My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

flickr meet-up

Birdfreak Visit

birdfreak team and I
Birdfreak, Little Kingfisher, Ed’s Father and myself

Today I had a wonderful visit by the Birdfreak Blogging Team as they passed through the area while heading to a birding festival (for Swarovski) in Rhode Island. We only had a few hours to chat but we looked for a few birds . . . Little Kingfisher (Dakota’s All Natural Experience) had the opportunity to band some baby Bluebirds . . . . and then headed up to the Thunder Rocks area to climb on some “big” rocks!! I am sure you will see many of Ed’s and Dakota’s pictures on their own blogs within the next few days (so go visit their blogs).  Little Kingfisher told me that if I didn’t go home and blog something . . . . that I would owe him $50 dollars!! I didn’t want to disappoint this great young birder (and owe him $50 bucks) . . . . so here is my blog post for the day!!   🙂

Scarlet of a Day

Scarlet Tanager
Scarlet Tanager

Last Saturday we had a scarlet of a day banding at the CLDC station! We capture 10 different species and handled 36 individuals (18 newly banded birds and 18 recaptured birds)! Highlights were the Scarlet Tanager, Blue-winged Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers and Cedar Waxwing! Will turn this into an “almost” Wordless Wednesday! The pictures will tell you how exciting our day went!

Allegany Nature Pilgrimage

Me Talking
Young Naturalist J took this photo of me in the Big Basin

Friday and Saturday was the big Audubon weekend here in Allegany State Park. The Allegany Nature Pilgrimage is sponsored by a few of our local Audubon Societies here in the WNY area (and is my favorite weekend of the year). This was my 13th year attending the pilgrimage and my 10th year as being a group leader. I had the privilege of leading two groups (that turned out to be almost 75 people) into the Big Basin Old Growth area. I just loved having Toni, Jennifer and many other regulars to this blog spend their time with me looking for the big trees!

Allegany Bloggers

Canada Goose

On Saturday there will be a Blogger/Flickr get-together during the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage. Many of us local bloggers like Jen from a Passion for Nature, Toni from a Spattering, Linda from Erie Argonaut and maybe Nick from a Biological Rambling will be able to make it. If you are a blogger . . . flickr person and would like to join the get-together . . . . meet on Saturday at the tent at 5pm during the Chicken BBQ (If you don’t have a ticket for the BBQ, make sure you bring your dinner with you). We will probably have a group photo and chat about blogging, photography and just getting to know each other. Hope you can make it!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Female Chestnut-sided Warbler

Last Saturday Jeremy and I followed a male Chestnut-sided Warbler over to this female gathering some nesting material. It was interesting watching her “carefully” selecting . . . . then reaching into the Tent Caterpillar nest without getting herself entangled. I am “assuming” that this material was being gathered for a nest that she is building!!

Allenburg Bog

Allenburg Bog

I was in Allenburg Bog today with Dragonfly Eye who was searching for a bog Dragonfly species that has never been observed in this bog before! Obviously we didn’t locate the “Boghaunter” but we did manage to find a few Darner species and a few damselfly species.

Banding at Presque Isle State Park

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal carefully being banded

Young Naturalist J and I joined Toni from A Spattering and Linda from Eries Argonaut over at the Presque Isle State Park banding station this morning to see some migrants up close. We had such a wonderful time together and saw many great birds being banded by Sarah S. from PA Audubon (Thanks for letting us join you Sarah)! Below are just a few pictures that we captured at the banding station:

Jamestown Audubon Photo Club

The Beaver Pond
The Beaver Pond on France Brook

Today a few members from the Jamestown Audubon Photo Club took a field trip to Allegany State Park for some photographic opportunities!! I took the group to one of my favorite Beaver pond along the France Brook Area and as you can tell the group had a wonderful time with many great pictures.

Famous for a Reason [Guest Post]

A Suet Bandit (Pine Martin)

Guest Post by Marg (aka makeupanid)

Last weekend I traveled to Algonquin Park with a Flickr friend and fellow birder. You would think being a birder that I would have been to Algonquin recently but I haven’t been there in years! I wanted to add Gray Jays and Pine Grosbeaks to my Life List-which is the only reason I was willing to get up at 4 a.m. on a weekend. I get enough of that during the week with my regular job! Algonquin has famous the world over and for a good reason. It is a Nature Lovers paradise. The boreal forest sweeps across it and it is full of birds, mammals and I’m sure reptiles too. But I was there for birds and some mammals-a Pine Marten and Fisher were on our species list. No luck on the Fisher but as you can see we got the Pine Marten-you can read all about him by clicking on the photo. This post is about birds.

Don’t Forget to Turns Your Clocks Back!

Photo by Young Naturalist J.

We had another busy night at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station here in Allegany State Park. We had a fellow birdbander and 3 others from the Allegheny National Forest visit us this evening. They were able to see 2 of our Saw-whet Owls being banded and then be released (before heading home). We also had Sarah from Jamestown Audubon visit for most of the evening (and she was able to see 4 of the birds)! I tried to convince her to stay later but she needed to head home. I know that she made the right decision since we did not catch anything again until the wee hours of the night. It has been wonderful with so many visitors visiting the banding station this week. (more…)

More Visitors

Group Photo

This evening some staff and volunteers from Jamestown Audubon joined me to band some Northern Saw-whet Owls. First few net checks we had come up empty and just before they were about to leave we heard what I believed to be a Saw-whets vocalizing around the net! Of course I kept them past their bed time and they waited to see if we would end up catching an owl with our next check. (more…)

Visit by Nature Woman

Closed Gentian
Closed Gentian

Today Nature Woman (Pam) made a trip out to Allegany State Park to visit and do some hiking! Even though it was cold and cloudy outside . . . . we still had a fun day hiking through the park looking for many fall wildflowers to photograph. (more…)

Feathery Friday – Eye to Eye

Chestnut-sided Warbler and Young Naturalist J


jennimi visit


Today I was honored to finally meet the “blogging librarian” jennimi while as she has been off “into the woods” here in Allegany State Park this week. jennimi is such a cheerful person and I am not sure if I could ever blog enough wonderful things about her!! We found ourselves chatting about birds, blogging, and other great places for her to visit while she is in Allegany.  I just know jennimi took a ton of photos and of course both my cameras were in my back-pack at the office (or I would have had pictures also)!! Do check back with her blog site at or on flickr when she returns home to civilization to report on her many nature adventures!!  Maybe we will bump into each other again before she leaves??  


Flickr Guest at CLDC MAPS

sunrise over the banding station

Sunrise Shot Overlooking the Banding Station

Yesterday was a slower day with the birds but we had some great company. Marg, who is a regular blog commenter and a wonderful flickr photographer visited the CLDC MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station. It was an awesome way to spend some time together to talk about banding, flickr, photography and life in general. (more…)

Wonderful Visit!

Large Sugar Maple in the Older Growth Forest

Today NatureWoman (Pam) came out to visit me here in Allegany State Park and check out the big basin area (our older growth forest). After spending a few hours with the big trees, we visited many of the other “Allegany” tourist spots.  We had a hard time taking pictures due to it raining every time we got out of the vehicles; we still had a blast chit chatting together! (more…)

Allenburg Bog

Allenburg Bog

Dragonfly Eye gave me a call yesterday and asked if I wanted to join him in search of the Boghaunter. If you are not familiar of the Boghaunter (I wasn’t), it is a rare Dragonfly that is frequently found in areas associated with bogs. Jeremy informed me that none of the Boghaunter species have ever been found at Allenburg Bog (Cattaraugus County, NY) area. He wanted to visit the bog to see if we could find any of them flying yet. Of course I am always up for an adventure and couldn’t resist in also taking the time to look for newly arrived warblers! (more…)

Fun Day With Naturalist Buddy

Bridal Falls Frozen in Time

I spent a lovely day with Jamestown Audubon Naturalist and Nature Photographer Jen S. here in Allegany State Park today. I am so glad that she suggested that I take some time off from work to enjoy some needed fresh air!! We didn’t go cross-country skiing as planned (I know that I keep on getting out of skiing) but we did hike along some of our snowmobile trails which gave us some great photographic opportunities. The temperatures didn’t feel bad with the sun out but we did still dressed in layers.


Jen captured a photo of me checking out this moth chrysalis. Jen – thanks for giving me permission to use this picture of me!

Jen finding texture texture

Jen photographing the texture of this Birch

Bridal Falls Frozen

We also enjoyed checking out the frozen Bridal Falls

Camp Flickr Meeting

I have been quite busy this weekend from the camp flickr get-together which was scheduled here in Allegany State Park . What a wonderful time everyone had with photographers from Michigan and New York State. Of course the weather always made everything interesting with it being sunny once second, raining the next, sleet and then we would have huge snowflakes in the air.  Be sure to check out all of the photos added to the camp flickr group at .  I would like to thank the Camp Flickr Team that put this event together and making this a wonderful time! There was no Owl Banding done today and only wish the weather was a little better.

The Group Photo

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding

Northern Saw-whet Owl

During the Camp Flickr Meet – we caught a Northern Saw-whet Owl for everyone to photograph! Everyone was so excited with the that there were many people out there photographing this cute little owl. Check out just one local nature photographer Jeremy Martin  who took both of these pictures! Make sure you stop by and say hello on his photostream.


Northern Saw-whet Owl

Flickr Visit By Friends

Yesterday I had a wonderful visit by Bird Mom and Jason Sholar who decided to take a road trip to Allegany State Park (getting ready for Camp Flickr ).  This was one of our many photographic moments during our adventure around the park.

 Flickr Meet


We didn’t know that this osprey had a fish in its talons until we accidentally spooked it.

Going to eat the fish


I was happy to get just one photo of this bird flying with its lunch!


Thanks for such a wonderful visit Bev and Jason!