Today, I was lucky to spot two new bird species in the backyard, just a few minutes apart. The first was a gorgeous Chestnut-Backed Chickadee on the suet feeder, eight feet away from me. I thought I had glimpsed one last week, but couldn’t be sure. This time, though, the rich brown back feathers were clearly evident in the bright sunshine.
The second was the elusive Anna’s Hummingbird, who discovered the new nectar feeder today. I was within seven feet of this flying jewel as he zipped in for a couple of sips.
He landed on the perch of the lone port to not sport a bee guard, which i had removed a few days before after switching the locations of the two nectar feeders, in the hopes that the newer one would get more attention.
Sure enough, the Black-Capped Chickadee–who is a regular patron to the older nectar feeder–tried to sip from the newer feeder, but couldn’t get his tiny beak through the bee guards, and he hadn’t yet figured out where the older nectar feeder was.
Time–in reality, a mere five seconds–stands still when one is witness to one of Mother Nature’s truly amazing creatures. As he fed, I greedily drank in the pinkish-purple throat patch of the male Anna’s hummingbird. He might have stayed longer had I not made the move to fish out my digital camera, but nonetheless … what an encounter!
This is not to discount the bold Black-Capped Chickadee who also came within eight inches of me on the hybrid fruit tree, the White-Crowned Sparrow who made a (documented) cameo in the pear tree, or the female Downy Woodpecker who made two trips to the suet feeder today. But the camera lens of my mind remembers the precious, fleeting encounters not captured on digital film in full detail, even if I do not have the photos to prove it. Seeing these birds up close and personal really made my day.