Friday, April 26, 2013

The tiny Red-keeled Flowerpecker

This diminutive flowerpecker (total length is ca. 4 inches) is common in most Philippine islands, except Mindoro and the Palawan group.
 
That said, although easily found or heard, it is quite difficult to observe well due to its active nature, minute size and preferred habitat (canopy of trees). Photographing it on a good perch, with a clean background and frame-filling detail, is even more challenging especially when shooting in low light under the canopy.
 
I was very lucky to catch the bird in the first photo just as it landed on a branchlet. In my haste to shoot before it moves on, I erred on the manual exposure and I had to push the brightness by 1.5 to 2 stops in post process. The 40D's RAW file held up pretty well to the extreme exposure adjustment - shadow details were recovered but noise is well controlled.
 
The second photo shows a bird nesting under the canopy of a coffee tree at the foothills of Mt. Makiling. The scene was so dark and I needed a fast shutter speed for the handheld Bigma so I was forced to use a flash and Better Beamer, among the rare times I use artificial lighting at wild birds.

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

Habitat - Canopy of forest and edge, usually in fruiting and flowering trees.
 
 
Shooting Info - Tiaong, Quezon, Philippines, December 29, 2007, Canon 40D + 500 f4 L IS + Canon 1.4x TC II,
700 mm, ISO 400, 1/100 sec, f/5.6, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support, near full frame.





Shooting Info - Mt. Makiling, Laguna, Philippines, June 12, 2004, Canon 300D + Sigma 50-500 DG+ Sigma EF 500 flash/Better Beamer,
500 mm, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, f/7.1, hand held, jpeg capture, near full frame.
 

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