It had been a long summer of chasing a dream. One that would drive me mad until the goal was achieved. The shots today are not anything special....or are they? At first glance, the male Rufous hummingbird shines bright and true. "You'll know it when you see it."
"You'll know it when you see it." I kept repeating that line over and over. I certainly saw the Rufous and his golden glow in the sunlight. But hello there.....who are you to the far left?
"You'll know it when you see it." I went to every canyon for you and suffered bites all over my body....and not find you. I look for you in the middle of nowhere and almost got killed by illegal crossers. I even gave up on you.
"You'll know it when you see it." A man doing a "Big Year" came to find you and he did. I missed you by minutes one day. Many people missed you and waited and searched and searched for you.
I thought I had seen you once. I submitted your photo to the rare bird gurus and they told me that I'd know you when I saw you. I had a picture of something else. Do I glance you now on the feeder? Larger than the rest. Please stay long enough so that I can get a clear shot. You are the final hummingbird to see for this season.
And I do spy you behind that feeder. Please come out more. I know you'll only be around for a very short time.
Do you know how many nights I couldn't sleep until I found you?
And in your grand shadow and starry gorget I only hope to see you clearly.
Please let the other hummers stop chasing you off. My heart is beating as fast as yours right now.
And then you chase a female off showing your white feathered back......
......your profile shows the long dark bill.........
......the feeder shows me that you are very large for a hummingbird.......
.......and your gorget shows a dark thick streak of pink........and I know that I've finally found you. Like a great finale to a beloved TV series, I sigh and smile sharing the briefest of inner applauses inside my head. I did it! I spotted you.....you rare rare Plain Capped Starthroat.
I have moved from beginner to low intermediate birder. But please don't quiz me on my buntings, sparrows, or other little bitty flycatchers:) I'm still studying this group and many others. Today ends the Chuparosa(Hummingbird) challenge for this year. It was exciting. Frustrating. And always educational. On this day I would suffer over a hundred chigger bites on my feet waiting for this bird. It was the worst pain that I've felt for this year. But the price was well worth it. Two more posts on hummingbirds. One which includes this years photography stats. I hope you enjoy the shots. They were collected from many many hours of observations. I'd like to thank Warren for planting this series into my brain. Because of this challenge, I discovered many of our beautiful canyons and just how unique they all are. I'll be moving into the grasslands soon with Kathie. Just a few of the many bloggers who inspire me to be a better person everyday. Thank you all for your own work from your part of the world. More tomorrow.....