The never-ending story
At least for me, this seems to be a never-ending story. For the first time in over 15 years, I'm seeing hummingbirds in my yard several times a day. Most of them seem to be the boys, getting fat and sassy before heading down to Mexico to drink tequila-spiked flowers on the beach this winter. Others are reporting an increase in feeder activity this week as well.
Now, if you link over to my still-incomplete list of 43 Things, you'll see that one pines to take a really good photo of a hummingbird. One year, I got a grand total of two photos, period. Last year, as detailed elsewhere on this blog, I managed to snag a pretty nice one, but still not quite what I'd hoped. I figured today is as good a day as any to try and cross that item off my list. I know there are at least four individuals visiting my feeder. Two adult males--I saw them both on the feeder together this morning, unbelievably enough. One female. And at least one immature male.
I started out by sitting on my deck and trying to capture the little beasts. Then I remembered a purchase made last winter--an Outhouse Pack-In Blind, bought by my husband for turkey hunting, with the carrot held out to me that "you could use this for your bird stuff, too."
Not one to sit in a blind, I'd forgotten about it completely, but somewhere in the back of my brain--the part that was procrastinating completing the sermon I have to give tomorrow--the blind reminded me of its existence. Pulling it out, I set it up right in front of the feeders, armed with my enormous lens.
Do you have any idea how many bees can fool you into thinking a hummingbird is moving in? Do you have any idea how hummingbirds, flying into the space in front of your lens and hovering inquisitively, only three feet from your face, can be as frightening as Carrot Top on a bad hair day? One of them did that. Instead of eating, it scoped me out. I thought it was going to fly right into the blind with me. That pointed little beak moving in on a bird flying 60mph can strike fear in me much in the same way as skydiving might. I watched in horror as it came ever closer, camera in hand...and never clicked the shutter!
Once my heart rate had returned to a non-threatening speed, I waited once more. He came. He perched. On the other side of the feeder, peering over the top at me. Ack! Hoping he'd check out all the feeder ports, as they so often do, I waited for him to make that move. Instead, chirping madly, he zipped off into the bushes on the property line, perched, then headed off somewhere to torment someone else for a while.