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Hitting the Target Part II

In a post some days ago, I spoke about our quest for a rare breeding visitor – a quest that took us into the Northern Range, led us up and down hills frustratingly for a few hours with an eventual out-of-this-world reward shot (see it here). After that mission, we got wind of another exceedingly rare bird – this one isn’t even listed in the current edition of the Field Guide. Two years ago, when I finally laid eyes upon the holy grail of local hummingbirds – the Rufous-shafted Woodstar – I enjoyed a period of approximately two weeks having seen all 17 species of hummingbirds within T&T.

Why two weeks?

(Check out the Rufous-shafted Woodstar here)

It started in Lopinot – a young male Amethyst Woodstar was seen and photographed. It popped up in Maracas Valley very briefly and then disappeared. The following year it appeared, again for a brief moment. This year, the Amethyst Woodstar showed for a very brief moment in Theo Ferguson’s garden. Hastily I sent him a message and booked a session at Yerette in the hopes of seeing this bird.

No certainties here, these are unfettered creatures. But good news upon our arrival, the bird had just been seen – unbelievably perched six feet away on an exposed branch.

There were a few other photographers present and I drooled over the images on their LCD screens. Would it show again? Or would my slice of luck turn into dust?

Within ten minutes, the minuscule bird returned. It just seemed to appear on its perch.

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Now this is an immature bird – if you look carefully you can just see the beginnings of an amethyst throat.

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Which means that this particular bird cannot be the same one that has been sporadically appearing in the last couple of years. What are their patterns? Are they breeding here? Where did he come from? Where is he going? For the following couple hours we enjoyed excellent views of this unbelievably rare sight – all while sipping coffee comfortably from Theo’s porch. Even though he perched on the same twig each time, I shifted my position to experiment with different backgrounds.

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Before long, we had way too many pictures of Amethyst Woodstar. Haha. And for good reason – within the subsequent days the bird disappeared again. Thank you Theo, and thank you #18.

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