Bird photography at the KL Bird Park (or how much I really want the Olympus 40-150 F2.8 PRO lens I borrowed)

Since taking up photography last year, I have discovered that I love shooting birds. I may not be good at it, but by golly do I get a rush when I nail a shot of a bird. Extra points if the bird is in motion. So when I visited Kuala Lumpur recently, the KL Bird Park was on my to-visit list.

The longest telephoto lens I own is the Olympus 40-150 mm f4-5.6 ED (basically the starter kit lens that came with the camera). It’s a great lens, but having the aperture open to F5.6 at the longest focal length is quite limiting. And I forgot to pack it for this trip despite knowing that the bird park was on my list.

Unlike Australia, KL doesn’t have rental facilities for camera gear, but my good photographer friend Robin very kindly loaned me his Olympus 40-150 mm F2.8 PRO. And MY GOD this lens is super sexy. Stuff just comes out sharper, and the ability to shoot wide open at F2.8 makes all the difference.

If only it weren’t so expensive, I’d already have it. Soon… Maybe… No money…

Who knew bin chickens came in red!??

That’s a Scarlet Ibis, and Ibises (not these red ones) in Australia are colloquially known as bin chickens due to their numbers and tendency to be found scavenging at bins.

This seems to be an Eastern State thing though, as ibises in Western Australia aren’t as much of pests as they are over at the other side of the country.

There was a German photographer at the bird park when I was shooting there, and we struck up conversation after noticing we both shot the micro four thirds system – him a Panasonic, and me an Olympus. We ended up shooting together, and it started raining, so we entered the hatchery/chicken area to take shelter. 

There were these cute little chicks in a little brooder cage, and the first thing German guy said was “chicken nuggets!” OMG.

This image came out of the camera really dark due to the light changing, and this final image was brightened in post-processing. I’m honestly impressed at just how much was recovered, and just how sharp it was. 

Moral of the story? Always shoot in RAW. And having a damn sexy lens helps.

These yellow-billed storks were commonplace, and roamed free all over the place, hence why I have the most good shots of them.

This fellow wasn’t part of the bird park, but hey, he/she/it is still a bird.

This definately isn’t a bird, but the bird park does have a beautiful fountain where you can get awesome shots like these. And this was handheld. Image Stabilisation in-camera really really makes a helluva difference.

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