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Andrew, a truly remarkable photographer (All downhill from here) challenged me!  I had posted a few images of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds at our feeder (Rod Get’s A Hummer).  Andrew challenged me to post some images of the birds hovering, without the feeder in view – the rotter!  Click on an image for a larger view.

This afternoon I tried.  The birds knew what I was up to and kept buzzing me and tempting me.   With a 300mm zoom lens and not the fastest body (camera or human), this was a bit unrealistic.  My only hope was to catch the hummers near the feeder – they don’t come to the flowers regularly enough to catch them there.  Unfortunately, a female RTH sat in a nearby tree and every time another hummer tried to come to the feeder she would swoop down and chase it off.  Then return to her branch and preen herself.

In-coming

In-coming

I'm not going to let just anyone drink at MY feeder

I’m not going to let just anyone drink at MY feeder

She did let a male settle and drink, I expect it was her mate.  But they rarely bothered to hover.  They just swooped in and landed.  Eventually I got a few opportunities to catch one landing or hovering.  But they were always fairly close to the feeder.

The Arrival

The Arrival

I focused the lens on a perching bird switched to manual focus and adjusted for a little more distance, then tried pressing he shutter as they came into view.

look mum know hands

look mum no hands

With a bit of cheating with the crop tool I have a few, not quite humdingers, but adequate to say I answered the challenge.

Sometimes portrait works best -

Sometimes portrait works best –

It was a good challenge. After two hours and 172 photos, play was stopped for tea.  When I buy my blind I shall try again.  Now Andrew, when will you show us images of your Blue Chasers in the air – not just lounging about on a twig?

 

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