Rule of thumb: Backlighted subject, especially one that may run/fly away: add light:+1 - 1 1/2 stops. Or Exposure Compensation +1-2.
Thanks for the recommendation. Due to my lack of photography skills it will take me a few tries to get it right but that won't keep me from trying.
The sun on the subject's from the side or even the back. Thus the background is properly exposed and the subject is under exposed. Post processing the exposure of the subject may help.
Had the chance of a lifetime this afternoon...
I kinda like pic number 2. Forces me to look for a bit to see what is going on with vegetation below and above.
For pic number 1, I wonder if a circular polarizing filter may have been helpful. It would reduce the exposure a stop and a half or so, and cut down on the bright reflection off the water's surface. You still have composition concerns, because part of the bird is surrounded by dark, and part by light, backgrounds. I know, you can't always pic and place your subject.
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