BASICS


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 (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dates; Recent Visitor Photos; Chicks near fledging from the Nest; Visiting Instructions

Currently Available Dates (partly based on today's weather predictions for the coming week)

 monday aug 8 am (10-12.30) only

Here are a few nice photos from visitors last week.


Fred the resident (since late april) adult male - note the ruby-throat and the forked tail. The young and adult females have a silver-grey throat and a straight edged tail (with a terminal white stripe)


A female/juvenile feeding at blue Salvia guaranitica (with yellow trumpet vine flowers in background). Both these photos by Sandra F.


Feeding at  rosebud salvia, and bog sage. Kathie Juergens.

Went down to E. Quogue again yesterday am and shot these vids.




The first shows the now very active and much bigger chicks; the second shows Mama feeding them and the third was shot simultaneously with the portion of the second where the mother arrives at the nest, using a separate parallel camera. You can see how she does not go straight to the nest, but zigzags around (probably to confuse predators). The first 2 are in HD and the third in UHD, with a much broader field of view. You can hear my kind host in the background, and me in the foreground, as we chat away.

How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.

The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

New Dates and Videos; How to Visit

Currently Available Dates (based on today's weather predictions for the coming week)
Wed Aug 3 am (10-12.30) and pm (3-5), Thur Aug 4 pm only, Fri Aug 5, am and pm. We will also be open one half-day next weekend, to be decided. Many more openings will be posted in subsequent weeks, until sept 15.

And now, some recent sanctuary videos. If you look carefully you will see attacks and chases in some of the vids. The first 2 are in real time, and thus have soundtracks (in the first waves on the beach, in the second 4H kids playing on the beach), and the last 2 are in 2X slo-mo, and therefore have no sound.











How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.


The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lucifer Crocosmia; How to Visit


Several hummers have been fighting over a spectacular patch of "Lucifer" crocosmia (which we Brits call "montbretia" and some of you may know as "coppertips"). There's also a Lucifer hummingbird, a mexican bird that can sometimes be seen in southern Arizona (e.g. at Ash Canyon B&B, a marvelous place we visited last year; see http://ashcanyon.com/). Although the Baiting Hollow Sanctuary hosted a vagrant rufous hummingbird last winter, a Lucifer would be truly unique over here. But we are ready!


(photo by Ron Cook, from http://cmoasis.blogspot.com/2013/05/lucifer-hummingbird-courtship-display.html

We will be open saturday morning july 30 10-12.30. Open dates next week depend on the weather but some will be posted soon. We will then be open 3 1/2 days every week until sept 15 - dates to be announced here.

How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.
The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More Nest Vids; Visiting the Sanctuary

Here are a couple more videos from my session yesterday morning in the Quogue area (not at the sanctuary).



The first shows the feeding session that followed from the one I showed yesterday. The second shows the end result: one of the chicks accurately poops well clear of the nest rim!


Open Days/Times for This Week
monday july 25 pm only (i.e. 3-5)
tuesday july 26 am (10-12.30) and pm
wednesday july 27 am and pm
thursday july 28 am only


How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.
The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Nest! Visiting.

This monday morning I went down to the Quogue area to film an active hummingbird nest. Here is one of the results.


 Many thanks to the 2 birders who made this filming possible! The nest is about 8 feet high in a red cedar tree. It was first spotted july 8, when the mother was already sitting on her eggs. At the start of the video you can see the lichen-covered nest with the beaks of the 2 chicks peeking above the rim. The beak on the left is fairly obvious but to the right you can see the tip of the tongue of the other chick occasionally flicking upward just above the rim. Then the mother arrives and starts jabbing the one on the right, regurgitating the slurry of insects she has pre-digested. She then feeds the one on the left.
She was away from the nest for much of the time, and on returning approached the nest very cautiously, eying me and my birder companion warily, and perching nearby, before finally concluding it was probably safe to go to the nest. All this behavior is very typical.
I've only ever found 2 nests near the sanctuary, neither actually on my property. The nests were very difficult to spot, and in recent years I've not attempted to find one, confining my attention to the nests of Bahama Woodstar hummingbirds at our place in Eleuthera. However, the behavior of the 2 species is identical.


Open Days/Times for This Week
monday july 25 pm only (i.e. 3-5)
tuesday july 26 am (10-12.30) and pm
wednesday july 27 am and pm
thursday july 28 am only


How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.
The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.



Sunday, July 17, 2016

New Visiting Dates/Times Posted; How to Visit; Report on Initial Opening; Lawsuit Settlement and Future Plans



Open Days/Times for Next Week
monday july 25 pm only (i.e. 3-5)
tuesday july 26 am (10-12.30) and pm
wednesday july 27 am and pm
thursday july 28 am only

I plan to open next weekend for a half-day, TBA.

How to Visit

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (see above). Requests for undefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until (and if) that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for weather, unforeseen circumstances etc), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Email me (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)  which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times; visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5) you want to come, mentioning if you have visited before, and the expected number in your one car.  I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.
Please don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, just before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.
The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon). If the currently posted dates do not suit you, please wait for suitable dates to be posted - plenty more to come.

Report on Initial Opening




Our initial opening was a success, despite the relatively low activity at this time of year. Fred, the resident adult male, was in evidence, as well as an adult female and a juvenile. At one point all 3 were chasing each other, but I think Fred is now re-asserting his dominance. Quite a few visits initially to the "Lucifer" crocosmia (see the videos above and below) but now I think the female/juveniles (difficult to tell apart) are preferring the salvias - the rosebud salvias ("Bethelllii") are just strating to bloom  and soon the Lucifers and the Hyperion Daylilies, which are currently spectacular, will be over.

Here is some of the chasing, and also the "pendulum" dance, which is used both for aggression (as probably in this case) and courtship.






Plans

The Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary opened early this year (july 20 - 22 and the morning july 23, as a result of the recent settlement of the lawsuit. The plaintiffs (I cannot write "neighbors" because now only one of them actually lives here, and only part-time) wanted me to open less frequently but over a longer time period (they might not have even realized that we used to only open in august!). So we are opening only 3 1/2 days per week, but over a longer period (july 20 - sept 15).  Unfortunately we will be open only this summer and next. After 2017 only my personal friends can visit me (which I hope they will!). However, I'm working to allow at least part of the existing sanctuary to open to the public under completely different ownership and management. A result of the lawsuit has been that I realize that any such arrangement must be done with excellent, and potentially expensive, legal counsel. I will soon be announcing ways all the wonderful friends of the sanctuary can contribute to this process. Stay tuned!


How to Visit; New Videos

PLEASE ONLY REQUEST APPOINTMENTS FOR A SPECIFIC, CURRENTLY POSTED, DATE AND TIME (AM OR PM). I CANNOT ANSWER EMAILS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE THESE ESSENTIAL DETAILS! PLENTY OF MORE DATES WILL BE POSTED, BUT YOU MUST WAIT AND CHOOSE A SPECIFIC, ANNOUNCED, DATE/TIME. DO NOT ASK FOR RANDOM FUTURE DATES. THANKS!

We will be open for visits (10-12.30 or 3-5), by appointment only, starting july 20, and then also july 21, 22. We will also be open saturday 23, but only in the morning (10-12.30). We will then be opening 3 1/2 days a week until sept 15. However, the exact future dates we will open have not yet been decided (depends partly on weather). Please do not request an appointment for days other than those announced at this blog (currently ONLY july 20-23). Requests for indefined not-yet-posted dates will be ignored: I simply cannot keep track of your requests, you have to keep track of my available dates as they are posted (typically a few days ahead). If you want a date in, say, mid-august (eg aug 15) please wait until that date is posted (probably some time around aug 10-12). Taking reservations on a rolling, as available, basis works best for me (e.g. allows for unforeseen circumstances), makes it more likely you will actually show for your appointment (no-shows reduce the limited visiting opportunities for others). Once I know which of the available (i.e. posted) "slots" (dates and times) you want to come (visits are either 10-12.30 or 3-5), I'll send you an email with directions and instructions, which you should read carefully. If you feel you can conform with these instructions,  I'll then send a confirmation of your appointed visit, with the necessary liability waiver form, which you must sign and bring with you.

To initiate the process, simply send me an email (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu) specifying which ONE of the AVAILABLE and POSTED dates/times you would like to visit. Don't ask for a future date, or ask me to pick a date - it just gets too complicated. Once the quota for each "slot" is filled, I'll immediately remove the posting - so, before you email me, check for the current available dates/times. This is the system I used the last 2 years, and once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch: just wait for the date/time (am/pm)  you want then email me.
The only exception to this is for my personal friends, who, unlike the general public, are not subject to the quotas imposed by the recent lawsuit settlement (of which I'll be writing more soon).

Currently Available Dates/Times: july 20, 21, 22 either am (10-12.30) or pm (3-5), and july 23 (am only), by appointment only.

Late this sunday afternoon, wearing my excellent (though far from perfect) BOSE noise-canceling headphones, I sat in the din of the Hamptons air traffic
to relax after my garden chores, to try and film hummingbirds, which are still in short supply here. Here are 2 clips I got of what is (or are) females or juveniles. I suspect the first (feeding) is an adult female and the second (perching) a juvenile male. Note how the latter near the clip beginning briefly opens his beak, presumably to emit a "chip" or squeak. The orange in the backgroud are trumpet creeper flowers.






Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Opening july 20; Fred and Female/Juvie

Our first open date this season will be july 20, followed by 21 and 22. More dates will be posted soon, until the end of the season sept 15. Please note WE ARE ONLY OPEN BY CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT, and for posted dates/times only. We open 10-12.30 and/or 3-5. Please email me at paul.adams#stonybrook.edu requesting a specific date and time; I will then send you visiting information and a confirmation of your appointment. Of course friends are welcome (and encouraged) to visit at any time (appointment also though please), but preferably not during our public open days/times. Always closed 12.30-3. Thanks!

I spent a pleasant hour or 2 this afternoon in the lower garden, and saw quite a lot of Fred, mostly perching on twigs about 7 feet above me, cleaning his beak, darting his tongue, briefly opening his beak probably to "chip" or "squeak" a warning, and above all watching in every direction for intruders. I suspected that he was spending a lot of time in this sector because of interlopers. Indeed, I filmed this guy at one of his bluff-top feeders while Fred was briefly absent. Note the white band on the tail tip, characteristic of females or juveniles. Note also the ascending bubbles as nectar is consumed.


Here's Fred at the same feeder.

 


                                  

and perching nearby, just above me.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fred perches and snacks; first opening dates

Fred returned today to the perch he favored in early june, and I got this clip. Later, at his regular post-sunset snack time, he was back at the cuphea. Note that in both clips it's only when he turns his gorget toward the camera it flashes red - from the side it looks black.




I'll start opening early this year (july 20, 21, 22,  from 10 to 12.30 and from 3-5) then every week until sept 15, but only 3 days a week (and the occasional weekend morning or afternoon, as per the settlement agreement), AND ONLY AT to be ANNOUNCED DATES. If you would like to visit one of these 3 dates, please email me, but bear in mind there will be plenty of other opportunities, with more hummingbird activity (and only 1 visit per season is allowed). No visits without a confirmed appointment! 

I've not yet seen hummers visiting the Lucifer crocosmia, which are in magnificent bloom, together with "Hyperion" daylilies (which hummers never visit). But I caught these 2 clips with butterflies.




Monday, July 11, 2016

Best Hummer Plant: Porterweed

Perhaps the best hummingbird plant of all is porterweed (Stachytarpheta species), which comes in red,purple and lavender forms. here's Fred, filmed today, at porterweed.


Porterweed is quite hard to find (no garden center on Long Island seems to carry it) but it's still available at Long Island Hummingbird Plants. They also have many other excellent hummer plants, including Cuphea and Rosebud Salvia - check out their availability list.
Here's Fred at his sunset cuphea this evening:


And here I think is his paramour (who he treats very badly, scaring her and all other intruders away), also filmed today.


And here's a long look at some Lucifer crocosmia; my deer repellent seems to have protected the buds, but they bloom in vain, because Fred disdains them and chases all the other hummers away - it's still very quiet, apart from Fred doing his rounds.


Despite the still low activity,  I'll be opening early this year (july 20, 21, 22,  from 10 to 12.30 and from 3-5) then every week until sept 15, but only 3 days a week (and the occasional weekend morning or afternoon), AND ONLY AT to be ANNOUNCED DATES. If you would like to visit one of those 3 dates, please email me, but bear in mind there will be plenty of other opportunities, with more hummingbird activities (and only 1 visit per season is allowed). No visits without a confirmed appointment!

To finish, here's the view from the front deck a half hour after the above Fred vid.




Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lawsuit Settlement; Birding Avalon

The lawsuit settlement, finalized last thursday, will allow me to receive the general public during the current hummingbird season (july 20 - sept 15) BUT ONLY ON LIMITED, SELECTED AND ANNOUNCED DAYS AND HOURS AND ONLY BY CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT. Details of visiting procedures and dates will be announced soon at this blog. Please do not request appointments except for announced dates and times. Any request for an appointment other than at announced dates/times will be ignored. Rigorous adherence to the terms of the settlement, and to blog-posted procedures is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL; ignoring them could result in immediate permanent closure of the sanctuary to all, and possible prison time for me. Further details of the, rather disappointing, settlement terms, and their background, will be soon posted at this blog, but the settlement document itself, though not secret, will not be posted here. Of course personal friends are welcome to visit, by appointment only, at any time.
The sanctuary will be open next year's season as well, but will then close permanently, at least under present ownership. Details to follow.

As my most faithful readers know, one of my favorite places on Long Island, other than the hummingbird sanctuary, is Avalon, near our home in Stony Brook. I was birding there with my son Jamie (visiting from North Carolina), and the flowers (unlike the birds) were spectacular. I've vainly tried to persuade the Riverhead Open Space committee, who manage the Sound Ave Preserve, which lies at the start of the road that leads to the hummingbird sanctuary, that they should at least take a look at Avalon. The key is simply to mow the once-open fields once a year, in the winter, to keep out all the invasive shrubs and trees; the paths should also simply be mowed, rather than being covered in coarse twiggy mulch - much easier to walk.
Here are some clips from our visit this morning.
























Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lawsuit Settled, but not favorably; Fred at his favorite flowers

Today I and the other parties signed a settlement agreement, and the judge issued a judgement (as judges do) ending the lawsuit. The settlement will allow me to receive the general public during the current hummingbird season (july 20 - sept 15) BUT ONLY ON LIMITED, SELECTED AND ANNOUNCED DAYS AND HOURS AND ONLY BY CONFIRMED APPOINTMENT. Details of visiting procedures and dates will be announced soon at this blog. Please do not request appointments except for announced dates and times. Any request for an appointment other than at announced dates/times will be ignored. Rigorous adherence to the terms of the settlement, and to blog-posted procedures is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL; ignoring them could result in immediate permanent closure of the sanctuary to all, and possible prison time for me. Further details of the, rather disappointing, settlement terms, and their background, will be soon posted at this blog, but the settlement document itself, though not secret, will not be posted here. Of course personal friends are welcome to visit, by appointment only, at any time.
The sanctuary will be open next year's season as well, but will then close permanently, at least under present ownership.

I shall not be drinking celebratory champagne tonight, but rather a glass of clean cold water, to wash some of the bitter taste from my mouth. The hummingbirds seem happy though, and as seen below Fred was drinking a toast at his favorite cupheas at sunset. He will be pleased to meet you!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

He, she and bee

Activity is modestly but definitely picking up, just as the Hyperion and Lucifer buds (loaded with doses of Deer-be-Gone, and thus smelling weirdly of clove oil) are beginning to open. But here's a vid from late this evening with Fred feeding at Cuphea micropetala and Salvia greggii (as you can see mostly the former):


Earlier today I filmed a female hummer sharing a bluff-edge feeder with a bee:



Tomorrow, another court appearance.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Fred and Mme W

Not much hummer action here yet, though I continue to see Fred a few times every day as I work in the garden, including some very quick and murderous attacks on intruders, all over in a second or 2 well before I can deploy the camera. So far this year I've not seen any "pendulum" mating dances, which perhaps does not bode well for the coming more active season. But this quiet is normal, I usually only start to see youngsters when the "Lucifer" crocosmia start flowering. They are almost ready, as are the "Hyperion" daylilies, and I've been spraying the buds with "Deer-be-Gone" in attempt to forestall the deer. Fred seems to have abandoned the perch he was favoring in may, and, as usual as the season advances, is becoming more secretive. However I've spotted a new perch he's sometimes using, in the lower garden area, where he can vigilantly guard several feeders and flower beds. Unfortunately this spot is more hidden than the earlier one, with poor lighting, but here is a recent clip.


To round out this post, I'm re-showing some of the videos of Mme W, a nesting female hummer I followed earlier this year at our winter home in the Bahamas, in more or less chronological order.









I''ll show the rest of the series in my next post. Of course in the woods around me several females are currently going through a very similar sequence of events, though I've not looked for nests this year. 


Friday, July 1, 2016

Thuya

Here are some pictures from our recent trip to Thuya Garden, in Northeast Harbour, Maine. It's the second of Charles Savage's 2 masterworks. You can read more about his work here.


There are magnificent old pots at Thuya. These were made long ago by Eric Soderholtz using concrete that resembles terra cotta (which would not survive the Maine winters). Lunaform now makes similar pots but they are extremely expensive and not as fine.


There are also 2 wonderful garden pavilions; here you see Claire in the upper one.



There are also magnificent doors carved by Savage (an Inn-Keeper) himself.


Another huge Soderholtz urn.


The lawn slopes up to the upper pavilion; a red azalea on the right.


The wonderful Maine rocks are used beautifully.


When we were there they were still setting out many annuals, and there were not yet many flowers. Here you see a little folding table which carries a detailed, well-used planting map.


the fabulous meconopsis (Himalyan blue poppy)


A closer view of the red azalea,  with my elegant traveling companion.

 

Finally, here are a couple of videos.


Bees enjoying the Phlox subulata growing between the beautiful rocks



View along the main garden axis.