Hummers 2021 and other stuff — Part 1

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

I used that title because there are photos of hummingbirds in this post but also other birds and one insect. And because this is 2021 and because there will likely be more posts of this nature.

So, hummingbirds . . . I still think there are fewer than we had last year, and I wonder if the sub-freezing temperatures we experienced in late March and early April affected the migration. Then again, Colorado hummers often encountered sub-freezing temperatures in late spring and survived (sometimes with help: LINK and LINK).

These hummers also seem a bit shyer than what I’m used to. What am I used to? Being able to walk up to within six feet before they get nervous and fly off. Later in the season, they don’t care if I’m six inches away.

Again, it could be I’m remembering wrong and it’s still too early for the full hummingbird experience.

Another Block Editor mini-rant:

It took three tries before I could upload the above photo. The first two times, the interface just hung up (little icon spinning and nothing happening) and I had to exit the editor and restart the edit session. This is one of them instances I mentioned where it helps to upload all of your photos to the library ahead of time as opposed to choosing them interactively. The reason I didn’t is that I’m not yet sure which photos I’ll use.

My admonition stands — if you can help it, limit your use of the Block Editor. The only reason I’m using it is that the Classic Editor and Classic Block are both broken in FireFox and I don’t like using Chrome or Edge.

Anyway, these shots were all taken with the Nikon D7500 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens.

I’m at the stage where I have to refill the feeders every few days. Sometimes because of the heat (over 90° F / 32° C) and sometimes because they get empty. That last one means birds be using them even if I don’t see them.

Although, I’ve seen something strange that I’ve not seen before, and no, I don’t have photos (unfortunately). I’m getting woodpeckers (either Hairy or Downy woodpeckers, or both) coming to the feeder and drinking. They are drinking and not visiting thinking they might find seeds. That’s in addition to finches coming to the feeders to drink. So, maybe there aren’t as many hummingbirds around as I might guess from the feeders emptying.

Here’s a gallery with the rest of the shots from the feeder.

I know; they all look the same.

But now, it’s time for an old feature to resurface.

That’s right, it’s Find The Hummingbird, and for these photos, I have my neighbors to thank (and I’m not being sarcastic) for not cleaning/maintaining the shrubs at the edge of their pool. Those shrubs attract a lot of different birds and the hummingbirds love to perch there as they guard the feeders.

Anyway, find the hummingbird in this photo (click on the photo for a larger version). If you can’t find it, you might want to visit SmugMug for an even larger version of the photo that you can zoom into and move around.

OK, that was fairly easy. Rest your eyes a bit before I do the next one . . . by looking at this finch (I think) that came to drink from one of the four birdbaths I scattered around the house (all get used, much to our delight).

You can see a drop of water hanging below its beak.

OK, here’s your next challenge in Find The Hummingbird, and this is a bit trickier.

Here, this guy will try and help . . .

Oh, I think I see it! No, wait . . . that’s a leaf.
Wait! I think I see it!
Nope! Another leaf. You’re on your own, Bob. I’m off to do some foraging.

OK, here’s another easy one lest you get discouraged and stop playing.

Come on! That’s too easy! Give us a bit more of a challenge!

OK, how about this:

OK, another break so that you can rest your eyes (for them who are still playing).

I’m seeing more dragonflies zooming around. They make excellent practice for shooting erratically flying objects. That will help if I ever have to occasion to shoot UFOs — wouldn’t it be amazing if for once we’d get a UFO photo that’s clear and sharp? — but it also helps me get better at shooting birds since birds tend to follow a linear track.

I’ll share some flying dragonfly captures in another post, but for now, here’s one that’s resting on the neighbor’s retaining wall. I thought it neat that the shadow from its wings makes it look like it has more than four wings.

Here’s the last Find The Hummingbird challenge, and I’m going to guess this will be easier because I’ve just trained you in the art if finding hummingbirds in dense foliage. You are welcome.

Hey! The finch came back for another drink. OK, OK, I don’t know if that’s the same one (they all look alike, to me) but it’s a finch … maybe. I say maybe because females of one species often look like the females of another species. That is, bland. I could double-check the markings and do comparisons with stock photos but it’s a lot easier saying “finch” knowing the majority of readers aren’t going to bother to check.

OK, I’m going to close with a gallery of a dragonfly resting on a petunia (if you’re curious about where the name ‘petunia‘ comes from, click on this LINK; it’s explained in the post).

One final note for them interested in such things:

All of the photos were processed using DxO PureRaw (it took less than four minutes for all of them), interactively cropped in Lightroom CC for composition (Rule of Thirds and stuff), a dark border added using DxO Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 (less than a minute), and output using Lightroom CC. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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