It’s only fitting that the 350th bird of my “Big Year” was Allen’s Hummingbird, seen in Don Desjardin’s back yard where Don captured much of his outstanding footage of Allen’s for Hummingbirds of North America. This link to some of his Allen’s Hummingbird footage makes my mouth water. Of course, I love hummingbirds.
I met Don after the Large Gulls of North America was finished and while I was working on Small Gulls of North America. Jon Dunn had asked me to try and use a few of Don’s photos in Small Gulls. I wasn’t excited about it but called Don out of respect to Jon. Don asked what I needed and I replied “Black-headed Gull with Bonaparte’s Gull (knowing this would be difficult for a California Guy like Don to come up with.) But Don replied that he did indeed have that and oh by the way had additional shots of Black-headed Gull from his travels in Switzerland. Upon seeing his photo of the Black-headed with Bonaparte’s I was impressed with the reflection in the water – a superb touch I immediately realized that not only could he focus but he knew a thing or two about composition and lighting as well. Anyways, I used quite a few of Don’s photos then spent the next two years cajoling him into switching to video. I wanted Don on the team for the hummingbird video and was certain that he would excel jn the world of video just as he had with his photography. To make a long story short, Don provided a lot of the video footage of Allen’s, Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds and joined me for the expedition to Alamos, Sonora Mexico where we finally nailed the Plain-capped Starthroat. Over the years we became friends and now I’m staying four nights with Don and his lovely wife Kathy to solicit his help for my big year.
One note of caution. Yesterday, I spent a full day in Mountain Quail country in the Mt. Pinos area without success. I did add Red-breasted Sapsucker and Oak Titmouse but nada on the quail. I’ll post tomorrow what we see today after the Allen’s Hummingbird. Stay tuned.