The exposures on these are far superior to what you showed on your original post, so you should feel good about that. To me, the first one is a bit out of focus - the eyes in focus are the critical thing above all else, but the second image looks really good.
What disturbed you about the images?
Thank you very much. There is something in the separation of the feathers I do not like, the lines do not look crisp enough to me. With the eyes I knew that right off, the camera as I have been reading more has a problem with distinguishing animal eyes in some cases, not all but some, it makes me want to upgrade even more on the camera side. I had it on the setting that is supposed to follow faces and eyes, but it would not focus that way, as a matter of fact I had to use BBF to get it to focus at all and then it wanted to focus near the bottom of the square with a bunch of little blue squares.
Not knowing your settings and distance to subject, it is hard to gauge the likely depth of field, but possible it was dropping off with the breadth of the bird's body.
Under 30 yards, I know that for fact because I used my range finder and one decoy was set at 25 yards and the other at 30 and it was between them. I am heading out but will get you the further information when I get home.
Can you advise the focal length, and aperture for that second shot please.
OK, but the focal length and aperture are??? I'm trying to get the data to calculate the depth of field.
No worries. Well according to that information: APS-C sensor, 400mm, f/8 at 30m your DoF would be about 1.2m. So, if you focused on the eye or head, it would be about 0.4m (16") in front of the eye, and 0.8 (32") behind. Which, given the plump nature of the birds, could explain why the plumage is getting a bit soft in places.
For reference, this came from Cambridgeincolour.com, an excellent site for photography information and getting advice. A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator (cambridgeincolour.com)