The Jay

The Jay flew into the hide area.

I could not wait to capture the bird with the pink plumage and bright blue feathers.

They came for peanuts on the tree stump and once found, they would return until all the nuts had gone.

In one visit it picked up 28 peanuts, filling it’s crop.

Peanuts for lunch

At first, one Jay would come. Then three.

The nuts went down really fast, but this gave me a chance to observe the flight path they used; not always the same, but I learned that most birds land first on a pre-perch to check that the feeding area is safe.

Jay checking the coast is clear

After hours of observing, I made a plan to place a big ‘pre-perch’ tree branch about 10 feet away from the peanuts. Hopefully the Jay would take the bait and give me chance to try and capture it in flight.

Camera Focus System

I had to get my settings right, and with practice I got better and better capturing the Jay as it took flight and came into land.

It takes skill to anticipate when the bird will take flight, and a good panning movement to follow the bird – the camera doesn’t do everything.

Written by

I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

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