Sunday, April 23, 2017

Call of the Red-keeled Flowerpecker

This short footage features the call of this tiny Philippine endemic. The 7D MII's on-board microphone did a good job of picking up the sound from over 20 meters away, even with a lot of background noise. The background noise was filtered out during post process to isolate the call.

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Red-keeled Flowerpecker (Dicaeum australe, a Philippine endemic)

Habitat - Canopy of forest, edge and flowering trees.

Shooting info – Bued River, La Union, Philippines, April 23, 2017, EOS 7D Mark II + EF 400 f/2.8 L IS + EF 2x TC II + EF 2x TC III,
1600 mm, f/14, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, WB manually set at CT = 5000K, 1080/59.97p capture processed to 720/23.976p, sound recorded by the camera’s on-board mic,  Manfrotto 516/475B support.


A couple of playful Sparrows

Just a short footage of two young sparrows trying to outpeck each other.

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Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus, resident)

Habitat - Common in virtually every inhabited island of the Philippines.

Shooting info – Bued River, La Union, Philippines, April 23, 2017, EOS 7D Mark II + EF 400 f/2.8 L IS + EF 2x TC II + EF 2x TC III,
1600 mm, f/14, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, WB manually set at CT = 5000K, 1080/59.97p capture processed to 720/23.976p, Manfrotto 516/475B support.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

White-throated Kingfisher in flight

There are quite a few birds I've observed along the banks of the Bued River that I'm dying to get in flight - Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Cinnamon Bittern, Coppersmith Barbet, Colasisi, and the Collared and White-throated Kingfishers.

On this early morning birding walk, I got one of my most wanted birds-in-flight. I wish I caught it with the wings in downstroke position so the colorful topwing feathers are visible, but I'm happy to take whatever BIF card nature deals me. 

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White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis, resident)

Habitat - Clearings, along large streams and rivers, and in open country. 


Shooting Info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, March 30, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II,
400 mm, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, approx. 15.6 m distance, manual exposure in available light, hand held, major crop resized to 800 x 533. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Lowland White-eye in flight

The tiny size (4 inches total length) and very erratic flight behavior of this bird make it one tough subject to catch in the air. I was very lucky this morning to capture it in good light, in full wing spread, at the banks of Bued River.

I actually got it near the edge of the frame, so I have to extend the blue sky canvas a bit at the left to strengthen the composition. The 7D MII + 400 f/4 DO II combo managed to place the focus accurately on the unpredictable target, even when using the AF points at the extreme left.

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Lowland White-eye (Zosterops meyeni, a near Philippine endemic)

Habitat - Second growth, scrub and gardens. 

Shooting Info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, March 25, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II,
400 mm, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, approx. 11 m distance, manual exposure in available light, hand held, small crop resized to 800 x533 . 





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Crested Myna's Body English in Mid-air

This bird was on a flight path heading straight to my position along the bank of Bued River. Then  it saw me pointing a big, white metal tube in its direction. Thinking perhaps that I was a threat, the bird quickly tried to change course, and I caught it in the  middle of an interesting-looking body twist.

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Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus, resident)

Habitat: Open country and agricultural land. 


Shooting Info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, March 8, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II,
400 mm, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, major crop resized to 800 x 533. 
     


Friday, February 17, 2017

Pygmy Swiftlet in good light

Aside from its very small size (3-1/2 inches total length) and erratic flight behavior, what makes this bird tough to catch in mid-air is its dark plumage - a difficult job even for the 7D MII's excellent AF system. In addition, one has to be extremely lucky with the direction of light to illuminate the dark face well.

This Valentine's Day, I saw a few of these microbirds flying around Bued River. It took many tries and misses before I managed to get one sharp, with the light angle just right to bring out the bird's dark features.

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Pygmy Swiftlet (Collocalia troglodytes, a Philippine endemic)

Habitat - Fairly common, smallest swiftlet in groups flying low over forest, clearings and logging roads (total length = 3.5 inches) 


Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, February 14, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 f/4 DO II,
400 mm, f/5.0, ISO 320, 1/2000 sec, hand held, major crop.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Stripe-headed Rhabdornis

I have not done a lot of forest birding in the last few years, so I was extremely delighted to see this endemic bird perched  low at Subic last weekend. 

I initially had a naked 400 DO II mounted on the 7D MII, quite short for such a subject whose total length is just a bit over 6 inches. Just the same, I took insurance shots before quickly mounting a 1.4x TC III, and taking more shots. Fortunately, the bird stayed long enough for me to change the 1.4x TC III to a 2x TC III. This time, at 800 mm, the bird filled the frame well enough.


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Stripe-headed Rhabdornis (Rhabdornis mystacalis, a Philippine endemic)

Habitat - Lowland forest and second growth. 


Shooting Info - Subic rainforest, Zambales, Philippines, February 11, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II + EF 2x TC III,
800 mm, f/9, 1/320 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, near full frame resized to 800 x 533.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Full framing a Philippine Woodpecker in golden light

I got quite close to this micro-jackhammer feeding at a low tree branch  in Subic rainforest this weekend. Formerly called Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, it's the smallest Philippine woodpecker at about 5-1/2 inches in total length.

Light was golden and sweet at just past 4:00 pm, and the hand held 400 f4 DO II at 560 mm was enough reach to fill the frame with the small subject. I used AI servo AF to maintain precise focus on the active forager and to compensate for my hand holding movement. Of the many 10-fps frames that I shot, at least one caught the bird while it paused pecking for a split second.

No pixel was harmed nor thrown away in this full frame capture.

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Philippine Woodpecker (Dendrocopos maculatus, a Philippine endemic)

Habitat - Smallest Philippine woodpecker, common in lowland and montane forest and edge,
in understory and canopy.

Shooting Info - Subic rainforest, Zambales, Philippines, February 11, 2017, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II + EF 1.4x TC III,
560 mm, f/6.3, 1/640 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, uncropped full frame resized to 800 x 533.

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