02 August, 2010

Chick’s Progress 1: Whiskered Treeswift

1st August 2010, Kemensah, Selangor

The chick had grown considerably in size over the last 8 days and quite active, moving around on the nest. Although I didn’t see the parent birds feeding  the chick when I was there , I knew they must be feeding her as required. I noticed that the parents had started leaving the chick unattended for longer periods (about 20 minutes ), preening themselves on a nearby tree. ( previous post on the chick)


No longer blind, she had begun moving her wings.







Notes: Tried using an old manual 2X Nikkor Teleconverter on the 300mm f4 lens to see if I could get better details of the chick. It is not a setup that I would normally consider since you lose 2 f stops with the 2X TC but knowing the subjects would be under bright sunshine I thought I’d give it a go. All settings and focusing had to be done manually. Getting a fast enough shutter speed to freeze motion was still a struggle.


  1. One thing I don't understand about the treeswift is that why do they always build a nest too small for their chick. It's just so risky.

  2. Hopefully this one will fledge successfully. Great observation!

  3. Even with the manual TC and manual focusing, you've done an excellent job Madi, lovely shots of parent and chick, looking forward to see this chick fledge soon.

  4. These are wonderful photos, Madi. The sequence of the little one being gathered under the breast feathers of the adult is amazing.


  5. Your pics are stunning. I'm amazed with what you can do with 300mm/f4 + 1.4xTC. Do you think that with the 300mm/f2.8 VR you could get better shots? Would it depend on your style of photography eg hiking with lens/ sitting in hide. I'm undecided which lens to get. Would appreciate some advice, thanks.


  6. Thanks all for ur comments. Hi Pauline, I would love to get my hands on the 300mm /f2.8 VR. It gives u more flexibility especially with birds in flight. I hike with my gear and don't use the hide. U have the option of the 1.4x and 1.7X TC and still get pretty decent shutter speeds under forest lighting condition. The f2.8 lens is definitely heavier and cost almost 4 times the f4 lens. My brother uses a 300mm/f2.8 VR + 1.7X TC on a Nikon D300 body. I feel that the difference in the image quality is marginal but it is a lot easier to obtain sharp images. My advice- if budget is not the issue, get the f2.8 lens.
    One thing for sure, u need strong arms to hike with this lens.

  7. Hi Madi, thanks for your reply. I've bought the 300/f4 over the weekend n it's solid! The weight is just about my limit to hike with. I think even with a tripod/monopod + the f4/14E combo, it will still be more manageable compared with the f2.8 on its own. I shoot with D90.