Sunday I decided to bird around La Grange. The Travis Audubon Society is offering a series of monthly field trips called the Outer Limits Bird Survey. It’s a chance to explore some of the less-well-traveled counties around Austin. This weekend’s survey was in Fayette County, so it became my excuse to check out some parks I’d never visited. The group spent most of the day around Lake Fayette at the two LCRA parks on its north shores—Oak Thicket and Park Prairie (www.lcra.org). While these parks are very popular with fishermen, I really enjoyed the hiking trails along the lake. They traverse a mix of habitats—woods, water and prairie, which makes for more diverse (and interesting) birding. I’d like to come back during migration—who knows what may show up here. I was also curious about the cabins at Oak Thicket and plan to check those out some day for a longer weekend trip.
By lunchtime Sunday this group was ready for a break (some had been at it since early Saturday). We stopped at Las Fuentes in La Grange for a Mexican food fix and to compare notes. The species total came to 90. Not too shabby for a weekend’s work!
Before heading home I decided to check out Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Site (www.tpwd.state.tx.us). It’s a scenic little park on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River and La Grange. And though I’ve seen pictures of the monument, I didn’t realize that the environment is kind of unusual for this area, it’s a small outcrop of Hill Country. The canyon trail around the ruins of the old brewery and along the little creek felt like I was west of Austin. It was a very relaxing way to end the day.