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In my last post, I talked about the family of monkeys that are setting up shop here on our resort, and how the baby – affectionately named ‘Monkini’ by my dear wife, is growing up at a rate of knots.  Well, just after that post, we had another family start anew on resort – this time in the form of the beautiful, if not tiny Hummingbird.

Here is mum, precariously perched on the end of a bush, in front of the sugar mill and undoubtedly on the busiest pathway in the resort.  We are all a little bemused as to why she would want to setup here, but it is not an uncommon place for the Hummingbirds to nest, so clearly evolution has a plan…whatever that plan is.

Anyway, mum is sat here, in front of the sugar mill basking in the shade and fighting the breeze that is coming in from the sea.  It is really difficult for me to portray just how tiny this bird is – I was hoping that the Sugar Mill would help give a little perspective, but as it is so far away, it actually makes her look even bigger!

To give you an idea, she is probably about 9cm long, beak to tail.  (That’s just 3 and a bit inches for our American friends) And her nest is just as slight.  I stood around at a good distance as she flew in and out of her nest, bringing back twigs and fluff to build her abode.

She would only leave for a few moments at a time, and a closer peak revealed why:

These two eggs are TINY!! Barely the size of a mento each, and left unattended for the briefest of moments whilst the nest is added to and mum eats…Why she picked such a busy and open spot for her nest again?  I have no idea…

So we now have (hopefully!) at least two families growing with us here whilst we soak up the sun and shoot our weddings.  I will keep you posted how our Hummingbird family get on, and will snap away at the monkeys as and when we see them.  I have a whole host of blogs to get round to, but wanted to get my David Attenborough bit out of the way first.

Massive thanks as always for reading guys, hit the subscribe button, tell your friends and generally be merry.

Will be back soon

x

Reading through my posts, it dawned on me that pretty much all of the photos I have posted have been from the evening.  This is mainly down to the fact that, despite having an awesome job, Sian and I work bloody hard. All the time. But last week we had our good friend Ozzy stay with us (very soon after Jen and Tom left, so we are now pretty knackered!!) and were able to get out over the weekend to do some good old fashioned exploring. As is now customary in Barbados, we knew where  we wanted to take Ozzy – to North Point.  This is…err…the most northern point of Barbados, and offers some great views.  So I just checked on Google maps where we were heading and we set off. As is now customary, Google maps was wrong. And as is now customary, I threw a tantrum. Cursing the Google gurus, we bounced down the pothole ridden track…how can they be so dump?  Sure I can find 2 nearly billion pages of Russian porn in two seconds, source 500,000 pages of lunar moon conspiracy, or watch over 650,000 hours of cats sneezing with the mighty web engine – but can they pinpoint the most northerly point in Barbados and take me up the correct road of the three that are here?  Can they balls.

Anyway, we eventually found it – no thanks to the internet, and all my frustration quickly disappeared. It is a magical place. I took loads of landscapes but, I’m afraid to admit, I was using the D80 (please see here!) and had forgotten that I had cranked the ISO for an example of how pants the sensor is in that blog.  I NEVER change the ISO on the D80 because it is so dire in the top levels, and, like a true rookie, did not change it back.  Lesson 101 Ferg – check your settings! I should have noticed when I was shooting at f16 and a shutter speed of 1000th…it was a bright day, but come on Ferg. Unfortunately, I couldn’t blame Google for that. So we then had a seat and a beer, and watched the world go by.  I stepped back with my 70 – 200 and got some nice candids (I think) of Oz and Sian.

And while we sat drinking our beers, with the sea battering the cliffs below, we were treated to a cacophony of birds singing in the trees above.  Oz and Sian went exploring, and I sat and watched them, Bill Oddie style. I quickly learned that I am a terrible wildlife photographer.  After firing off a few frames, it was apparent that I really had no clue what I was doing.  Trying to shoot wide (2.8) was a waste of time, as the birds moved too quickly for my focus to cope, and I ended up with a horrible blurry mess with twigs and branches in focus. After about twenty minutes of hopeless flailing, I stood and watched, instead of trying to shoot.  It was amazing.  Above us were a good dozen nests, and the birds were all flying out to get their chicks food.  Until now I had been completely oblivious  to the drama going on above.  The birds were busy building their nests and bringing food home for the chicks.  One of the parent birds would fly off in search of food, whilst the other stayed guard over the nest.  The small ones lay silent until they saw mum or dad return, and the nest would erupt in a fury of high pitched chirps – desperate to remind their parents they were there, hungry and ready to eat.

It was wonderful.  Because of my camera (and my sheer stubbornness to get a good photo) I watched this whole story unfold.  Normally Sian and I just enjoy the bird song, but today I watched the full drama in all its glory.  It was amazing.  One bird flew over to another nest and pinched some twigs.  This is clearly why the birds guard their nests – not to protect their little ones from predators, but from their thieving own kind!

I watched for a good half an hour or so, and upon Ozzy and Sian’s return, we finished our beers and headed home for a swim – a little wiser on the wildlife habits of the Bajan Birds, a little more experienced on how to shoot them, and a little more in love with the new camera, for making me see all these things 🙂

Ferg x