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Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society offers adventures in birding and nature | Sunday Best

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After observing wild birds on her personal for a few years, Mary Jo Dawson determined to get entangled in the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society.

It turned out to be resolution.

“First and foremost, I joined to improve my birding skills, and it has made me a much better birder,” mentioned Dawson, who’s the director of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System. “I’ve met people who have been birding for decades in this area, and they’ve raised my awareness of not just the best places to go, but also the best time of year to go there.”

They’ve additionally helped Dawson do a greater job of figuring out birds.

“The more different types of birds I see, the more it whets my appetite to see them all,” she mentioned. “That’s every birder’s secret dream, to see every bird in the world.”

In addition, Dawson will get a kick from simply being open air.

“There is so much beauty, and it’s close by and accessible,” she mentioned. “You just have to slow down and look.”

The Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, which was based in 1905. The nationwide group’s mission is to guard birds and their habitats.

The Augusta-Aiken chapter meets six instances a yr. In addition, its members take part in actions comparable to butterfly and chicken counts, water high quality monitoring and the upkeep of a local pollinator backyard that they established at East Aiken School of the Arts.

“Field trips are our biggest thing,” said Lois Stacy, the Augusta-Aiken chapter’s president.

She leads those excursions, which take place during every season. Phinizy Swamp, Lovers Lane in Augusta and the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary are among the locations visited.

The field trips provide opportunities to observe a variety of birds that live in or visit Georgia and South Carolina.

“You never know what they are going to be doing,” Stacy mentioned. “We’ve watched great blue herons catch snakes and beat them on the ground.”

There’s additionally an opportunity that birds not normally seen in the CSRA shall be noticed.

“They show up where they’re not supposed to be,” Stacy mentioned. “We’ve had a glaucous gull at Brickyard (Merry) Ponds in the winter. I had a Wilson’s warbler in my yard recently.”

And if there aren’t loads of birds to look at through the discipline journeys or they’re not doing something fascinating, there are different sights to get pleasure from.

“We end up looking at things like dragonflies, butterflies, plants and reptiles,” Stacy mentioned.

For extra details about the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society, go to the chapter’s web page on Facebook or augustaaikenaudubon.org.

Dawson particularly likes the chapter’s Facebook web page.

“Folks share their sightings (of birds) and their photographs, which are a pleasure to look at,” she mentioned. “It’s one of the few places on Facebook that I avidly visit. I probably look at it a couple of times a week, more frequently than my family and friends’ pages.”