We have been having some issues with our hummingbirds. One of them has decided the feeder is his and no other birds can use it. He sits around and feeds to his heart’s content. Even when he is in a local tree, anyone coming close gets chased off quickly. We have named him “Cartman”. One of the recommendations in such a situation is to have a second feeder so we have added one to the fence nearby. One of the benefits I have found with this is that it puts the birds at a different angle between me and the light and it brings out the colors more vibrantly. Here you can see Cartman – he is still trying to dominate the place.
My obsession/interest in photographing the hummingbirds in our back garden has continued. I mentioned my poor early attempts in this post but things have gradually been improving. I have decided to compromise on quality a bit by shooting from indoors. The birds are clearly not enthusiastic about me being there with the camera so I decided that shooting through the window was an alternative. Obviously double glazed windows are not optically ideal but they are surprisingly good it seems. This has allowed me to get a number of shots I am a lot happier with.
One thing that I have seen much more of when shooting from this location is the way in which the color of the feathers varies so dramatically depending on the angle to the light. The birds normally look very gray. The backs can start to be green when the light strikes at the right angle but the most dramatic changes are for the head and throat. Here a gray feather can suddenly transition to a pink of bright red. It only takes a very small change in angle for this to become apparent.
We put up a hummingbird feeder on our deck this year. We also had some hanging baskets and were hoping that they would be attracted. Initially, the plants were their focus but they soon decided that they liked the feeder too. We could be sitting out there happily chatting away as the birds came and went. However, if I brought the camera out, they suddenly become awfully shy. Photos of a bit of a head or a wing behind the feeder were the norm. The shutter sound also seems to have a negative effect. However, I have got a couple of close attempts. One day I shall devote some time to trying to get decent shots but I was more intent on enjoying the summer days than photographing the birds.
The step up in size that Embraer took when they create the E170/175 and E190/195 aircraft was important for them and it proved to be a successful move. Both types did well and have achieved a solid market presence. With a new generation of technologies coming, Embraer decided to go for a significant upgrade to the type with new engines and other systems resulting in the E2 versions. In line with that, they decided to tweak the current design to create the E1 upgrades. This turned out to be a well-timed upgrade as it came at a time when a whole bunch of airlines were looking to up-gauge their regional feeder services. Embraer picked up a ton of orders.
The speed with which these jets have entered the US fleets is impressive. Both United and American signed new deals for service with these jets and now you can regularly see their E175s feeding in to large airports. Alaska has gone a similar way (using Skywest much as United has) and their fleet of E175s is starting to grow. The E2 has now had its first flight in the larger E190 form but the 175 will follow in a few years. The E170 has been dropped from the line at this point. I imagine we will see even more of these jets as they will dominate this seating range which Bombardier seems to have ceded as they focus on larger jets.