I was going to go birding today, but alas, my Sjogren’s was flaring up and I wasn’t feeling very good. I stayed home and started processing my (many thousands) of old, unprocessed photos. I have SO many photos I’ve taken over the years, and so many photos that I have yet to publish online (even on my massive out-of-control website), that I thought I’d start a new feature on my blog…the Photo of the Day. Oh, make no mistake, there’s no way I’ll ever publish a new photo of the day, every day. Consider it more the photo for THAT day, rather than a series of daily photos. 🙂
First up…one of my favorite photos from our recent vacation to Colorado and Utah. We visited 12 different National Parks and National Monuments in Colorado and Utah, and as we wound our way through Colorado, we stopped for one night at Winter Park, Colorado. When on vacation, I typically get my birding fix in during the early morning hours, waking before dawn and going out while my wife and son sleep in. From our room, we could see a trail that ran along the shores of the Fraser River, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I was a bit surprised when I got out that morning, in that the warm summer’s day started out with a chilly 38-degree morning! I started walking the trail just as the sun came up, but it took 20 minutes or so before the sun peeked over the adjacent ridge and started to brighten the area along the trail. Birds were a bit sluggish at first, perhaps because of the cold. As I walked along, I saw a tiny bird on the top of a bush. As I approached, I saw a stubborn Broad-tailed Hummingbird, one who decided he wasn’t moving for any reason.
A challenge when shooting hummingbirds is getting the right light for the gorget of a male to “light up”. I took many photos of this bird, but alas, for most of the time I spent with him, he was facing away from the sun. It wasn’t until I was about to move on that he shifted position, gave me a look, and then turned his head towards the sun. BOOM…that brilliant magenta gorget lit up in the early morning’s sun as I took photo after photo. The close range, the detail in the plumage, the clean background, and that gorgeous bright gorget made this one of my favorite photos from the trip.
Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird, hanging out on a sunny perch on a cold Colorado morning.