Bird Blind Workshops at the Ramrod Ranch

(Ash-throated Flycatchers Exchange Insect)

Ramrod Ranch (Bird Blind Photography Workshops)

BIRD BLIND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS: “2021” Fall Season and “2022” Spring Season

Fall 2021 Schedule, Fall Focus: Sparrows And The Raptors That Hunt Them.
Spring 2022 Schedule, Spring Focus: Migrant Warblers And Possible Nesting Situations.

With Instructor Bruce Finocchio.

Come and visit the idyllic Ramrod Ranch and have birds enchant your senses. Watch them from a Photo Blind just feet away from you, acting naturally, without the influence of your presence. 

Fall is a time of significant activity, with many residents and visiting birds coming to drink to my small life-giving ponds. Water is scarce at this time of the year and attracts many species of birds.

Spring is the time for migrants: especially warblers. Other birds migrating through and not seen at other times of the year. Nesting situations are also a possibility. 

The Ramrod Ranch is really a magical place to experience all that Nature can offer.

Setting: The location of the Ramrod Ranch is in Southern Monterey County, just over the divide that separates the Carmel Valley from the Arroyo Seco drainage in the Sierra de Salinas Mountain Range. It’s a tranquil and peaceful place, and away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. It’s about a 2 to 3-hour drive from most of the Bay Area.

The address is 41485 East Carmel Valley Road, Greenfield, CA 93927 in case you would like to find it on Google Maps. I know have a sign on the East Carmel Valley Road at the first entrance gate. Yes, the cabin, it’s about a mile back up on a plateau before the mountain range rises.

Each day session includes six to seven hours of bird blind photography, sitting in a photo blind photographing birds and other wildlife that come to water and perch on specially designed perches and strategically placed bird feeders. After lunch, there will be a review period to go over the morning’s shooting results. I designed this workshop for bird photographers with a minimum of a 300 mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. Using flash is recommended at certain times when the light can be harsh. I will explain the fill flash settings and techniques I use. 

I will provide a detailed course booklet after registering for the workshop. This will include lodging options, equipment to bring, directions, and other pertinent information. The workshops start early, at 6:30 AM when warbler activity begins, and they come to the ponds for water.

I limit each day session to one photographer or two photographer friends, or a couple. This way I can give personal attention and focus on your photography needs. Required Covid-19 protocols, such as masks, social distancing, are followed. Each photographer will have their own blind. I have received the Pfizer vaccine, both shots 1 and 2, on March 24, 2021, and April 14, 2021. 

I now have my new 2018 travel trailer at the Ranch for those who wish to do it two days back to back. This is ideal for couples and saves time and the wear and tear of traveling from Soledad or Carmel Valley motel.

2021 Fall Dates:

Sunday, October 10, 2021 — Sold Out!
Monday, October 11, 2021
Thursday, October 14, 2021 — Sold Out!
Friday, October 15, 2021
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021

2022 Spring Dates:

Saturday, April 30, 2022
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Monday, May 2, 2022
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Friday, May 6, 2022 
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Friday, May 13, 2022
Saturday, May 14, 2022

Cost Per Person: One-Day Session = $219, Two-Day Session = $418.00, includes a $20.00 discount. 
Cost Per Couple: One-Day Session = $418.00, includes a $20.00 discount. Two-Day or Weekend Session = $836.00, includes a $40.00 discount. 

On a first-come basis, my travel trailer is available for those wishing to overnight at the Ramrod Ranch. Please inquire as to availability.

Limited Space and Availability, Book it now!

Make your payment with PayPal to, by using the correct “Buy Now” button below. I will accept personal checks on a case-by-case basis. Please contact me.
Also, please place the date in the PayPal note field so I will know which date you want to attend. If selecting the two-day option, select the first day for payment, and added the second date in the note field. Thank you.

Fall: Individual—One Day:


Fall: Individual–Two Day:


Fall: A Couple–One Day:


Fall: A Couple–Two Day:


Spring 2022: Individual—One Day:


Spring 2022: Spring 2022: Individual–Two Day:


Spring 2022: A Couple–One Day:


Spring 2022: A Couple–Two Day:


Please Note: Because of the unpredictability of wildlife, no particular image or species is guaranteed. Weather, seasonal conditions, food availability, all affect the abundance of wildlife in a particular season or area. The Ramrod Ranch is no different in this respect.

Ramrod Ranch Image Galleries:

2019 Ramrod Ranch Images

2017 & 2018 Ramrod Ranch Images

2014 Ramrod Ranch Images

Ramrod Ranch Species List:

Questions: or 650-339-2555.


“I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot pictures of birds at the Rookery in Santa Rosa with Bruce. Aside from Bruce being astute with a camera, he has a sixth sense too, in that he seems to know what a bird or animal is going to do BEFORE they do it. Having this ability allowed us all to take jaw-dropping photos! Though the rookery is nestled in a busy neighborhood, the connection to nature was evident not only in the photos we took but in the relaxing and grounded time we had together.”Deb Breton

“Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate your willingness to help new photography students. The Ranch is a very  a special place that was  wonderful to visit.” – Linda Rutherford

 “Bruce, your photography continues to fill my soul! You capture the heart of nature.”Nancy Wold

The True Blue Quail, A Mountain Quail
The True Blue Quail, A Mountain Quail


Northern Parula Takes A Bath
Northern Parula Takes A Bath
Male Western Bluebird Bathing In Pond
Male Western Bluebird Bathing In Pond


Ramrod Ranch Story

Over sixty-six  years ago, my dad wanted a place of his own to go deer hunting. Thus, the ramrod ranch was born. A son’s duty is to follow his father’s footsteps in learning about guns and hunting—a rite of passage into adulthood. Somewhere along the way, around eighteen years of age, I broke from my father’s path. I saw death up close and personal with the dark, black, shining eye of a black-tail deer buck gone dull and gray with death by my hand. This is the moment that changed my life; setting me on the path of cherishing life, rejecting the killing that comes with hunting.

Now no hunting is allowed. My friends and I have developed the property for nature photography; especially for bird photography by building two permanent ponds on the property. If you feed birds, they will come, so we place perches and feeders around our little ponds—arranging the perches to get the best and cleanest backgrounds. From mid-April on the rains stop and the country dries out, during the hot summer months our little ponds provide life-sustaining and precious water for all the bird species around.  Besides food, water is a prime attraction for birds. How they like to bathe and clean their feathers!

There are two ponds; each attracts its species, a few species only using one pond. Most species are found at both ponds. Two different habitats; one pond is closer to the brush-covered hillsides, the other in the more open oak grasslands near the cabin. We use photo blinds and place them next to the ponds, so with the right photographic equipment you can get frame-filling images.  It is just marvelous to watch birds in their natural habitat, going about their lives, acting natural. To hear a group of California quail calling around your blind is music to the senses. Sometimes a few mammals will surprise us and come to drink too. Chipmunks are my favorite. As they bustle and scamper about, they always make me happy. I have never seen a sad chipmunk.

I love this place! It is in my heart—it is where I grew up and learned to love the natural world. It’s where I make “nature images that sing to your heart”. Come to our bird photography workshop and I will share it with you.

Bruce Finocchio
Wildlife, Bird, and Nature photographer
*I took all images at the Ramrod Ranch.



5 thoughts on “Bird Blind Workshops at the Ramrod Ranch”

  1. I am one of the friends Bruce refers to at the beginning of his description of Ramrod Ranch.
    This haven has been just that for me for many years.

  2. I have had an opportunity to spend 2 days at Ramrod Ranch. I enjoyed observing the wildlife
    (birds I don’t see at home) and learning how to get the best shot.
    Bruce was very helpful, and I left the ranch with the best bird photos I have taken.

    I would recumbent this experience to any nature lover.

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