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Today I decided to shoot thornbills in the afternoon to get different light on them. In the morning, when they fly from the Y-shaped twig to the higher twig on the right, their faces are in shadow. By visiting the beach this afternoon, I was assured of western light on their faces and the all-important catchlight in the eye.

I spent 100 minutes at the site and the birds made 18 visitations to feed young. I learned something new; they don't pause on the Y-shaped twig as regularly. I had five chances to get shots like this one and I fluffed two of them due to operator error. I'm used to it.

Never mind, I came away with some beautiful flight studies of these plain and diminutive birds. The young must be getting close to fledging now; they're vocal when the parents land on the twigs, sending vibrations to the nest. I'm going on a trip tomorrow and this was my last chance to photograph them. The young will have flown by the time I return.

In Lightroom I have desaturated the blue sky/sea background. I feel that the understated colours of the bird play better on a neutral background.

1/16000th | f4 | 600mm | ISO 1600 | tripod, remote cable release | 12 Sep 2017 ®

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Keywords:actions, activities, animals, attributes, beaches, birds, brown, environment, flight, flying, landforms, passeriformes, passerines, scenery, taking off, thornbills, _publishedZenfolio