Thursday, November 10, 2016

Eurasian Hobby - my 281st lifebird!

Yesterday (November 10th), the skies were cloudless once more, so I hied off to nearby Sto. Tomas after lunch time to check out the water birds. I thought it would be a shame not to go birding and waste such good light.  I decided this time to explore a wide grassy expanse at the remote western portion of the town, bordering the South China Sea. The grassland is surrounded by ricefields and fishponds. 

Within an hour of my arrival, I saw a very small raptor flying low, circling an area about 200 meters from my position. From afar, I thought it was a Kestrel, as its size was too tiny for a Peregrine Falcon. I immediately took documentary shots of the tiny speck in the sky, as it started to fly farther away from me. 

Then, suddenly, it turned and flew northward, heading straight towards me. My heart started to beat like a high-revving Hayabusa engine and I barely managed to acquire it in my viewfinder. Once acquired, I didn't lift my finger off the shutter button until the bird passed me, in the process getting several dozen frames. 

I'm thankful to the avian gods that the raptor chose to fly over me  with a slight deviation to my left, getting some positive illumination from the sun at  my right. Had it chosen to fly to my right, it would have passed between me and the sun, and all I would've gotten are silhouette shots.

I'll go back to the same place in the next few days to get better captures of the Sand Martin, and hopefully have a return encounter with the Hobby. These birds became my 281st and 282nd lifers. 

_____

Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo, migrant)

A rare migrant to the Philippines, it's found in open country, farmland and marshes. 


Shooting Info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, Philippines, November 10, 2016, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II + 1.4x TC III,
560 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, major crop resized to 800 x 533.
 High res 1500 x 1000 version



Shooting Info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, Philippines, November 10, 2016, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II + 1.4x TC III,
560 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, major crop resized to 800 x 533.
1200 x 800 version

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