Special Notes Regarding Field Trips
1) All field trips leave from the motel parking lots.
2) Departure times are staggered so note the time for your trip carefully. Arrive at least five minutes before departure time.
3) Please carpool if possible because excessive vehicles are a problem in some areas.
4) For all-day trips you will need to bring a lunch except for trips 1 and 15. For half-day trips you may want to bring a snack and a beverage.
5) Morning trips will be over by noon so you will have time to get back to the motel, eat lunch, and be ready for any afternoon field trips you may want to attend.
6) Afternoon field trips will be shorter than the morning trips.
Thanks to Anne Waters for composing this field trip schedule.
(Field trip descriptions are below the schedule)
Friday, September 24
Trip #1 Beaverdam Ditch and Brickyard Ponds, 7:20 am
Trip #2 Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 7:20 am
Trip #3 Gum Swamp Road and Horse Creek Water Treatment Plant, 7:40 am
Trip #4 Phinizy Swamp-A, 7:00 am
Trip #5 Phinizy Swamp-B, 7:00 am
Trip #6 Phinizy Swamp-C, 7:00 am
Trip #7 Lover's Lane and Levee, 7:10 am
Trip #8 Old Lover's Lane and Brickyard Ponds, 7:10 am
Trip #9 Silver Bluff Interpretive Trail, 7:30 am
Trip #10 Silver Bluff Interpretive Trail, l:45 pm
Trip #11 Phinizy Swamp-A, 2:00 pm
Trip #12 Phinizy Swamp-B, 2:00 pm
Trip #13 Phinizy Swamp-C, 2:00 pm
Trip #14 Lover's Lane and Levee, 2:15 pm
Saturday, September 25
Trip #15 Beaverdam Ditch and Brickyard Ponds, 7:20 am
Trip #16 Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 7:20 am
Trip #17 Gum Swamp Road and Horse Creek Water Treatment Plant, 7:40 am
Trip #18 Fort Gordon Army Base, 6:20 am
Trip #19 Phinizy Swamp-A, 7:00 am
Trip #20 Phinizy Swamp-B, 7:00 am
Trip #21 Phinizy Swamp-C, 7:00 am
Trip #22 Lover's Lane and Levee, 7:10 am
Trip #23 Old Lover's Lane and Brickyard Ponds, 7:10 am
Trip #24 Silver Bluff Interpretive Trail, 7:30 am
Trip #25 Silver Bluff Interpretive Trail, l:45 pm
Trip #26 Old Lover's Lane and Brickyard Ponds, l:45 pm
Trip #27 Phinizy Swamp-A, 2:00 pm
Trip #28 Phinizy Swamp-B, 2:00 pm
Trip #29 Phinizy Swamp-C, 2:00 pm
Trip #30 Lover's Lane and Levee, 2:15 pm
Sunday, September 26
Trip #31 Fort Gordon Army Base, 6:20 am
Trip #32 Phinizy Swamp-A, 7:00 am
Trip #33 Phinizy Swamp-C, 7:00 am
Trip #34 Lover's Lane and Levee, 7:10 am
Trip #35 Old Lover's Lane and Brickyard Ponds, 7:10 am
Trip #36 Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 7:20 am
Trip #37 Gum Swamp Road, 7:40 am
Trips 4, 11, 19, 27, 32. Phinizy Swamp-A. Half-day.
Phinizy Swamp is a nature park and constructed wetland for waste water treatment. The swamp is a large area with trails, boardwalks, and miles of dikes to hike. There will be three field trips that will cover different areas in the swamp in varied orders. This trip will begin at the boardwalk over Beaverdam Creek and swamp. Next we'll visit the Visitor Center. After we will walk past constructed wetland cells to the pavilion over an old oxbow. Then we'll proceed through a floodplain swamp and across Butler Creek, down Beaverdam Trail, past Mayor's fishing pond and Beaverdam overlook, emerging in the parking area. This will be an all walking trip led by Lois Stacy.
Trips 5, 12, 20, 28. Phinizy Swamp-B. Half-day.
This trip to Phinizy Swamp will hike the Butler Creek Trail, then walk across the parking lot to the Beaverdam Trail. We will follow the trail past Beaverdam Overlook, Mayor's fishing pond, across Butler Creek, then through a floodplain swamp. From there we will visit the pavilion on an old oxbow. Next we'll proceed across a boardwalk and walk along some of the dikes in the constructed wetlands and end up at the Visitor Center. From the center we will hike across a boardwalk over Beaverdam Creek and swamp to emerge at the parking lot. This will be an all walking trip led by Anne Waters.
Trips 6, 13, 21, 29, 33. Phinizy Swamp-C. Half-day.
Along the back of the constructed wetlands is a natural part of Phinizy Swamp, which was part of the swamp before the wetlands were constructed to treat waste water. This trip to Phinizy Swamp will begin with a visit to the Visitor Center, then the group will drive to the back of the constructed wetlands, park, and bird along the back areas, which include a river scar and oxbow lake. We'll hike on dikes that have wooded swamp on one side and constructed wetlands on the other. The trip will be a combination of driving and hiking led by Larry and Carol Eldridge or Ruth Mead.
Trips 7, 14, 22, 30, 34. Lover's Lane and Levee. Half-day.
We'll drive down Columbia Nitrogen Road and stop at a large swamp that is good for waders and shorebirds. Next we will proceed down Lover's Lane past chemical plants, fields, and a new part of the Brickyard Ponds, to a dirt road which goes through hardwoods, fields, and swamps. From there the group will drive up to the levee. The Augusta levee was built to provide flood protection from the Savannah River. Dirt was dug from the sides creating "creeks" on either side. These creeks have grown up into hardwood areas on both sides. All of these areas are good for migrants. The trip will be mostly by car with stops to get out and bird, and will be led by Gene Howard.
Trips 8, 23, 26, 35. Old Lover's Lane and Brickyard Ponds. Half-day.
Lover's Lane is a dirt road through deciduous woods just below the Augusta levee. The trip will proceed down Columbia Nitrogen Road and stop at a large swamp that is good for waders and shorebirds, then turn back and explore a pond and old sections of Lover's Lane that are no longer open to vehicles. These deciduous woods can be very good for migrants. From there we'll go into the Brickyard Ponds. We'll check several ponds to see what water birds are present, though ducks will not have arrived yet. The main area of Old Lover's Lane is walking only. This trip will combine driving and walking and will be led by Judy Gregory.
Trips 1, 15. Beaverdam Ditch and Brickyard Ponds. All-day.
In the morning we'll hike down Beaverdam Ditch. The ditch was dug to provide a way to get storm water from Augusta into Phinizy Swamp. The trail along the ditch goes through hardwoods and swamps that are excellent for migrants. This part of the trip will be all walking and will take most of the morning. After lunch at a nearby fast food restaurant (or you can pack your own) we'll go to the Brickyard Ponds, which were created when clay was dug to make brick. The mining areas filled with water creating many large and small ponds. We will check both old and new ponds for birds. The afternoon will be mostly driving, then stopping to bird a pond, then driving to another pond to bird. George Reeves leads the trip.
Trips 18, 31. Fort Gordon Army Base. Half-day.
We'll go to an area on the military reservation to view a Red-cockaded Woodpecker colony. Because the woodpeckers tend to leave the colony early to go out and forage, this trip leaves earlier than the other trips to give us our best chance to see these birds at the colony. After viewing the colony, we will bird other areas of Fort Gordon, including upland pine sites, low-lying, wetter areas, and a pond. Ken Boyd leads.
Trips 2, 16. Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary. All-day.
Located along the Savannah River across from Augusta in South Carolina near the town of Jackson, the Sanctuary is over 3,000 acres in size, with diverse habitats including river swamps, hardwood forests, pine forests, Carolina Bays, constructed foraging ponds for Wood Storks, and old fields. This trip will start with a hike around the constructed ponds. Next we'll drive down to the river to bird around the boat ramp and then visit a swampy area known locally as "The Island." This second growth area is great for migrants. We'll go to the education building to eat our packed lunches that you need to bring with you. There is a drink machine where you may purchase a drink. After lunch we will bird a loop road that goes through pine areas, hardwood forests, a tupelo swamp, and old fields. The trip will be a combination of hiking and driving, with most of the hiking in the morning. Paul Koehler leads.
Trip 36. Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary. Half-day.
This half-day exploration of the sanctuary (see description above) will start at the education building and will drive and bird a loop road that goes through pine areas, hardwood forests, a tupelo swamp, and old fields. It will be mostly driving and stopping to bird different areas. Paul Koehler leads.
Trips 9, 10, 24, 25. Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary. Half-day.
The sanctuary has a newly developed trail known as The Dynamic Forest Interpretive Trail. It is a l.8 mile loop that goes through young Longleaf and Loblolly Pines, mature Slash Pine, a Black Gum Pond, and mixed woods as it follows Hollow Creek. This is a great trail to see migrants as well as to learn about how the forests are managed from Dan Connelly, the manager of this Audubon Sanctuary.
Trips 3, 17. Gum Swamp Road and Horse Creek Water Treatment Plant. All-day.
Gum Swamp Road traverses the Savannah River swamp system along the South Carolina side of the river. The road, which is partly paved and partly dirt, goes through hardwood and tupelo gum swamps, fields, and deciduous woods. It is an excellent area to look for migrants. We will bird this by driving and stopping to bird along the way. At lunchtime we will drive a short way to Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site for a picnic lunch. You will need to bring your lunch and drink, although there is a small store in nearby Beech Island where you can buy a drink. After lunch we'll go into the Horse Creek wastewater treatment plant near North Augusta. Often there are a variety of shorebirds in one or more of the basins here, and there is an interesting swamp at the entrance. An introductory safety/security lecture at the plant visitor check-in station will be given to all guests. This trip will be all driving and standing by the vehicles. Led by Calvin Zippler.
Trip 37. Gum Swamp Road. Half-day.
Gum Swamp Road traverses the Savannah River swamp system along the South Carolina side of the river. The road, which is partly paved and partly dirt, goes through hardwood and tupelo gum swamps, fields, and deciduous woods. It is an excellent area to look for migrants. We will bird this by driving and stopping to bird along the way. Led by Calvin Zippler.