue-tipped Dancer, Sparkling Jewelwing, Sandhills Bluet, Ebony Jewelwing, Turquoise Bluet, Sphagnum Sprite, Lily-pad Forktail and a Ramburís Forktail who grabbed a Burgundy Bluet and ate it. There was also a possible Slender Bluet which may be identified differently later from the photos. We also saw a spreadwing which might be an Elegant Spreadwing.
Dragonflies are larger and easier to see. We had 8 types of them: Carolina Saddlebags, C. Pondhawk, Blue Corporal, Lancet Clubtail, Clear Lake Clubtail, Ornate Penant, C. Whitetail, and Blue Dasher. Some of the things we learned about odes is the way the male holds the female by the back of the neck as she deposits eggs. We watched them doing this. We also saw dragonfly fights, and saw the skins the adults crawl out of when they emerge from the water. There were many of these on stems just above the water.
The large pond in the main part of the park had been drained and the vegetation killed and cleaned out. A sand beach has been added along with a swimming area. Because of this we didnít see odes around this pond where there were many species last year. Hopefully the pond will recover but it was sad to see how barren the area was because it was teeming with life last year when we had our field trip here in June.
At the smaller nearby pond there were some odes and there was a beautiful Mountain Laurel blooming at the waterís edge.
We ate lunch at a picnic table then went back to Cabin Pond and ended the field trip about 3:15. It was a very interesting trip. Itís fun to look at birds but also very interesting to focus in on something different for a change.
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Augusta Aiken Area Bird List