22 August, 2009

Adult Red-Bearded Bee-Eater

16 August 2009, Kemensah, Selangor









We came across a juvenile Red-Bearded Bee-Eater during one of our  earlier trips to Kemensah so we were always hoping to see the adult bird. 

We decided to try a new trail to see what we could find and as we were going up a slope, my son spotted a bird flying in from behind a clump of bamboo, it was this adult  male Red-Bearded Bee-Eater (Nyctyornis amictus). Quite a sizeable bird compared to the non-bearded species.




Notes on Photography:

Lately I have been shooting using Manual settings and I find that it yields better results than Aperture or Shutter Priority since I have more control over the shutter speed. I need to achieve at least 1/125s  with my lens ( even with VR on) to get anything useable.

This bird was about 50ft away from us.






For these shots I experimented using the max EV of +5 which enabled me to shoot at higher shutter speeds (between 250-400)   f8, iso 400, VR off, on tripod , RAW format, TTL flash with extender. I’ve noticed a tremendous jump in clarity when freezing motion becomes  that much easier even when shooting under the canopy.

The Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch ( a constantly moving bird)   onwards had been shot using these settings. Thanks to my brother Rosman for the settings.

I find that the setting doesn’t work very well when a Teleconverter is used since you lose too much light (at least 1 f stop with a 1.4x TC). The TC plays havoc with the contrast, colours, noise and  the overall sharpness of the RAW image.

Try it and let me know if it works.


  1. Madi -

    wonderful, wonderful! And thanks for sharing the settings you use. It is incredible to see inside the the beak in your second shot. The lighting was perfect. And the bird is stunningly beautiful.


  2. nice one, and I have many sighting of this bird but never a good like this.

    have a good Puasa month.

  3. Fantastic shots of a wonderful bird! This is a bird I missed out on during our last Borneo trip.