Monday, April 20, 2020

Portrait of a Grey Wagtail at ISO 3200


Our friendly neighborhood Wagtail's throat is now molting to black (its breeding plumage). Pretty soon, it will have put on enough weight (fuel) to make the long flight to its breeding grounds across the South China Sea.

_____

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea, migrant) 

Habitat - Streams and forest roads at all elevations. 

Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 21, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 3200, 1/640 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, uncropped full frame resized to 800 x 533. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A thirsty Red Turtle-Dove at the Bued River

While I was waiting in my make-shift blind for the friendly Grey Wagtail to make an appearance, this Red Turtle-Dove came in for a drink at a watering hole by the bank of the Bued River. 

My target bird (GWT) did appear briefly, and its throat is now visibly darker than it was three days ago. Hopefully, it will stay for over a week more, until its throat becomes fully black. 

_____

Red Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica, resident)

Habitat - Open country or lawns. 


Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 15, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, major crop resized to 800 x 533. 
 



Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 15, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, major crop resized to 800 x 533. 


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Capturing the Grey Wagtail at a low angle

The Grey Wagtail that I saw a few days ago has become a regular guest at a watering hole along the banks of the Bued River. Its visiting hours are now quite predictable, allowing me to set up a make-shift blind so I can capture it quite close.

For this job, I brought out my old EF 400 f/2.8 IS from its storage box - its 3.0 meter MFD and its extreme sharpness at wide open even with a 2x TC should be very useful. The combination of long focal length and close shooting distance should melt the background and foreground elements very nicely.

My old 5D MIII gets mounted as well - I need relatively fast shutter speeds to freeze the actively foraging bird, and sometimes I had to bump up the ISO to get the Tv fast enough. The larger FOV is likewise very helpful when trying the locate the forager while shooting in a prone position. There are plenty enough pixels with the 5D MIII to allow me to crop later in PP, and still retain the ability to make large prints.

Finally, I had to support the whole shooting rig (over 14 lbs.) with a bean bag which is lying on the ground. To protect my beer belly while shooting prone, I used a flattened cardboard box. I suffered from a terrible stiff neck after a few minutes of shooting, but it's a lot of fun.... certainly making the Covid-19 lockdown more bearable. :) 

_____


Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea, migrant)

Habitat - Streams and forest roads at all elevations.


Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 12, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 400, 1/800 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, near full frame resized to 800 x 533.
  1500 x 1000 version



Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 12, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 640, 1/640 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, major crop resized to 800 x 533.

  1500 x 1000 version



Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 12, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, major crop resized to 800 x 533.
   1500 x 1000 version



Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 12, 2020, Canon 5D III + EF 400 f/2.8 IS + EF 2x TC III,
800mm, f/5.6, ISO 400, 1/640 sec, manual exposure in available light, bean bag on the ground, major crop resized to 800 x 533. 
  
   1500 x 1000 version

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Grey Wagtail at Bued River

The monotony of the Covid-19 lockdown was broken somewhat when I noticed a familiar creature at a riverside puddle near where I'm quarantined. 

From afar, it's unmistakably a wagtail species. This made me rush to my photo gear to try and get some captures. 

This particular specimen is not the prettiest I've seen, but it's nonetheless a welcome distraction from the daily grind of waiting for the coronavirus storm to pass. 

_____

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea, migrant)

Habitat - Streams and forest roads at all elevations.


Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 7, 2020, Canon 7D II + EF 400 f/4 DO II + EF 1.4x TC III,
560mm, f/5.6, ISO 640, 1/400 sec, manual exposure in available light, hand held, near full frame resized to 800 x 533.
  1500 x 1000 version


Shooting info - Bued River, Rosario, La Union, Philippines, April 7, 2020, Canon 7D II + EF 400 f/4 DO II + EF 1.4x TC III,
560mm, f/5.6, ISO 640, 1/400 sec, manual exposure in available light, hand held, near full frame resized to 800 x 533.
 1500 x 1000 version

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