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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Jays - on 15th November, 2012

As my wife would be out for most of the day, and the weather forecast was quite good, I'd decided that Thursday would be a birding day. I woke up to dense fog! By mid morning it had started to clear, so I eventually set off at just after 10:30. I first visited my Little Owl Sites Nos.01 and 08 - nothing was seen at either site. As I was passing relatively close and it was nice and sunny, I called in at Staunton Harold Round Car Park. I sat for a while, taking a few photos, and was pleased to see that the Tree Sparrows (which had been absent for a while) were there, but not in large numbers.

Whilst I was there, the low cloud and mist rolled in again, so I decided to head off for another favourite spot, where my wife and I had seen Jays the day before, and use this as a place to have my picnic lunch. On arrival I did something that I've not done before - draped my Smart car with camo netting! I've never really managed decent images of Jay before, and I know that they are usually extremely timid birds. Hence the camo. 

To cut a long story short, the camo worked really well (I shall use it again!), and if there had been any light I'd have probably got some good images. Two Jays appeared, and the following two images are the best that I could produce, with relatively high ISO (1000) and relatively low speed (1/200). I shall probably return here when the light is better, and possibly have a 'tidy-up' of the area and maybe set up some photo props in the hope of getting better images. However, these beat my previous efforts.

Jay - near Ashby de la Zouch
The brief Staunton Harold session did yield some images of easier-to-photograph and common birds that I'm quite pleased with.

Tree Sparrow - Staunton Harold Round Car Park
Chaffinch (male) - Staunton Harold Round Car Park
Blue Tit - Staunton Harold Round Car Park
House Sparrow (female) - Staunton Harold Round Car Park
As I was back home by 14:00, and the forecast doesn't look too bad for tomorrow, I'll see if I can get my pass signed for another session!

16 comments:

  1. Nice one Richard, your Jay images are superb (you beat me to them!). I'm hoping to get some soon?

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    1. Thanks Paul. I really wasn't trying to steal your thunder - I just happened to come across them! Anyway, when you get them (and you will!), your images will knock the spots off mine!

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  2. Lovely pictures of the Jay Richard. We went to Bournemouth today and fed the squirrels on some expensive nuts and there was a Jay about twelve feet away watching us feeding the squirrels so we threw some nuts to him and he happily ate them up. I think the Jays are having a hard time finding food this winter.

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    1. Thank you Linda. There's been a big influx of Jays into the UK this winter, because of the failure of the acorn crop in northern Europe. I'm not sure our own acorn crop has been good this year - anyway there's more mouths to feed, so there's a possibility we will see Jays becoming more desperate, and possibly becoming regular garden visitors.

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  3. Yes, excellent pics Richard. I like the start of your post....'As my wife would be out for most of the day'....

    Keep on keeping on Richard.

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    1. Thanks Pete. I shouldn't really joke about my wife, as she is extremely understanding, and indulges my interest - even when we are on holiday!

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  4. I think it's pretty common to have spouses who don't mind coming with us on treks to far and exotic places....but like you, I get to bird when my other half is working:) What else are we to do? Love all your shots...that Jay is a beauty. They are very tricky to capture on camera.

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    1. Good point Chris! I like your logic - I'll try it on my wife!

      Over here in UK it's not often we see a Jay close-up because they are very nervous birds. For this reason I think we tend to forget what amazing looking birds they are. Your various Jays over there are somewhat different but equally spectacular - I'll never forget the first time I saw a Steller's Jay, and I wasn't even a birdwatcher then!

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  5. Good luck with that Richard - wish me the same! Stunning birds in this post.

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    1. Thanks Christian. It turned out to be a really rubbish day weather-wise here, so I had a very fruitless walk this morning, and didn't bother this afternooon. Tomorrow looks as if the weather is going to be even worse here. I hope that you have better luck then it looks as if we are going to have.

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  6. Wonderful images,superb photography Richard,the Jays are my favourite.
    John.

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    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement John. A Jay really is one of the UK's most spectacular birds, to my mind.

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  7. Wonderful images Richard... I have just had a lovely browse around your blog.

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    1. Thank you for looking, and for your kind comments Andrew. Wishing you the best of luck with the Waxies!

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  8. I just love your Jay! Gorgeous photos and beautiful birds!

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    1. Thank you Eileen. Our Jays are a bit special - but so are yours too!

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