Tui's and more Tui's

Following on from my previous post (Fan-Tastic) , later that day we moved on in search of our native birds the Tui.
I was once told that the Tui is extremely versatile and that it is one of only a handful of birds around the world which change it's call tune and feather colours based on it's region.

This means that you can view a Tui in Auckland then drive 1 hour North and see and hear a different tune...well fancy that

Tui's love to feed on a variety of plants and one particular plant is the flax. During spring and early summer they grow long stems which have bright reddish flowers. These are filled with nectar hence why the Tui's like to stop by for a drink.

It didn't take us long to find a few flax bushes still in bloom and within a few minutes the Tui's dropped by for a drink.

Conditions on the day where slightly overcast with the odd blue sky popping up occasionally.
I did have a polariser on my lens but opted to remove it as from experience it had muted some of the brighter colours, evident across the feathers.
Being overcast did work to our favour as the sun was mostly behind the subject, however we did manage to get across a creek and work our way to a slightly better vantage point. Only downside was that most shots meant working at our maximum zoom. Nevertheless we are happy with the results.

Shot one.
Tripod was setup and focused on the main group of flowers. Then using a remote trigger waited patiently for him/her to pop back.

f5, 1/640 , ISO800, 300mm +1ev,
Shot Two
Following a similar theme but this time increasing the shutter speed and dropping our EV to normal (0). This one I actually like because it wasn't until we underwent some minor post processing that we noticed the small insects flying close by.

f5.6, 1/800, ISO800, 330mm, (credit B Jacques)
Shot Three
This has to be the miracle shot of the day, but it goes to show if you are prepared to wait then they will perform. As mentioned the Tui is extremely fast when flying so very high ISO and shutter speed for this shot. I'm happy my Canon 7D works well with high ISO.

f6, 1/1250, ISO1800, _1ev, AWB 300mm ( Shadows and Highlights adjusted)

Shot Four
My final shot and one that highlights the points raised early in my article, the Tui have contrasting colours and as you can see on these birds, a very bright orange colour is evident on one but not noticeable other.  This image has good contrast and wit the main light source behind us topped of a good day.
F5.6, 1/1250, ISO800, 330mm,(Custom WB)
Camera Settings Summary:
AV, using auto ISO or most. EV adjusted depending on strength of light source.
Auto Focus using 9 AF, some of the more stationary ones we did shoot manual.
Zoom at the high end 250 - 400mm on average.
Lenses used Canon L 100-400mm, 28-300mm, Sigma 17-50mm