Jays are a species I worked with a lot when starting my career in wildlife photography. At my local nature reserve they were very easy to approach and then all of a sudden they disappeared and for nearly two years I didn’t take a single image of one. I wasn’t sure whether this was caused by disturbance or they just moved on, either way it was rather strange. They are particularly shy birds and photographing them is no easy task and to do so you need to build up their trust. As they sit in the tree above, often debating whether or not to come down and investigate, when they eventually do seeing those gorgeous blue feathers up close and in detail is a real thrill! I missed that feeling and my Jay achives are not up to my standards so this year I wanted to finally get them in front of the lens once again. As I work on my Barn Owl project I have had a few spare hours throughout the day to attempt to get the Jay images I wanted and after hearing of a group of Jays locally that are willing to be easily photographed I snapped at the chance to check them out. A simple perch set-up was made and before I knew it, as I lay behind my 600mm, a Jay appeared in the tree above looking down inquisitively. It hopped off the branch and decided to glide down onto the perch and at last after two years I finally achieved Jay images I am happy with! The advantage of working with a setup is you get to choose how you want your image to look and it allowed me to get the best background with no distracting elements which made the cleanest images. This year so far has been amazing, my creativeness and ambition towards photography has come on leaps and bounds and I hope it continues this way as I work on several personal projects. I’m also hoping in the - autumn and winter months - to have more Jay encounters to build up a larger portfolio!