Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Flying Corvids

Thought I would do another post on some flying corvids given that they are such a great photographic subject.Whilst trying to capture photographs of my main target, the Jay, I also get visits from other birds such as Magpies and Carrion Crows.
The Jays are on the bottom rung of a distinct pecking order ladder of these three crow species. As such, there are always some opportunities to photograph these other birds whilst waiting for the feeding area to become clear. Both the crows and magpies are easier to photograph than the jays as they are more predictable in their flight patterns. The main issue is one of getting the exposure of the photograph right in the good light needed for flight photography.  For the non-photographers reading this that means trying to finely balance the camera settings to changing light conditions to maintain detail in both the blacks and whites parts of these birds. Birds that are both black and white being at either end of the 'light spectrum' can present quite a challenge to capture correctly. Of course as I have said before the magpie is not really a black and white bird but the back of the wings has an iridescent blue sheen and a green tail that ends in a purple dominated rainbow of colour. Despite their much maligned reputation, there is no denying that the magpie is a very attractive bird when looked at carefully.

Another occasional visitor is the Wood Pigeon. Interestingly these birds stand their ground to all at the feeding area except Carrion Crow.

Of course the real star of the show and the main reason why I started this whole project so long ago, is the Jay.

Air brakes fully engaged before the final landing flip.

 Fly-bys with full downbeat wing extension. Of course given the nature of jay flight you inevitably end up with quite a few photographs with no wings showing and it just appears like a flying rocket.
Sometimes it nice to pull back a bit and show a bit more habitat, especially when there is the lovely rusty coloured hues of old beech leaves in the frame.
Possibly my favourite photograph of the recent return to Project J is the one below which shows the bird in its fully flying glory whilst calling.
Its now time to put 'Project J' back to bed for a while as Spring is starting to develop and my thoughts will turn to other subjects. Its a joy now to walk back along the local coastal strip and hear the sky filled once again with tumbling liquid song of skylarks. I have a few photography projects in mind for Spring and Summer. In two months it will be time to jet off  as I am returning to the Danube Delta once more. I am really looking forward to the trip as on this visit I will be spending the entire week in the Delta  including a new area recently opened up to visitors in the north where amongst the bird life, I am hoping to put some golden jackal in front of the camera. So some exciting times ahead which as always will be a pleasure to share with you.


The happy wanderer. said...

Very nice flight/landing shots.

Sharon Whitley said...

I absolutely love your flight shots - especially the corvids and in particular the magpies - I've just started learning how to use a DSLR and aiming to get some flight shots in the garden for painting, I rarely get corvids in though unfortunately although I had a huge rook on the feeder last week! Sorry I'm rambling now - thanks for sharing your photos - always such a pleasure to behold!!!

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Fabulous photographs!!!!! Congratulations!
Best regards from Poland - Michał and Piotr

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Fabulous photographs!!! Congratulations!
Best regards from Poland/Michał and Piotr


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