The above pic of the little Blue Wax bill is not posted here as an example of my photographic skill, but as an illustration of something that never fails to amaze me. Perhaps this has been thoroughly discussed on this forum before, but even if it has, it's still worth another mention.
Little birds like this don't move slowly and carefully. They move quickly, changing direction in an instant, they don't hesitate, rarely sitting still for more than a second or two, they flit in and out of trees and bushes at lightning speed, as everyone who tries to get a quick shot knows.
Ok, so that's all very well, but here's the big mystery; how do they manage to do all of this amongst all those viciously sharp thorns. And they're not just little bullet shaped missiles that can dart through a gap, no, they've got wings that are wide spread as they approach those thorny branches. Approaching at speed, they must pick an entry point, slow to a stop, close their wings and land on a perch in the blink of an eye. There's no hit and miss here, overshooting and crashing into the next branch could be fatal. Sure I've seen birds flounder on landing in a dense leafy bush, but it's the big guys, the Storks, Ground Hornbills etc, not the little LBJ's.
And then once they're deep in that thorny jungle, they'll hop from twig to twig, twisting and turning, and if something startles them, suddenly they're gone, there's no hesitation, no looking around for an exit gap with some space to spread their wings for a measured launch. Before you can press the shoot button, that little guy has found a gap and is heading at speed for the next bush.
This was all brought home to me quite dramatically during this trip. We had parked our caravan up close to an umbrella thorn tree with the result that some of the branches were brushing up against the back of the caravan. No problem I thought, they are small green branches, I'll just bend them back slightly and hook them behind one further back. Ha Ha, that's easier said than done. I'd carefully put my hand in between the branches, but within seconds a few mean little cat thorns had sunk their claws into my flesh. Now firmly trapped I had no option but to use my other hand to try to free myself by bending a bigger branch back.
Well, just as I freed my trapped arm the branch sprung loose and whipped across my face. I felt a sting, but I was free and so rubbing my nose to relieve the sting I went off to the the ablutions to wash my hands. Strolling back enjoying the warm sunshine I wondered why I had so many people staring at me and smiling. I happily smiled back and greeted everyone, thinking "My, what friendly campers". Getting back to the caravan DB greeted me in astonishment: "Have you been in a fight, you whole face is smeared with blood". That little Wax Bill would have had a good laugh.
I've always marveled at the skill displayed by the pilots who land their jets on the pitching and rolling deck of an aircraft carrier, but hey that's something a little Wax bill could do in his sleep I'm sure.
Nature is truly amazing isn't it.