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Small birds are always a challenge. It’s particularly frustrating when the bird is among the branches. In this example there are branches in front of and behind the bird, I have done my best to reduce the shadow of the out of focus branch in front. To reduce the shadow of the branch, I painted a slightly brighter exposure over it, lowered the clarity and increased the shadows all with the brush tool in Lightroom. I have seen many photographers set up their tripods and wait for a bird to set down in perfect circumstances; it is how it’s done. It takes patience and time that I would rather spend exploring. I may not get as many perfectly placed small birds but I still get the bird.