VIP Trip to Autrey Pedernales River Property

Pam and Jeff Autrey’s property on the Pedernales River was a fabulous spot for our VIP birding trip on June 2.  Ten generous Travis Audubon donors, led by the intrepid Judith Bailey and Dennis Palafox, enjoyed a lovely morning of birding.

We convened in South Austin for breakfast snacks and coffee, then rolled through Johnson City (with a Great Horned Owl on a wire!) to the Autrey’s. On the road that led to the property, we stopped the cars to listen for Field Sparrows, Painted Buntings, Summer Tanagers, and Bewicks Wrens.  We then arrived to a warm welcome at the Autrey’s home, where we stopped to listen for Northern Bobwhites near the house (foiled!). Heading down the road, Male Painted Buntings showed off at every turn. We also saw a raucous meeting of five or six Golden-fronted Woodpeckers of all ages on a dead tree along the way. This short walk led us to gorgeous riparian habitat on the Pedernales, shaded by huge pecan trees and cooled by lovely breezes. We had an Orchard Oriole to serenade us, and an Olive-sided Flycatcher on the line nearby.

Olive-sided Flycatcher. Photo by Julia Marsden.

With the riverfront as a backdrop and our camping chairs by the water, we sat in the June-in-Texas shade and did some more casual birding, beating the heat, counting the Swallows, and enjoying some lovely snacks and drinks. We had covered 1.5 miles in three hours and saw 38 species. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday among friends.

Thank you to Pam and Jeff Autrey for sharing their piece of paradise with us, and thank you to the generous donors who make Travis Audubon’s work possible.  If you’re interested in joining us on VIP field trips like these, email me at to learn more about our levels of membership.