I am very at new at this, and I don’t have a lot of gear, and I am just using a Olympus OMD E-M5 and a few telephoto lenses. I use a Soligar 105mm f/2.8 Preset, Nikon Q 135mm f/2.8, Vivitar 200mm f/3.5 and my favorite; A Nikon 100-300mm f/5.6 AiS for taking photos of birds around my apartment building.. well, just outside my apartment anyway. I recently bought a Bird Feeder to hang on a tree just outside my apartment, and I can sit inside my apartment behind my patio door, that has a glass insert.
After a few days of trying to get some nice close up photos, I have noticed that early morning (7:am-8am) and in the cool of the evening, is when the birds are most active in feeding. What I do is sit in a chair with camera in hand, and wait for the birds to approach the feeder or ground where I have also spread some bird seed. I try to pre-focus somewhat, but, much of that just gets me somewhat ready when one or more do get close.
I use f/11 or /22 and a high ISO, around 800-2500, depending on the light. Shooting wide open is very difficult with a moving target and Manual Focus Lenses. and to me, having the whole bird in focus is better than having one eye in focus. Shallow Depth of Field isn’t always the best (or only) way to go.
I also have my camera on High Speed Motor Drive (9-10fps for the E-M5).
So, here are some of the results:
Click on the 1st photo to view the slideshow