What lens are you using Dave....my 70-200 (wasn't allowed anything longer than 200mm) didn't get the bokeh you are getting so I'm guessing your's is 300mm or greater ?
I too tried the "manual" strategy after our last brief discussion. I got lots of over-exposed shots ....so went back to Av.
Canon 5D MKlll & Canon 50D
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM | Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM | Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro | Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 | Canon 430EX Flash | Lowepro Mini Trekker AW | Lowepro Toploader 65 AW | Lowepro Slingshot 200AW | Kata 3n1-10
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Panasonic Lumix TZ7 (aka ZS3)
Panasonic Lumix FT3 (aka TS3)
Ali Baba.....the Thief of Bad Gags