Selection of Philippine avian wildlife all captured in habitat, plus nature and miscellaneous images.

Posts tagged “1dm4

Walking on surf

This young waverider slid out his surfboard from underneath him into the air to end a longish run.

In the few milliseconds before gravity took over, it would appear that the young man was walking barefooted on the surf.

The surfing beach at San Juan, La Union, is a few minutes drive from my ancestral home. My birds-in-flight shooting gear are perfectly suited to capture surfing action as well. ūüôā

Shooting Info - San Juan, La Union, Philippines, February 19, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, manual exposure, 475B/516 support.

Here are some footage of the young fellow playing with the waves in my native La Union.


Ospreys of Sta. Cruz

From September up to April, the vast fishponds of Sta. Cruz ( Zambales province, Philippines) are a favorite spot of migratory birds gorging on easy-to-catch farmed fish.

I dropped by the area yesterday (April 26, 2011) ¬†to check out the visiting birds. There are still quite many migrants around, but I ignored the waterbirds and instead concentrated on catching a raptor species that’s a¬†fishpond regular – the Osprey.

These are the closest captures I’ve ever taken of the Osprey. I counted at least 5 individuals of this migratory bird of prey, fishing all day and presumably trying to stock up on fuel for the forthcoming long migratory flight to their breeding grounds.

Shooting Info - Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Philippines, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support .

 

Shooting Info - Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Philippines, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support.

 

Shooting Info – Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Philippines, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, migrant)

Habitat – Associated with water both along coast and inland.


Collared Kingfisher in flight

The Collared Kingfisher normally takes to the air only when swooping at a prey or transferring from one perch to another. There it usually stays for many minutes,  with its head constantly bobbing, and its eyes looking for potential meal.

This bird was flushed from its rock-perch at Manila Bay¬†by a shell-gatherer who was walking along the shore .¬† The¬†bird whizzed by me and it flew just¬†above the seawater surface¬†towards another rock-perch.¬† I got lucky…. I was able to acquire¬† the subject fast enough during the short flight¬†for this shot.¬†¬†

Shooting Info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, September 17, 2010, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support.

Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris, resident)

Habitat: Coastal areas to open country, but seldom in forest.


Grey-tailed Tattler in flight

A common migratory waterbird, the Grey-tailed Tattler flies low over the water when flushed or when transferring from one feeding spot to another. It’s medium sized, with a total length of 250 mm.

Its neutral plumage moving fast¬†against a background of¬†contrasty water surface¬†is an autofocus nightmare even for the best DSLRs on the planet. Acquiring and tracking a white egret¬†¬†in flight against the busiest and contrastiest background are child’s play in comparison.

One has to pan well and maintain focus lock by¬†keeping the AF¬†bead on the fast flying bird at all times¬†during shooting. Otherwise, the focus can easily jump to the shimmering water surface.¬†I have a very small percentage of sharp shots of this species in the air, specially¬†if it’s flying low and there’s a very short distance separating the bird and the water surface.

This instance was among the few ones when my panning worked decently enough, resulting to a sharp capture.

Shooting Info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, September 20, 2010, 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support.

Grey-tailed Tattler (Heteroscelus brevipes, migrant)

Habitat – Along coast on exposed mud, sand and coral flats, on rocks, and also ricefields.

Click here for some footage of this bird feeding along the shore of Manila Bay.


A banking Black-crowned Night-Heron

Once considered uncommon as listed in the Kennedy Guide, these Night-Herons have increased their numbers impressively and¬†are now almost everywhere, even in urban areas. The same book lists this species as migrant, but it has been documented that it’s now¬†breeding locally. This is a medium sized waterbird, with a length of 0.56 m and a wingspan of about 1.12 m.

I was tracking this flying bird at Manila Bay’s Coastal Lagoon through my 1D MIV’s viewfinder when it suddenly executed an abrupt banking maneuver. I immediately fired a short burst to catch the¬†flight surfaces in a photogenic¬†full spread.

The camera’s AF and 10 fps frame rate didn’t disappoint.

Shooting Info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, September 13, 2010, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/6.3, ISO 400, 1/2000 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support.

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax, resident/migrant)

Habitat – Variety of wetlands from ricefields to mangroves.

Footage of a Black-crowned Night-Heron.


Spotted Dove in full speed flight

This medium sized dove (total length of 12 inches) ranges in all major Philippine islands. The black collar with white spots at its nape is probably the source of its name. It actually reminds me of a bar code…. maybe these birds scan¬†the collar to recognize one another?

I was shooting water birds at Manila Bay when I noticed this bird flying very fast in a straight trajectory towards my position.¬†I fired a long 10 fps burst, and one frame caught the bird’s wings¬†in a photogenic downstroke pose, showing the overwing patterns and diagnostic¬†spotted collar pretty well.

Shooting Info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, September 27, 2010, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support.

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis, resident)

Habitat – Open country and agricultural areas, forages on the ground.


Little Egret wingspread

When I get the itch to bird and can’t embark on an out of town sortie,¬† I go to nearby Coastal Lagoon to get my fix.

There, less than an hour drive from where I live, common water birds abound and I try to catch them in action to make the photos a bit more exciting.

This Little Egret obliged me on one such quickie birding.

Shooting Info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, September 17, 2010, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 L IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta, migrant)

Habitat: Coastal marsh and tidal flats to ricefields.

Manila Bay’s Little Egrets (short video).


Little Heron coming at me

I was set up well for shooting birds in flight along the shore of the Coastal Lagoon last year when this Little Heron flew straight towards me. I remained motionless so as not to scare the bird, and apparently this worked Рthe bird continued with its flight path till it was very close.

I shot several long bursts at the incoming bird, and most of these are in good focus. Head-on flight shots are among the toughest AF job for any camera, and the 1D MIV worked beautifully even with a 1.4x TC on the 500 f4 IS. The critical focus plane was right on the head/shoulder area. At 700 mm, f/6.3¬†and 50 feet distance, there simply wasn’t enough DOF to keep the tail and feet sharp.

Shooting info – Coastal Lagoon, Manila Bay, Philippines, July 6, 2010, Canon 1D4 + 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, /6.3, ISO 400, 1/1600 sec, manual exposure in available light, 475B/3421 support, 15.3 m shooting distance, background is out-of-focus seawater.

Little Heron (Butorides striatus, resident)

Habitat – Exposed coral reefs, tidal flats, mangroves, fishponds and streams.


Flying without wings

When our feathered friends are scarce, one way to save a trip is to take advantage of the capabilities of one’s¬†bird-in-flight gear and shoot other subjects in motion.

Well, this fledgling can also soar in the air even without wings.

From afar, he looked like he was scarcely 5 feet tall and he must have weighed a bit south of a hundred pounds.

But oh boy, saying this kid can surf is like saying Michael Jordan knows how to play basketball!

Shooting Info - San Juan, La Union, Philippines, February 19, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, manual exposure, 475B/516 support.

Here are some footage of the young fellow playing with the waves in my native La Union.


A feathered Ballerina

These delicate looking birds are very shy in the usual places where I see them, like in nearby¬†Candaba wetlands or at Manila Bay. However, in the fishponds of Sta. Cruz (Zambales), more than 300 km north of Manila, they’re quite approachable.

This capture is among my favorite photos of this migratory bird because of the take-off pose and the catch light. Likewise, the nearer wingtips are acting like a veil that tries unsuccessfully to hide the pretty face of the avian ballerina.

The Canon 1D MIV’s amazing AF and 10-fps frame rate were instrumental in nailing this shot.

Shooting info – Sta. Cruz, Zambales, Philippines, February 9, 2010, Canon 1D MIV + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II, 700 mm, 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 800, manual exposure in available light, 475B/516 support.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus, migrant)

Habitat: Wetlands from coastal mudflats to ricefields.

Video of this bird foraging on a dried-up fishpond.