I always use AI servo AF for active birds on the ground, treating them similarly as I shoot birds in flight. The fast shutter speed freezes the action, AI servo assures correct placement of focus even when the subject moves, and M mode keeps the exposure of the bird optimized regardless of the changing background which can easily fool the meter.
The worm was too long to be ingested whole. Using its beak and some head jerking, the bird cut the invertebrate into shorter manageable pieces before swallowing. I reckon this bird hit the jackpot for the day as far as a juicy meal was concerned.
Greater Sand-Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii , migrant)
Habitat – Along the coast on exposed mud, sand and coral flats.
Shooting Info – Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, February 11, 2007, Canon 1D MII + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 320, 1/1600 sec, A328/3421 support, manual exposure in available light.