Today a friend and I attended a bird-watching event that was hosted by City of Austin Park Rangers and the Leave No Trace Foundation. It was advertised as a beginner-friendly introduction to birding, which seemed perfect for me since I consider myself a newbie. We met at 9 am at a trail-head to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and after introductions and learning about Leave No Trace principles, we hit the trail for some birding!
The park rangers were friendly and knowledgeable about the flora and fauna on the trail, and not only did we learn about the native and migrating birds, but also about some invasive plant species, trail etiquette, geological details, and seasonal changes along the greenbelt. In addition to the rangers, a volunteer from the Austin chapter of the Audubon society joined us to offer her birding expertise. It was such a valuable experience for a beginner like me. When a bird was spotted, there was plenty of information shared about the bird and how to identify it, the bird song, and the habitat. It was fascinating!
The excursion was fun and informative, but it was also a nice motivator to actually experience the passion that birders have for their hobby. Just sharing that with others is encouraging, especially to an introvert like myself. I admit that part of my interest in birding is that I never really understood why people got into it, and wanted to know. Now I am beginning to understand the allure and fun that can be had participating in birding.
After the session, my friend and I headed over to the Taco Deli across the street for lunch, and then we had to check out the Leave No Trace Subaru, which was nicely outfitted. That crew is doing some important work spreading awareness about how we can enjoy the outdoors more responsibly. Good stuff!
It was so nice to be out on the greenbelt for a hike/walk and also get some education on birding. And I even grew my life list with six new bird species!
I hope you had a nice day!