I missed most of the California Quail chicks this year, just catching the tail end when the juveniles were halfway through molting into their adult plumage. I did manage a few good shots at the end of the season, including this QIF. I was lying on a path, photographing adolescent California Quail heading back to their roost for the night when I spotted some motion out of the corner of my eye. I swung my camera over and caught a couple of quail coming in for landing.

Capturing quail in flight is really hard: they take short, fast, and low flights almost exclusively when startled. If you want to do it ethically, you have to hang out for quite a while waiting for something else to startle the birds. In this case, I was low enough to be in just the right position to catch them as they hurried to join the covey.

With fall arriving, hawks are swarming back into Point Reyes and taking over the fence posts. The quail take that as their cue to get much skulkier, and quail photographys becomes much more of a challenge. Hopefully I can catch the full breeding season next summer.