Hi Peter, it's been a while, but I used to use the Beamer quite a bit. Better noise handling cameras have helped, but on occasion I still pull it out. (newer bodies do not help with flat gray lighting for instance)
Your Kingfisher above, wonderful as it is, with the right amount of controlled flash used as fill would have brought out the color and eyes. (you MUST use a bracket to get the flash far enough away to eliminate "steel eye" )
I've never had anyone comment in person, but I don't often shoot in crowds.
I've read and participated in a number of threads on this forum that included those that felt flash was an abhorrence for bird photography.
I disagree. Like anything else, it is a tool that has it's time and place. It is horrible if overused, but with finesses it can make a good image great.
In all the times I've used it, I've never had a bird or mammal take flight (or run) because of the flash.
Hi Jake thank you very much for sharing your take with the beamer, very positive for me and by specially mentioning the use of flash bracket. Thanks again.