For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My first Hummingbird/Sunbird!!

...and WAS I pleased with myself!! LOL!! These small, beautiful Whiltebellied Sunbirds - we dont call them Humming birds here- come and drink the nectar out of the flowers but they are so elusive I never seem to be able to get puctures. As you know I am not a birder, but I wanted to show you this one. Unfortunately the breeding season is over so the male has lost most of its color but the bright, metalic spot you can see on its shoulder is what the whole of the top of his head lookes like in summer.
But hey, beggars can't be choosers and I am happy that I at least got SOME shots of it. :)
They are usually solitary or in pairs amd found in most parks and gardens where they mostly feed on the abundant Aloes to be found growing.
They are very vocal and will chase other Sunbirds away from their food source. This one below is almost a good picture of it taking off.

46 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Joan these pictures are brilliant, how do you manage it? I can never get close to anything, and I can never keep the camera still enough. A tripod is fine when you have time but pictures like this are on the spot moments. Excellent. Diane

Firefly said...

You really nailed down a couple of awesome pictures here. Congrats. The first and the 4th pictures are the best ones for me.

Kirsty said...

Perfect shots - I love the one with the blur of the beating wings.

Tony nile life said...

Well done:- some great shots.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Wonderful pictures. I love that little accent color on the writsts.

Tony nile life said...

Ps:- You are making me and I bet Mary will be jealous of these shots.
no humming birds here in Egypt not that I have seen anyway, maybe in the loser delta region.

Diane AZ said...

Awesome pictures Joan, so clear! It's neat to see him feasting on the aloe. I love his shimmery teal colored patch.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. Keeping the camera still is something you have to practice at. I find that tucking my elbows into my stomach and letting the camera rest on that helps when you get started. Keep a piece of cloth or make yourself a bean bag and put that over a handy branch or something is a great way too.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jonker. I have been trying so long to find a place where I can get some pics of them.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Kristy. I liked the way that one came out too.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Tony. Lucky shots!! :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Steve. I feel like the cat that got the cream. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Tony: Are you sure there are none there? Don't you have aloes as well? What a bummer!! No, they are not pics to get jealous over. Yours and Mary's are brilliant!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. I was just lucky with these although they were a bit darker than I wanted but he appeared so suddenly there was no time for much adjustment on the camera. :)

Krista said...

Joan. You're kidding, right? These photos are brilliant! The lighting is interesting and adds several layers of texture. The plant he's sitting on is really cool as well. I'd have to say that now you'll have to stop saying you "don't do birds." LOL!

Andrea said...

Masterpiece!
I think it took a very long time and many shot to post this wonderful and interesting serie.
Great Great Great
These are the kind of pictures I dream to take...

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Wonderful photos of this neat bird. I love all hummingbirds and you captured this one so well.

Craig Glenn said...

You should be a birder! these are awesome! If you were not the bug lady you could be the bird lady! Let me know what you think of the Snowy Egret I posted today.

Your biggest fan,

Craig

blog with no name said...

Wow Joan! That was awsome... I love the way you can see the flowers though it's wing in the last photo! There are some matalic green ones that hang around here in the summer, smaller than your little finger...
Thanks for the peek at a beautiful creature!

Becky said...

Love these birds! Really like the last take off shot!

Rambling Woods said...

Oh wow...now you are a birder Joan..LOL..amazing...Michelle

Mary said...

Wow...you should take more bird photos! These are outstanding! Is it truly a hummingbird, or something similar? It is so different from what I am used to, that I can't tell. Does it hover? It is a beautiful little bird and the flowers are so pretty for a background! We want more birds!

Philip said...

Bah!Humbug I have been trying for so long to get one of these Birds and you beat me to it now I am just going to find an insect that will knock your socks off Bah!Humbug :)) Just kidding Joan great shots still very jealous

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks for the kind words Krista. I was just lucky with these and no, I still dont do birds. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

WOW Andrea, thanks for your wonderful comment. This is only the second time I have had the opportunity to try and get photographs of them and the first lot I dumped as the bird was so far away.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Tom. Being in the right place at the right time is all.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

My dear and most wonderful friend Craig. It makes me very happy to hear from you again. I thought you had deserted us and that you were not my biggest fan anymore.

Thanks for your kind comment and no, I do not think I will ever be a birder. :)

Loved the egret shot you posted!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks for your kind words Mike. I was lucky to get it on a nice background too. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. The last one was pure luck!! I had my camera pointed at him just as he decided to fly off. I think I took all these shots in less than 5 minutes as he did not stay around long. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Thanks Michelle. It probably will not encourage me to become a birder as I do not have the right lenses for it. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Mary. We do not have hummingbirds here only the sunbirds like this one, a close relative. They do hover as well and I would LOVE to get a shot of one doing so.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! How wonderful to hear from you Philip. So okay, I look forward to that outstanding bug you are going to find for me, but if it is too good, I will have to bah humbug you too. LOL!!

These were just lucky shots my friend and cannot compare with the brilliant ones you come up with. :)

Craver Vii said...

WOW!!! Joan, your pics are always a special treat for me! These shots are sweet. You know why they are called hummingbirds, right? It's because they don't know the words! Hahahahaha...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! That is so funny Craver. :) LOVE it!! I have not heard that one before!! LOL!! Is it any wonder that I LOVE having you around my blog? You always come out with something to make me smile or laugh. :)

Thanks for the kind words. I think these pics were just a lucky try on my behalf. Most of the time my pics are for the birds. LOL!! How's that!! :)

Zane said...

Excellent - set of photos. Why should I do any more photography when you do all the hard work.

Well done Joan!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Zane. You are not going to let me do it all myself are you? :)

JM said...

How lucky of you! These are truly amazing!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose. It was luck and it happened so fast, I did not have much time for camera settings. :)

Max-e said...

Hi Joan, these are great. I was in the Karoo a few weeks back, and there we a few of the greater double collared sunbirds in the area, but they we not very cooperative.

Becky and Gary said...

Excellant shots Joan. You did super, and if they are anything like our Hummers they don't hold still for long. I can imagine the beautiful colorful head.
B.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How lovely to hear from you Max. Hope you are going well? These are really not the easiest brds to take pictures of but luck was on my side. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. You are right. This one did not stay still either and was only in this bush for a couple of minutes so no time to do any camera adjustments. The pictures came out a bit dark but that was the setting the camera happened to be on. :)

Rambling Woods said...

How beautiful....I saw my first one on Friday and it is snowing here so I am keeping everyone fed..birds, bunny..little duckling...Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I cant believe that you people are still having snow Michelle. It is so late in the year, I would have thought it should have been over a month ago. My goodness!!

Anna said...

Wow Joan nice encounter. I would love to see one of those one day, lol. There are so many birds, and I know that in the life time I will not be able to see it, so thank you for sharing. Anna :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are welcome Anna. Thanks. This was another of those wonderful experiences in life one has along the way.