A Little About Me...
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. ~ Psalm 9:1
First, I don't want to mislead anyone; I'm not an expert on birds. I'm simply an enthusiast - and a relatively new one at that. I'm writing this blog because I want to share my photos and experiences as I learn more about these beautiful creatures. I marvel each day at God's workmanship and my bird blog provides an outlet for me to exclaim about the wonders I see.
I've loved birds ever since I was young (except for a short time during my teens when those noisy Blue Jays would wake me up way too early summer mornings as they shrieked while they ate the cherries on our cherry trees!). Nearly every day of my youth, you would be sure to find me out roaming the grand, coniferous forest that sprawled for acres and acres behind our home in Clarence, New York. My love for birds began in those woods. Often, I'd sit very still, absorbing the sounds and watching the little woodland creatures resume their activities after they forgot about me. The little Black-capped Chickadees were one of my favorites because they were so friendly and nearly tame.
My father had an Audubon's Field Guide that he'd refer to whenever some interesting species appeared at one of the feeders. I'll always remember the day when a huge flock of Cedar Waxwings descended upon our Mountain Ash trees. With authority, Dad flipped through the pages of the guide and declared them to be Cedar Waxwings. Our visitors stayed for several days devouring those orange berries! I recently sighted three Cedar Waxings sitting in the top of one of our Maple Trees and was transported back to that day.
I'm the wife of a kitchen designer and remodeler , a proud mom of three great and grown children (two daughters and a son), and I'm "Grammy" to five beautiful grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter, Sammie, is pictured with me in the photo above. I'm a web developer and spend my days programming .NET web applications. I also love photography and it was the purchase of my new camera in the fall of 2010 that really sparked my love for birding and photographing birds.
My son accompanies me every once in awhile on my birding adventures. That's him taking a picture with my old Canon Rebel XT in the photo above. He shares my love of the outdoors and loves hiking, so birding is a good match for the both of us. He's quickly learning to identify the birds that frequent our feeders and on one of our recent trips, he captured a fantastic photo of a Pileated Woodpecker!
October 26, 2012 - The Buffalo News
Birder's Enthusiasm is Infectious »
Gerry Rising, The Buffalo News author of "Nature Watch", interviewed me about birding in the Buffalo area after someone recommended my blog to him.
You can read the article here: Birder's Enthusiasm is Infectious »
February 27, 2013 - Amherst Bee
Birds of a Feather »
I was one of the folks interviewed by Erika Carlson from the Amherst Bee regarding the phenomenon of local birding.
You can read the article here: Birds of a Feather »
October 9, 2013 - The Buffalo News
Buffalo bird-watchers abuzz over Brown Booby »
Melinda Miller, from the Buffalo News, interviewed several folks, including myself, over the rare sighting of the Brown Booby found by Jim Pawlicki. They even used one of my photos in the article, the second one down in the left column.
You can read the article here: Buffalo bird-watchers abuzz over Brown Booby »
Birding and Photo Gear
MUST Have's for Birding:
- Field guide: I started with this one, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America, a great guide for beginners. Now, I have several guides and I find myself using Sibley's most often.
- Binoculars: budget is going to dictate what you buy. I have a pair of Nikon Monarch 7's that I am just getting used to. They're bright and I'm loving them so far. One day, I'll go for something more expensive - and maybe 10's for an increased magnification.
- Scope: a must for viewing shorebirds or anything out on the lake or river. Again, budget will dictate what you buy. I was fortunate to buy one of Jim Pawlicki's old scopes and it's serving me well.
NICE to Have's for Birding:
- Hiking boots: you just never know where you're going to end up!
- Backpack: without it, my pockets are usually bulging with all kinds of paraphenalia like bird seed, granola bars, a water bottle, a field guide, bug repellant, etc...!
- Hat: protection from the sun, wind, insects, and bird poop! Seriously!
My Camera Gear:
I get many website contact emails or blog post questions regarding the gear I use, so for those who are curious, I am currently shooting with the Nikon D810 and either the Nikon 80-400mm lens or the Tamaron 150-600mm lens. Prior to July 2014, the photos on this site were mostly taken with the Canon 7D and the 70-200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.
Thank you for visiting. I hope you'll find my bird blog fun, uplifting, and entertaining as I post my discoveries and photos of these delightful creatures that our Heavenly Father so marvelously and wonderfully created (yes, I believe in intelligent design).
The photo on the left shows me with all 5 grandkids. On the right, is a photo from my interview by Gerry Rising.
Included are: my husband, our 3 children and our 2 youngest grandchildren.
Future birders! Myself and 3 grandkids are pictured at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center.