I took a detour on the way home (about 2 1/2 hours) to stop off at Presqu'ile Provincial Park and spent a few hours chasing birds around. I've passed Brighton, Ontario a few times but didn't know the park existed until recently. It's on a must visit list for bird spring migrations (specifically Presqu'ile Point). The official festival doesn't kick off until the long weekend of this month but there are already lot's of interesting arrivals.
This guy soaked up a good hour as I tracked him through the heavy branches and twigs. In the process I found out something about the XF100-400mm that took me by complete surprise. First, I've always shot it at 400mm wide open at F/5.6, which works great because it blurs backgrounds nicely and renders a very sharp image. On this occasion I stoped down between F/6.4-7.1 which results in images that barely need to be sharpened in editing.
Second, the size of the AF squares matter. I had mine set to the largest size and I could barely lock unto the bird as it darted in and out of the branches. I could see it moving around inside a big blurry blob of bokeh but the lens refused to find focus.
Once I reduced the square to the smallest size the focusing barely missed. I was able to pick up the bird with sniper-like precision with minimal hunting. My experience has been the opposite...larger sizes for AF speed and smaller for precision.
Unfortunately I couldn't stay longer, Midway through the hike I got a text advising me that this little beauty had arrived!
It had to be retrieved from my concierge and wrapped for it's new owner who is headed to Europe to thank her mother in person.