Last night a cold front settled down in central Texas. The high yesterday was 92 degrees. The temps today have dropped nearly 50 degrees. A rude awakening.
All but one of my hummingbirds have moved on. This one has spent the day under the eaves out of the rain, sheltered from the north wind, and with its personal supply of nectar. I named her Ellie. I hope she makes it.
The hummingbird feeders are getting quite a lot of traffic these days. Between the bees, the hummers and the finches, they’ll empty one of these in a day. I had just refilled this feeder and by the time I got back into the house, these two had already stopped for a drink.
Hummingbird Nectar 1 part sugar : 4 parts H2O Bring to a boil for several minutes. Let cool completely. You can refrigerate any extra for a week or so. Probably shouldn’t leave in the feeder for more than a day or two.
We spent the night on the boat last night. Got up this morning and headed out for a sail. We had a great day – sailed up to Windy Point and back. Back at the marina we grabbed a bite to eat at Shades and watched the end of the Masters. Then on to Iguana Grill to watch our friend Wiz and his band play.
As I was sitting listening to the music I saw a tiny hummingbird hit a beam and fall down right next to me. I think he flew in the open window on his way home and hit the beam.
For all the times I’ve hunkered in the kitchen in front of the window where the hummingbird feeder hangs trying to get a stealth shot – it was really amazing to see one up close.
I didn’t know if he was dead or just stunned. So I picked him up. His eyes were open and he was breathing really hard. He was so tiny! I held him for 5 minutes or so. I brought him over to Monte for him to see. He held him in his hands for a few more minutes. Then, after his head cleared, he stood up, flew into the air… chirped a “thank-you” and flew home.
Here’s another gratuitous bird pic. Well, same window. Different bird.
I didn’t have a good shot of this guy. For some reason, even though there are four feeding stations on this feeder, they always go to the one that is blocked when viewed through the window. He did take a moment to peer around the side at me. So, that ‘s as good a shot as I got this time around.
Today is the first day of summer 2012. The solstice was about 10 minutes ago, actually. So how’s that for getting in early? 🙂
I’m hoping that this summer brings lots of good times, there’s sure to be more lake fun. And who knows what else.
I have been working on my stealth technique for stalking hummingbirds. I bought a mini-tripod. I’ve even read the manual. I learned about fixing the auto focus. I learned how to reduce degradation of the image when I go past the 3x optical zoom max. This is the best shot I’ve gotten so far. I’d like to learn how to modify the contrast when taking the picture. The oak tree behind the feeder and the light at this time of day makes it difficult to have the image in the foreground pop. But I’m pleased with the result so far. I guess I can give the little birdies a rest, for now.
It was about a month ago that I put out the hummingbird feeders. Three in the backyard, and a new one in the front — right outside the kitchen window.
I haven’t seen any in the backyard yet, but the feeder in the front is very popular with the little birdies.
I’ve been trying for almost a week to get a picture of one of them. They’re funny birds. The problem with having the feeder right outside the window is that they have a better view of me than I do of them. Whenever I try to creep up with the camera they fly away. As a result, I’ve gotten several hundred shots of the empty feeder.
Yesterday I tried modifying my stalking approach. I put the camera on continuous shoot mode and closed the blinds as low as I could, yet still be able to see if they’re there.
This little guy would take a sip, then fly off and look for me. Then take a sip and fly off and hover again. This went on for about a minute today. This shot isn’t great, but it’s the best of the bunch. If I’m able to improve my stealth technique and it yields a spectacular shot, you’ll be sure to see it here in a future post.
By the way, here’s the recipe I use to fill the feeders:
Hummingbird Nectar 1 part sugar : 4 parts H2O Bring to a boil for several minutes. Let cool completely. Probably shouldn’t leave in the feeder for more than a week or so.