Friday, March 13, 2009

Project J

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!


The Early Birder said...

Both Magpie & Jay produce the most derogatory comments from visitors when I'm leading walks BUT just look at the colours - FAB shots Rich & good luck with the flight pics.

Evita said...

Wow Richard! That bird in flight is as crisp as it gets!!! These are outstanding!!

Azahari Reyes @ Jason a.k.a horukuru said...

Thanks for the shots, I learnt something today hahaha nice pictures :)

Midmarsh John said...

Love the ground level shots. Superb

Andor Marton said...

Excellent series, like all others on your blog. I look forward to visiting your blog again, it's a real pleasure to see such a beautiful images.

T and S said...

Fabulous stunning series. I just can't take my eyes of the first image. Its a masterpiece.

I know how difficult it is to get that fantastic flight shot. Congratulations.

Quantum Tiger said...

That's a great magpie shot (not to say that the jays aren't nice too!). Great work.

Rich Steel said...

Many thanks for the replies. There are a lot of negative comments made about jays and magpies which is a shame as they are such beautiful birds but tricky to catch in flight. Before I started photography I always use to think of magpies as being black and white but the subtle blues, purple and green really make them a very attractive in the right light, although they always present a tricky exposure.




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