There's no manual setting that's going to do the trick in all situations, but I'm a fan of M mode generally. (I know others prefer Tv or Av mode---this is just my preference.)
First things first, blowing out highlights isn't always a bad thing---sometimes it can actually be a nice effect if handled well. I don't think it's a real problem in this particular image.
The real question is how are you (or your camera) metering for the shot? If you use an averaging metering mode, your camera's going to try to get maximum detail in both the bright and dark parts of the frame---this works well sometimes, but in an image with a high dynamic range, the bright spots will probably be overexposed and the dark parts will be underexposed. If you're spot-metering for a medium to dark part of the frame, the highlights will be blown out, but the dark areas will be exposed properly. If you meter for the highlights, those will be great, but the dark areas will be underexposed. There's often no happy medium---you have to choose: will the image look better with blown out highlights or underexposed shadows? (Those of us who frequently photograph Bald Eagles must grapple with this question all the time---white head, dark brown body = difficult subject!) This is part of the reason why ideal light for shooting wildlife is usually just after dawn and right before dusk---or on an overcast day. You want sunlight, but too much of it (especially if it's directly overhead) is a bad thing. And direct flash-light usually just makes things worse. If you must use flash, try to bounce it off of something.
Of course nowadays, Photoshop makes all things possible. You can independently adjust the highlights and shadows in post-processing. If you're going to do post-processing (which I always do), it's best to expose "to the right"---meaning overexpose. You can usually darken a slightly overexposed shot without ill effect---but when you try to brighten an underexposed shot, you run the risk of introducing grainy noise to the picture. So go ahead and blow out the highlights---then, in post-processing, just darken the highlights. Voila---a perfectly (if slightly improbably) exposed shot.
On a different topic---1/80 is very slow for 270mm. Unless you're on a tripod or using Image Stabilization, I'd suggest keeping the shutter above 1/500 to avoid motion blur.