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Blue Jay nest within reaching distance
Posted By: m8o, 06-26-2008, 10:18 PM

Alright, I was first going to title it "who doesn't love BJ photos" as a ploy for big hits... but I chicken'ed out!

I've got this Blue Jay nest within reaching distance off my deck. Amazingly even that close, I'm having an incredibly hard time getting a clear line of sight with branches and leaves blocking the way -- and if it's not that, it's the railings of my deck & stairs -- as you will see.

All taken with the Sigma 300mm f/2.8, most with flash assist. 1st four w/the 1.4x TC.


(f/3.5, 1/30sec, ISO200)


(f/3.5, 1/30sec, ISO200)

Focus a bit off, but the feeding ones I guess; very heavy crop...ya, not so hot. I love the dark blue detail showing of the chick's growing tail feathers.

(f/3.5, 1/30sec, ISO200)

Probably the best out of the three days... (only one w/no flash)

(f/8, 1/20sec, ISO1100)

Did I use the 1.4x TC with this one? Ah, I remember now, no I don't think I did. I was just about @ minimum focus distance on this one. Which is why I guess f/6.7 wasn't small enough for reasonable DOF, with the chick pretty OOF ...and that damn stick! Either covering the beak or the eye in a bunch of shots. Looks like the bird was doing some structural triangulation to sure up the structure for an extension. Either that, or it fell there. The nest has survived through some serious storms!

(f/6.7, 1/45sec, ISO1600 [seriously!]) But the full-rez of this shows some amazing detail to the layering of the feathers.

I hope the chick doesn't fall out. After being fed, it was jumping around, stretching & flapping its wings @ the edge of the nest, I was really getting worried.

Last edited by m8o; 06-26-2008 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Blue Jay, not Bue Jay!
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06-27-2008, 04:49 AM   #2
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Neat series, the shot without the flash is definitely the best. It must be fun watching them!
06-27-2008, 05:27 AM   #3
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Very nice work. #3 & #4 are my favorites. Like you said DAMN you stick but what can you do. The TC worked very well in this. thanks for sharing
06-27-2008, 07:31 AM   #4
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These are very good, I like them alot. I will also chime in about those DAMN sticks, it happens so much that some days i feel like it's a stick conspiracy, they're out to screw us.

06-28-2008, 03:55 AM   #5
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The last one is my fav just wished the branch wasnt there


cheers
06-28-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Sticks and stones may break your bones but they also screw your photos.
Four's definitely the best. Nice series, thanks for posting.
Gary
06-28-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
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I saw these the other day but did not have time to reply. This is a nice series of a beautiful bird. Wonderful color. We all don't have the luxury of doing birds at the nest the way Elliot Porter did his.

I just finished a two week series on a Veery nest and getting to the nest to get a clean shot was tough. When I get time I may post some of the series here. But, I like what you have gotten.

Stephen
06-28-2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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Thanx for the comments. Flash certainly does bring out the color. But yes, I prefer non-flash too. I've got more to share, all available light.

As much as I love the Sigma 300mm f2/8, the MF Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 is just on another level it seems... These taken from only about 5 or 6 feet away.

And I do wonder if all that photo taking and my close proximity didn't scare them away! I definitely thought the chick was too young to fly. It didn't look ready when I saw it stretching its wings the other day... But maybe today was "take flight day". I hope so and not some other reason behind the bug-out.

My wife decided to sneek over and take a look today, when both momma and pappa were away. And one of them flew back and landed within feet of her in a sort of 'menacing" fashion in her opinion. So she bugged out. It was supposed to be stormy today, but was instead bright. I was saying to myself I should get out there and take some more photos; but I had errands. When I looked later in the afternoon, the nest was empty!

So I'm lucky I caught these yesterday w/ the VL lens that continues to surprise me, though it shouldn't by this time... Here are some crops.

Feed me... mamma or Pappa are just behind the tree to the right that I cropped out of frame.
ok, focus sux on this one. That's a really sharp branch behind!


And then I got it [the focus] right...




...and a 100% copy of the above...


Ya gotta be physically close but that VL 125/2.5 is certainly a keeper! I should have put the Pentax 1.7x AF TC on! But I was doing pretty OK with manually focusing. That particular VL makes it really easy tho.

06-28-2008, 09:28 PM   #9
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That chick has a certain "Dont mess with me " look

Nice and for sure a keeper VL

cheers
06-28-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
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Now that you mention it, it does kinda remind me of "I'm a chicken hawk & your a chicken & I'm gunna eat you!" Especially the 2nd one.

Last edited by m8o; 06-28-2008 at 10:06 PM. Reason: added image
06-29-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
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I round the little critter in the yard having a tough time on the wing, but getting around so I'm pretty sure it would have left thenest @ this time and wasn't because of our intrusion into their zone.

Found a couple more w/the branch that were decent...


Razon\r thin DOF @ f/3.5 focused on a close subject... surprised I landed it right on the eye!
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