Hi David. Thanks to harveyzone and Rob for comments.
General comments about flying birds ... mostly just reiterating the others.
- speeds have to be up there..minimum of about 1/500 and preferably 1/1,000 and faster. Some shutter speed discussion here....http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,5064.msg37284.html#msg37284
- sun is great but causes issues with under wing shadows...reflections up from the water can aleviate that
- birds flying straight at you are difficult... the 70300G won't focus well on objects coming straight on..great of quartering or sideways.
- spot focus is good
- spot metering usually works best...
- close close close ... is the way to go....means less cropping...and focusing is usually easier although panning is harder.
- try to figure out places where you are able to get closer or figure out bird flying habits...
- shot and shoot and shoot...I have a cool series of one flying goose that is in my bird power point show. I took nine shots and only one is good..it is all to do with the position of the wings for appearance AND relative to the light ... geese are "easy" but only about one in one hundred shots is good.
- my camera is almost always on ISO 400 .. I will set it to 640 or 800 if necessary, but prefer to come back another time with better light. (We tend to get a lot of sunshine here so that's probably easier for me than many people.)
Underwing lighting here..http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7218.msg56107.html#msg56107
David .. here are some flying geese pix... http://clives.shawwebspace.ca/photos/view/flying_geese_/
Very few are shot looking up..most are level or even below me...some that are low to the water have nice underwing lighting. Have a look at them and see if there are clues...
Cheers and good luck
PS: I will be away for a few days so may not be replying often...