Fabulous colours. The bird is beautiful.
I understand about your comments, but the critters are so fast I have no time to set a focus point on them,
at least in most cases. And you are correct, larger birds are more predictable as the follow more of a flight path.
And I have a question. Shooting yesterday in very dim light. I wanted 1/1500Sec but instead of using TV I used Manual and set Aperture at something smaller than F5.6 to get more DOF. Auto ISO. So how can I get exposure compensation in such a setup? Or am I going about this in the wrong fashion?
That image used a Better Beamer, which is part of why the colors are bright. A also hit the "Punch" button in Lightroom to enhance it more.
If you are using full manual, there is no need to set exposure compensation, since you have already entered the exposure you want. Just be sure to set the ISO and not leave it on automatic, or its not really full Manual, since the ISO will vary.
F/5.6 should give reasonable depth of field unless you are very close. The image of the blackbird was at f/6.3, ISO 200 1/200 sec. I had been focused on the bird on its branch and taken a couple of shots. Then it dropped to the ground to eat some sunflower seeds and I happened to catch it as it dropped.
When you are shooting birds with the sky as a background, the camera will expose for the sky, and leave the bird vastly underexposed. Thats where full manual settings work best.
As Neuro noted, never use a Better Beamer on flying birds where you might inadvertently point it at the sun. Only use one where there is a controlled background that will not bring light the wrong way.