BASICS: This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
The sanctuary is ONLY open certain, very limited, dates/times, starting july 20, and ending sept 15, and ONLY by specific private appointment, at particular, available "slot" times posted at this blog. No visits of any type without a confirmed appointment (

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The latest sunset of the year.

on the summer solstice june 21 the day is the longest of the year, and this is how it ended here on the bluffs at the sanctuary;

Friday, June 23, 2017

drone not hummer

I got a DJI Spark drone for my birthday with which I'm hoping to shoot some interesting footage, both at the sanctuary and elsewhere.
This is the drone that was recently featured in the NY Times. It comes with its own HD camera mounted on a gimbal, and can be controlled using a smartphone. Here are some preliminary results.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately since I'm a complete beginner), the range one can operate the drone is quite limited using a cell phone, less than 100 feet. But it's enough to practice with. In addition there's a (known) bug when using an Android phone, which causes one to lose the connection with the drone. Lots to learn! 
It tends to be very windy here but the drone seems to handle gusty wind remarkably well: when it's hovering and a gust comes one can hear the motors revving very strongly but it remains in place. In the second video the voice-over, which I recorded during filming, was added afterwards in
post-production, so it's not perfectly synchronized. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

4K fred

Fred is now using a more favorable perch, here's one clip I filmed at 4k resolution - note the detail.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Birthday

Monday was my seventieth birthday, which Claire and I celebrated in Baiting Hollow and in a couple of our favorite spots on the North Fork (Horton Point Lighthouse and Orient Village). Here's a short video of us enjoying the climbing rose "Frances Lester" at the sanctuary.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fred close-up

Fred is also sometimes perching on another dead pine-tree top at the bluff edge in another part of the garden, with Long Island Sound in the background. Sorry for the ubiquitous helicopter noise in the background.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Excitement builds; Coralita

Excitement builds here at the sanctuary.  June is always a quiet month for hummingbird activity because territories have been settled, birds have rebuilt their strength after the migration, and females are now feeding their young an insect-based diet, with only brief visits to flowers and feeders. But mid-june is when the antique roses that climb my wild cherry trees flower, and already some buds are opening. Here is Perennial Blush:

But both Fred and Coralita are putting in appearances. Yesterday I added one more feeder to the array I already deploy, and within minutes Fred showed up and tried it. He obviously approved, because he returned to it repeatedly in the next 2 hours. But here is a visit by Coralita to another feeder,  the one that she usually uses. Both vids are 2X slo-mo.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Better Fred Vid

Yesterday evening Fred arrived once again at the "Cherry Queen" salvia just after sunset - but a few minutes earlier than before, so the light was better, and I was able to shoot a reasonably good long sequence:

Here's the remnants of the sunset a few minutes later:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fred sups again at Cherry Queen

This evening I returned to Baiting Hollow and sat on the front deck overlooking the Sound and waited to see if Fred would once again take a long bedtime drink from the "Cherry Queen" flowers (Salvia greggii). This time it was a clear sky and I positioned myself between the setting sun and the flowers. Sure enough a few minutes after a  brilliant sunset (when it was starting to get very cold and the light was fading fast) Fred showed up at these flowers, and lingered for quite a while. I was able to get several clips, and first (because of bandwidth limits) I'm showing a couple of the shortest clips, the second one replayed at 8  X slo mo. I'll upload the longer ones overnight, and post separately.

and here's a longer clip from 3 days ago, viewed from the side and in even worse light, so Fred is silhouetted against the gray Sound and sky.