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Desert Willows - San Angelo Tx USA

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Old Tuesday 25th August 2015, 03:05   #1
SanAngelo
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: San Angelo Tx
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Desert Willows - San Angelo Tx USA

Still getting use to navigating the Forums.

Last week I woke to find a Rufous Hummingbird at my front yard feeder. I was completely in shock and overcome with joy at the same time. I've been here 13 years, it's the first Rufous Hummer I've had. Normally, in the spring the Ruby-throated come through followed by the local Black-chinned. Then in the fall the Ruby-throated show up and push out the Black-chinned.

Well, the Rufous stayed only one day but it was his feeded, he owned it..!! He was a feisty little guy, much more aggressive than the Ruby and Black-chinned. He hung around all day, last I saw him was a little after 5pm, sunset was around 8:20pm.

I check eBird, were I don't presently have a registered account, the last recorded sighting for Tom Green County was in July 2006. Found that very interesting..!!

I've have a very large number of hummingbirds this year. Last year a tornado came through on the north side of town, the wind storm hit my area and blew down my 30 year old faux Mulberry Tree. That was in July. In October I planted 3 Desert Willows purchased from a nursery. They were about 5 feet tall, 2 now are at about 7 feet and one about 6 which is the Bubba Desert Willow.

Anyway, they've been blooming all summer. The hummers spend their day fighting over ownership; first the male Black-chinned and then the male Ruby taking on all interlopers.

I had to cut down my rear faux Mulberry a couple years ago. Never got around to landscaping but this summer's hummer activity convinced me to put in a Desert Willow. Got it picked out, it's going in this October.

Here's the before and after pictures.

I put out only water and hummingbird feeders, no seed. Being in west Texas there's always a water shortage issue. I take advantage of that by not watering the lawn. All the birds love it that way.

Back to the Rufous.....I miss him but he sure brought me a lot of happiness during his short visit.

Sorry, no picture of the little guy.

Besides putting this in the Your Rarities Forum, I'm going to cut and paste this post putting it in the Gardening Sub-Forum and in the Hummingbird Forum. If that's not allowed, I apologize. To the mods, please delete the unacceptable cross posts. Thank you.
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Old Friday 8th January 2016, 02:51   #2
austexican
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Spring Branch, Texas
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Rufous

This might have been your guy on his way south. I lived in Austin for ten years and never saw a hummingbird later than the 1st of November. I have been in my new home in Spring Branch (adjacent to Bulverde in Comal County) since last December. I was astonished to see a hummer in January. I think I had two sightings of a rufous in Austin. The guy in the pic was hanging around for a week or so. I think he is gone now.
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Old Monday 11th January 2016, 03:53   #3
austexican
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As I live in the flight path to the San Antonio Airport, perhaps I need to cover my gear with a camera poncho. I don't want black helicopters and rappelling warriors arriving on my upper deck. I admit that the outfit looks something like a grenade launcher, but the size of it derives from a cheap lens hood (well recommended for use under these overly brilliant Texas skies) and a not so cheap telephoto lens that complements the 28-80mm I've used on my EOS Elan film camera for some twenty years or so. I even bought a thirty dollar attachment that allows me to use the lenses from my Canon AE-1 days (albeit in totally manual fashion). The Vello radio shutter release costs no more than a good filter and can work with most of the popular camera bodies. To switch from one manufacturer to another you need only purchase a cable that connects the radio receiver to the camera body electronic shutter release port. Very thrifty! Be warned. The Vello instructions are extremely skimpy and do not address the drive settings I had to make in the Canon so that it communicated with the Vello. That took me some time and I only got it to work for the first time today. I started shooting DSLR last July. Very happy with the gear and the results. :)
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Last edited by austexican : Monday 11th January 2016 at 03:58.
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