On this day I made probably 100 photos of these little guys and out of that I came away with two, maybe three photos worth keeping, they are just that challenging to shoot. These were made at a friends feeder, I can't image how much more difficult it would be in a natural location.
The feeder hangs under the awning of his deck so the birds only get hit with direct sunlight in the early morning. On this morning it was overcast, so there wasn't much light at all. I wedged my big reflector under the awning to bounce some light back onto the birds. This, plus a slight thinning of the clouds, let me get closer to freezing the wings.
The autofocus on my camera combined with the telecoverter slowing the lens down made it rather difficult to make sharp images. What I did was study their patterns to see if I could gain an advantage. I noticed that this one would approach the feeder then pause a few inches away for a couple seconds. Then he would go in for a sip and return to the place where he had paused. I was able to set the focus there and try to time my shots to grab one or two frames whe he returned to that spot. Even following this method, he just moved too fast to reliably get any shots.
All said and done, the time it took to make this image, and the last one, was well worth it. These instantly rocketed to the top of my list for favorite bird images.