Happy Anniversary

Today marks 10 years since my first ever post here at Orangebirding.com. Back then I included the sub-header ‘The education of a novice birder in Orange County, NY.’ The time has gone by quickly, I’ve learned a lot since then, and I removed that sub-header several years ago at the prodding of several readers of the blog. To commemorate the occasion, I figured I would look back at my personal favorite photo from each of the past ten years. I’ll mention that years ago, the theme I was running the blog on showed portrait cropped photos better than squares or landscapes. Now it is the opposite, and you might notice that the portrait crops don’t fill the screen as nicely now.

2012: Black-crowned Night-heron at Denning’s Point in Beacon. At this time, I didn’t think I would ever get a decent shot of a BCNH, never the less one in beautiful light. It blew me away that I was able to pull this off!

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2013: Common Loon chick in the Adirondacks. Cuteness overload, enough said.

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2014: Foster’s Tern in flight at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. This is a shot which just worked out very nicely; I love the pastel colors in the background and it’s always nice to get the catchlight in the eye of a tern.

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2015: Short-eared Owl in the black dirt. At the time I was trying for Short-eared Owls quite a bit and I got lucky with this very cooperative owl on a man-made but visually nice perch.

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2016: Black Vulture in Blooming Grove NY. This was a shot that I almost didn’t even bother to take. It was an overcast day with very poor lighting, but I figured I’d overexpose it and I snapped a few pics. The result struck a chord with me and this remains a favorite of mine.

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2017: Common Loon in the Adirondacks. Common Loon is the only species to make my top photo twice in the last 10 years. It’s quite an experience to kayak with the loons in the Adirondacks – the birds have what seems to be a sense of curiosity and will often come over to check you out. It allows for plenty of opportunities for interesting shots of the birds.

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2018: Horned Grebe at Greenwood Lake. At a location where good photos are few and far between, I got lucky with this HOGR that was getting lucky fishing right near the shore.

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2019: Semipalmated Plover at Stone Harbor Point. My shorebird obsession was well kicked in at this point and I was happy to get a crisp shot of this bird on the move with such an nice background.

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2020: Great Blue Heron in the Adirondacks. I’m realizing as I write this that 3 of my top photos from the past 10 years were not only taken while kayaking, they were all also taken at the same location – Follensby Clear Pond in the Adirondacks. This photo is still my all time favorite and I have it printed large scale and hanging in our living room.

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2021: American Pipit in flight in the black dirt. I just think this is a cool shot of one of my favorite birds.

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30 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary”

  1. Congratulations Matt! These great shots are just a sample of all the great photos you’ve shown us over the years. Thank you for sharing them with us! John

  2. Congratulations Matt! Can’t wait to see what great images you share with us for the next 10 years!

    Scotty

  3. CONGRATULATIONS Matt, on this decade in which you showed us one great photo after another after another after another …………… Everyone to me is a masterpiece in it’s own right and I never remember seeing a single photo of yours that I didn’t love. So the thanks are for the beauty that you have shared with us through these 10 years and I know that even better works are still in our future.
    Best always,

    Ken

  4. Congratulations, Matt! Indeed, each shot is exceptional, a work of art. You are gifted and thank you for sharing your gift with us. I’m glad to know that there’s an enlarged photo in your living room. I would have a hard time deciding which one to pick!
    Looking forward for more….
    Norma

  5. Indeed what a progression from being a one time novice. Great photos as usual and blog! Congrats on 10 years and hopefully more! Cheers
    Kyle

  6. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY . Thank you for all the years of fantastic photos. Keep up the good work. You work was brought to my attention when you spoke at our St James Camera Clyb meeting.

    1. Thanks so much! I enjoy hearing how folks end up coming across the blog – I’ll always remember that talk, it’s the only one I’ve ever done, lol. Matt

  7. Congratulations Matt, beautiful pictures.
    You are a talented man with a great camera and a good eye.
    I look forward to seeing your post every week. Keep it up, we love it!

  8. Thanks for sharing a recap Matt! You certainly are no novice and have grown in your art and your knowledge of birds. I love all these photos and your favorite is one haunting / spooky image. I can hear ominous music in the background somewhere….

    1. Thanks Bill. I wonder what it says about me that I hung the most haunting photo up in the living room, lol? Matt

  9. Thank You and Congratulations. You are very much appreciated for all you do Matt. Cheers

  10. Ok Matt – enough with the “Mr Humble” act! We all know that behind closed doors your poor wife Tricia probably has to put up with an egomaniac, know it all, obsessive-compulsive, shore bird loving, eccentric birder. At least give the rest of us some hope that you’re normal away from the lens.

    In all seriousness, it’s not just the technical brilliance and creativity of your photos that wow us. It’s your kindness, humbleness and willingness to share your experiences – both good and sometimes not so good – as you learn and grow in your birding adventures. I know I can speak on behalf of your other blog followers, please keep it up for another 10 years and beyond. You’ve so enhanced our lives and birding knowledge – we thank you and hope for more. Congrats!

    1. Yeah, poor, poor Tricia gets the real me at the end of the day, lol. Thanks Jeff for the support and for checking in. I look forward to running into you and Liz soon. Matt

  11. Oh Matt, I just love this. You are so talented and passionate, and I love and admire that about you. Awesome shots and recap, and I feel privileged to have a copy of the Foster’s Tern in my tv room. Love you, brother! Well done xo

  12. Matt, I don’t post much but I read and enjoy every post. You are an exceptional birder and talented photographer. The Adirondacks has a special place in my heart and your photo of the heron is my favorite of them all. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Mary
    PS. Please come back and do another presentation for St. James Camera club!

    1. Well thanks for checking in now Mary. It’s nice to have a kindred spirit in enjoying the Adirondacks. Hopefully I’ll get it together and finally do another presentation. Matt

  13. Hey Matt!! Love the photos! Happy anniversary!! 10 years is quite the accomplishment- I’m glad you mentioned your blog to my wife and this past winter- I’ve been looking forward to it every week since!! We look forward to bumping into you again on of these days!!
    Tom

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