Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rufous Hummingbird

At last Summer has come to Newfoundland, better late than never. September has provided us with many warm, sunny days and I have been outdoors at every possible moment. Outdoors....birding, not gardening.

My garden cried out for my attention but by the time the weather broke, I had lost my momentum and failed to plant my seeded vegetables, failed to create a new vegetable bed and didn't set any annuals.

 When I saw the beautiful Nasturtiums pots growing in a lovely landscaped yard in Middle Pond on the Southern Shore, I regretted my intolerance for the cold weather. When I saw what those beautiful flowers attracted, I was even more put out with myself.  In this yard spangled with red and orange Nasturtiums, a Rufous Hummingbird (maybe two) came to feed.
This rare vagrant to Newfoundland put on quite a show and attracted lots of admiring fans. Coming from Arkansas seeing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is commonplace. I was even able to attract them to my yard in Ottawa by planting honeysuckle. Yet, I have never seen any other species of hummingbird anywhere else. What is the likelihood that I would see two rare birds like the Rufous and the Anna's Hummingbirds in Newfoundland and within one year of each other?
I have learned more about hummingbirds in the last 12 months than I knew over a lifetime of seeing them regularly. This little bird would come in to the flowers and the feeder for about two minutes at a time. It would then dart off and be gone for about 30 minutes before returning for a drink.
Those short visits between long intervals of absence made it quite challenging to get a good picture, although some birdwatchers of the day did go away with some great shots. I was happy to have these record shots and very happy to have seen this bird. As always, I am appreciative of home owners who host these little visitors and are willing to share the experience with others.

Over the last month I have amassed many, many pictures of many special birds. I look forward to sharing them but while the weather is good, I will continue to spend my time outside enjoying the warmth and the series of new birds that I have never seen before. Cold will move in soon enough and I will return to my computer in good time to process the many images to share.

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