Photo of the Week - First Encounter

It was a warm December morning on the eastern coast of Florida and I began my walk down the sandy, quiet trail.  Various scrub brush surrounded the trail, making it impossible to see in any direction, but I continued walking the trail and checking my map.  My destination, on this day, was an open area among the high brush where the Florida scrub jay was known to frequent.

After a few hundred yards, I broke out into an opening or clearing where I believed the jays would frequent.  I stopped and took a look around to check for any kind of movement.  I could see nothing so far, so began to slowly work my way down one side of the oak scrub hedge. Another trail now cut off to the left and I moved just inside the trail and waited and listened.  I could hear birds, but still could not see them.  I then began calling to the jays.

Suddenly there was a fluttering of wings and the soft wisp of wind hitting my neck from the beating of wings!  In front of me only five feet away, a beautiful blue/gray bird landed on a scrub branch.  I was startled and excited all at the same time.  I slowly brought my Canon 7D Mark II to my eye an began firing off shot after shot.  I remember thinking it just doesn't get much better than this and how blessed I was to be seeing and photographing this amazing bird.

I photographed several more throughout the morning, before making my way back to my car with a huge smile on my face.  Another day and another memory I will always have.