I thought I was seeing things when I saw the flash of blue at the hummingbird feeder, then I caught a glimpse of the red bill. It had to be a Broad-billed Hummingbird! In MY backyard! Try as I might to get photo documentation of such an unexpected visitor, "Flash" proved to be too speedy for me to focus on. So I called in the big guns - who better than bird photographer Jeff Stemshorn - the fastest camera in the west! What he lacks in stealth, he makes up for in speed.
We tried to photograph Flash at his favorite feeding spot - the okra (or as Jeff calls them "Okra Winfrey") blossoms in my vegetable garden. But flash didn't like having the jolly green giant cameraman lurking around his blossoms. So he (Flash, not Jeff...lol) hid-out in my least favorite shrubbery - my oleanders, ugh. We watched, and heard, Flash zip back and forth from oleander to feeder to oleander, only changing course to run off an occasional interloping Anna's or Black-chin.
As the temperature plummets today into the 50's and tonight into the 40's I suspect Flash will fly south to warmer climes, or maybe to Boyce Thompson Arboretum to hang with the only other Broad-bills I ever see with regularity.
Farewell my fall friend, thanks for flashing by!
Photos by bird photographer extraordinaire Jeff Stemshorn