I always like to have a mini photography project on the go, as it increase your options and opportunities. My latest project is to try and get some photographs of Jays in flight. Jays rate right up at the top of the list as one of my favourite woodland birds. Beautifully coloured, 'intelligent', inquisitive but also shy makes this species a great photography challenge. I have been thinking about getting some flight photos of them for a while.
A couple of weeks ago I started daily feeding of a site where I think some flight photos may be possible. This has required an early alarm so I can visit the site during the commute to work. The inspiration for Project J was this magpie photographed recently at the same location.
I have two Jays arriving regularly now but have not tried flight photographs yet, as I have been just watching the birds and formulating the plan. Obviously I had to take a few photographs during this observation period :) The pattern of the birds coming into the feed is now quite predictable but the flight photographs will still prove tricky as their low slightly undulating flight makes them a difficult target to lock on to with the camera focus.
Their typical behaviour is to firstly land in a nearby tree and have a look around. They really do not get on well with magpies, and will not often come in to feed until the magpies have left.
Before dropping down to a tree stump.
They then hop down on to the surrouinding grass
Looking around for the feed
Having filled their large crop, they then fly off a short way to bury and hide food, before returning back to the feeding area.
It is during these short flights to cache the food that I hope to get the flight photograph. Easy said than done!