The many Travis Audubon field trips I have been on over the years have definitely helped me become a better birder, and I enjoy helping newer birders discover the pleasures of bird watching.
I spend a lot of time working on my Travis County bird list alone and with groups, and love to bird by ear. (Bird lists can take many forms: day list, location list, year list, county list, and life list are all important to me.)
One of my favorite things to do is give talks about Austin area birds, and how to attract them to yards, greenbelts and parks with native plants. On field trips I enjoy pointing out various native plants that are bird favorites but, no, I don’t know them all.
I love being a field trip leader because it’s a great way to give back to TAS for all the great classes and field trips I’ve been on that have fed my love of birding. I’m also motivated by the enthusiasm and joy expressed by participants for just being outdoors and seeing our beautiful central Texas birds.
As a field trip committee member, my self-appointed role is to make everyone feel welcome. Sometimes new people join our bird walks for the social aspect, wondering if this will be the right group for them. It takes a lot of courage to be the newbie, maybe never having birded and not knowing anyone. I’ll be your bridge from that awkward feeling to becoming a part of the group of nature lovers and birders, always in a supportive and non-intimidating way.
My interest in nature and the environment goes back to my childhood. I’ve been an active birder for over 30 years. I organize our Tuesday program of Two-hour and Super Tuesdayfield trips. I also occasionally lead one of the monthly Saturday field trips at Hornsby Bend.
What in the world is more fun than being outside all day spying on birds? Being a field trip leader allows me to do that with fun, interesting, and enthusiastic people. I love playing an active role in an organization that has brought and continues to bring such richness to my life. Thank you Travis Audubon!
Long ago when I was 14 years old, I spotted a tall, gray-blue bird standing in a creek with a wiggly crawfish in its mouth. I ran home to get the Texas Birds field guide; I searched until I found a picture of a Yellow Crowned Night Heron. Wow! I was a curious birder from then on; but, not a crazed one until I saw a Golden-cheeked Warble singing in the sunlight on a Travis Audubon “Two Hour Tuesday.”
Deb & Lee Wallace
Deb and Lee combine their 20+ years of birding and love of the outdoors to make their bird walks welcoming, friendly and fun! The friendships they have made and their experiences on field trips encourage them to carry on the tradition of introducing folks to the cool places and birds of Central Texas. Deb says, “We are having a ball! Come join us!”
I enjoy spending time with the kind of people who bird. They are invariably friendly, eager to learn and to teach, and to simply enjoy an outdoor experience. Field trips are the heart of Travis Audubon!