As I warned you in the last post, here come the hummingbird shots!
There are just an incredible number of hummers here, way too many to be able to count, but I would guess at the busiest times, there are as many as a dozen or more buzzing around the feeders at any given time, as well as two or three buzzing around my head and camera gear.
I have had them land on the camera, on the cable release I use for these shots, individuals have landed on my arm, my hat, my knee, and one curious bird keeps probing my shirt pocket button, mistaking it for a nectar feeder port, I assume. They will fly within a couple inches of my nose, too close for my old eyes to focus on them, then will circumnavigate my head, all but buzzing in my ears. These guys are absolutely, totally unafraid of me.
Two species, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed, and I probably am mistaking one for the other at times.
Fortunately there are blue flag irises in bloom all around the campground and I have found one wild apple tree in bloom just a short way down the road, so I finally can do some hummer images with them feeding from real flowers.
Of course, I do have to stage the flowers in the immediate vicinity of the nectar feeders and also have to use an eyedropper to drizzle some sugar water onto the flowers to coax the hummers into position, but, hey, they are actually going to the flowers when all the feeder ports are occupied, and that gives me the shots I have been hoping to get for a long time.
Unfortunately for shooting these photos, the New Mexico winds are continually blowing up here and that makes it all but impossible to capture perfectly frozen motion of these little guys, and also keeps blowing the blooms all over the place so it is impossible to get the flowers to stay in the optimal position for good lighting on the birds, but I am happy to get what I can.
A New Visitor in Camp
Looking out the dinette window while having supper, I noticed a new visitor to the bird feeding area this evening, this handsome little grey fox. I set out some sunflower seeds for the jays and grosbeaks and this guy is out there on the rock where I put that seed, cleaning up what the birds leave behind.
Pretty bold little guy, coming within 15 feet of the motorhome, and me, to pick up seeds dropped from the feeder hanging on the picnic table shelter. This is the first time I have ever had a chance to photograph a grey fox, never thought I would get one this close.