Happy Thanksgiving

  This past weekend I encountered three Wild Turkeys on the trails. They flew off so quickly I didn’t manage to get a photo.They were surprisingly quiet upon take off. Geese and ducks are the larger birds I usually encounter and they make quite the commotion upon being scared into flight. 

   Today being our national holiday of Thanksgiving, I thought a turkey photo would be appropriate.This past March (mating season) with a few more miles to go before reaching the conservancy, these Wild Turkey were spotted in a farm field.

   Below we have a tom and two jakes displaying their tails to impress the hen(s). They were part of a much larger flock.

   In closing may we all take the time to appreciate the lives we are capable of living on this Thanksgiving. For those traveling may you do so safely. For everyone may the holiday be filled with warmth and good cheer. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wild Turkey


Black-capped Chickadee


The Black-capped Chickadee’s strength of character belies it’s small physical size. 

Harsh upstate New York winters of strong winds blowing falling snow in subfreezing temperatures will not contain him. In your backyard or in the woods at times like these you are apt to hear the nearby call of, “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee.”

Thousands of migratory songbirds invading his homeland in the spring and summer do not intimidate the Chickadee; going about his business as usual with what appears to be a single mindedness of purpose.

It has an almost fearless and inquisitive nature which comes across as friendliness.

Not the most colorful songbird but it is one of the cutest you will see.  

One of nature’s finest, the Black-capped Chickadee.


2017 Calendar

Canada Goosecanada-geese-5595
For the second year I have put together a Birds Of The Great Swamp Conservancy calendar. They will be available at The GSC nature center located at the corners of Pine Ridge Road and North Main Street, Canastota, New York for the price of 10 dollars (all profits going to the GSC). 

American Robin  (March)robin-7644

Your purchase gets you a quality product produced by the Oneida Print Shop

Great Blue Heron  (May)great-blue-heron-1108

And too you’re promoting environmental education and conservation. That’s a win-win.

Tree Swallow  (January)tree-swallow-7964

So why not stop at the GSC, (store hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 10 until 3) and get yours? Better yet, pick one or more up as you attend one of their special events (check out their website).

Wood Duck  (November)finished-wood-duck-5980

In closing I want to comment on The Fall Migration Festival. There was so much going on, from many games for children to a nature walk in the woods, horse rides to Chicken BBQ, birds of prey exhibitors to fun basket raffles, live music wafting in the air to the great photos and insight from the GSC’s own Swamp Snappers photo club. There were crafters ( I bought some goat cheese, it was delicious) and their wares to very informative nature talks with representatives of the Beaver Lake Nature Center, and so much more.

It was a great event. The best part for me was seeing the smiles on everyones faces. It was nice to see children and parents alike, having fun together. If you are looking for something to do with your family think of attending one of the GSC’s many events. They are both informative and fun; events a family can enjoy together.

This was all made possible by many hardworking volunteers. I want to say to all the volunteers, your hard work paid off, it was evident in the smiles of the attendees. 

A Saturday In Mid October

Saturday was a beautiful sunny fall day. This Rusty Blackbird was photographed in full fall plumage. Breeding adult males are black in color females gray. I rather prefer this out of breeding season look.

Rusty Blackbird (click on photos to enlarge)


European Starlingeuropean-starling-6531

Another bird with fall plumage I prefer over It’s breeding look is the European Starling. Not a popular bird for sure and many consider it drab, however in the fall it does look quite different.

Great Blue Heron
Passing the beaver damn I flushed out a Great Blue Heron. Fortunately it flew to a nearby spot even better suited for my photography needs.

I want to thank those whose blogs I follow, you have helped me become a better photographer. Not that I am in your league, some of you are amazing!

To those who follow me thank you, I am humbled. Just trying to improve my photography and share what I love about nature and The Great Swamp Conservancy.

A Little Of This and …”Whoa”

Started out this particular morning photographing sparrows. Water levels being low offered  access to a spot at swamps edge opposite dense vegetation where many sparrows were busying themselves. It was relaxing watching them and a challenge (as always) to get a good shot.

Swamp Sparrowswamp-sparrow-5963Leaving this area I made my way to the trails on higher elevation. This land is dry and bordered by woods on the side opposite the swamp. Upon hearing the call of an unfamiliar bird I readied the camera and tripod, slowly making way to the tree from where the call came. All of a sudden, “Whoa” I wasn’t expecting this, an eight point buck stopped grazing  coming to trails edge to check me out.

White-tailed Deerwhite-tailed-deer-5879Turning the camera towards him I quickly snapped this shot,he was very close. To close for his comfort as he quickly took off.  white-tailed-deer-5880 white-tailed-deer-5882Imagine my surprise while taking these pictures another eight point buck comes into the viewfinder.white-tailed-deer-5888 Unfortunately I missed the money shot. One of the deer stood broadside  looking my way before entering the woods.I snapped a shot but it was unusable,blurry. Not the best deer photos but it’s what I got and a pretty good representation of a pleasant morning spent enjoying nature at the Great Swamp Conservancy.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (female)

images captured September 24 2016

There are two subspecies of the Yellow-rumped warbler. In the east we have the Myrtle Warbler in which the female has has a whitish throat. In the western United States the subspecies is know as the Audubon’s Warbler she has a yellow throat. To learn more of the Yellow-rumped Warbler check out Cornell Universities All About Birds website.