Archive for October 12th, 2010


10/12/2010: Blue jay!

The Blue Jay is certainly a striking bird, one that probably does not get the credit it deserves because it is so common, and often so annoying around feeders. These shots were taken at the Clam Creek Campground Bird Sanctuary on Jekyll Island, Georgia. As I have mentioned before, the sanctuary is a single campsite set aside, with feeders and water features, and some flowers to attract hummingbirds. It is a great spot to see all the resident Jekyll Island species and almost any thing that might be migrating through. It is deep under cover, and the light is tricky at best. For photography, high ISOs are required, and even at that shutter speeds will be slow…so slow that burst mode and taking lots of exposures is the only way to get a decent shot.

These images are digiscoped…taken through the eyepiece of a ZEISS DiaScope 65FL spotting scope with a Canon Powershot SD4000IS Digital Elph, a pocked sized camera. I was using both the zoom on the scope and the camera zoom for framing, so equivalent focal lengths are hard to track, but the top shot is probably about 2000mm equivalent, while the full body view is about 30000mm equivalent (the bird was further away) and the Napoleonic pose is about 4000mm. All are ISO 800 at between 1/20th and 1/30th second. (Until this current generation of pocket digital cameras this kind of high ISO performance, especially coupled with relatively fast frame rates in burst mode, was simply unheard of. The Canon SD4000IS has a fast, clean, back illuminated CMOS sensor. With in-camera noise reduction clearly working, it still managed at least 2 frames per second of its normal 4fps. I am impressed!)

But of course it is still really about this stunning and highly expressive, bird. Lots of personality in a striking package…that’s the Blue Jay.