Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alcedo atthis

Yesterday I rode my old bicycle to a small town called Muang Chum (ม่วงชุม) which is about 5 km away from my house. I used to go birding there very often, especially during early winter like this because many interesting migrants often pass through the area. The first Manchurian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus tangorum) of northern Thailand was also recorded here by me. Although it started to drizzle as I approached the place, the weather became better and beautiful sunlight began to break through in late evening. Several Common Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) were staying in small canals inside the fields. Most of them were juveniles so the plumage was still pretty dull. I came across one approachable individual and had a very nice time photographing it until the sun set. It was a young female judging from its red lower mandible. I actually planned to visit the place again today, but it's been raining since last night and doesn't seem to stop easily. I'll have to go there again tomorrow if the weather becomes better.

I used fill flash to brighten up the shadow areas of the birds and the surrounding leaves because the sunlight was quite strong resulting in high contrast. The first photo from the left in the lower row shows the shot without fill flash.

5 comments:

Ari said...

Love all your photos, skillful use of flash...

Phil said...

Great pictures Ayuwat. It's never easy to photograph a Kingfisher - flighty things. Thanks for your handy tips on using flash, something i am wary of using unless its dark.

Stu said...

Nice photos, I had no idea this species was also present in Thailand.........

Unravel said...

Thanks a lot Ari, Phil and Stu!
I've never been this successful in photographing kingfisher by the way. To Stu, it's actually a very common winter visitor here in the South. Some seems to breed in dense forest as well.

Russell said...

Some great photos. I also had troubles with exposure when I was in Australia > highlights too bright and shadows too dark. I toyed with the idea of using a flash to fill in the shadows. I think you nailed it.