Saturday, January 17, 2015

Black-Headed Gull in La Union


I finally found some time to process the other shots I took last January 9th at the vast fishponds of Sto. Tomas, La Union.

These could be the first photo records of this migrant taken in my province. It was fishing over a shallow pond in the company of dozens of Whiskered Terns, another migratory species. Even in a flock in flight, the gull was easy to differentiate from the terns because of its much larger size (wingspan is 0.915 m vs. 0.660 m, while length is 0.380 m vs. 0.254 m).
 
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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus, migrant)

Habitat - along coast at river mouths, in bays, mud and coral flats, and ricefields.
 
 

Shooting info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, January 9, 2015, Canon 1D Mark IV + EF 500 f4 IS,
500 mm, f/4, ISO 640, 1/2000 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support, major crop.

 

Shooting info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, January 9, 2015, Canon 1D Mark IV + EF 500 f4 IS,
500 mm, f/4, ISO 640, 1/2000 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support, major crop.

Great Egret in golden light

The slightly overcast skies provided very soft lighting in this quickie sortie to the vast fishponds of Sto. Tomas (La Union), my first birding in 2015.

With the gape unmistakeably extending way past behind the eye, it seems to me the migratory bird in this photo is easy to tell apart from its white cousins. This waterbird has a wing span of 1.48 meters, and a length of 0.91 m.

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Great Egret (Egretta alba, migrant)

Habitat - Uncommon in a variety of wetlands from coastal marshes to ricefields.
 
Shooting info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, January 9, 2015, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS, 500 mm, f/4, ISO 1250, 1/2000 sec, 475B/3421 support.
 

 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's Christmas.... let no pixel be harmed :)

I spent my December 25th cleaning my gear, charging my batteries and checking if all my photo systems are still working by birding around my mother's backyard here in La Union, northern Philippines.

Since it's Christmas Day, I thought it'd be appropriate not to harm any pixel by avoiding wasteful cropping. It looks like my poor man's 800 f/5.6 (a.k.a. 400 2.8 IS + 2x TC) has maintained its decent IQ even when used wide open.
 
Happy Holidays!

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Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier, resident)

Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests. 


 
Shooting info - Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines, December 25, 2014, 1D MIV + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC II, 800 mm, f/5.6,
ISO 1250, 1/320 sec, manual exposure in available light, AI servo, 475B + 516 support, uncropped full frame resized to 800 x 533.
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Amur Falcon in La Union - a new Philippine record!

The exciting news on the confirmation of ID came from avian expert Desmond Allen, relayed via PM at PBPF yesterday. The raptor I photographed recently in my home province, which I initially identified as a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), turned out to be something different.
 
Actually, very different and record setting..... the images were the first known occurrence in the wild of this species in the Philippines!

I guess this is what wild bird photography is all about - having fun in the capture and sharing of avian images. Sometimes, as a bonus, a lucky birdnut can make a bit of contribution to science and general knowledge, too.
 
Here's a couple of snapshots of the new bird, I wish I can see it again soon so I can get more aesthetically pleasing photographs. This species became my 276th photo-lifer. :)

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Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis, female, migrant, new Philippine record)
 
Habitat - this individual was seen in grassland/pasture land.
 
 
Shooting info - Talogtog, San Juan, La Union, Philippines, November 1, 2014, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + EF 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support.

Shooting info - Talogtog, San Juan, La Union, Philippines, November 1, 2014, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + EF 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support.
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Getting low to the level of a Pipit

Losing 35 pounds of excess baggage from my old body has its advantages when stalking my subjects - it's much easier for me now to get down and crawl on the grass to take low level shots.

Measuring only 6-1/2 inches from the tip of its longish tail to the end of its bill, this bird usually forages on the grass for insects and invertebrates, stopping once in a while to survey its surroundings. To keep up with the active bird, I had set my 5D MIII's AF to AI servo and used settings similar to what I utilize for BIFs.

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Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus, resident, formerly called Richard's Pipit)
 
Habitat - On the ground in open country, grasslands, ricefields and parks.
 
Shooting Info - Talogtog, San Juan, La Union, November 1, 2014, Canon 5D MIII + EF 500 f4 L IS + EF 1.4x TC II,
700 mm, f/6.3, ISO 640, 1/1250 sec, manual exposure in available light, hand held.
 

1500 x 1000 version

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