I cannot tell you how many times I have schlepped my heavy, big lens all the way through the woods at the Assabet River National Wildlife refuge without taking any photographs, only to emerge from the forest to discover something photogenic near the center’s parking lot. I suspect that this follows from variety of habitat. You can walk along the path and predict from experience the kinds of birds that you are going to run into.
The parking lot is an open space with a grassy area – perhaps describable as a meadow. The birds here are a bit less nervous around people. They are more comfortable with the things of man: cars, benches, wires, and pavement. Today I came upon the lovely Eastern pheobe (Sayornis phoebe). It had chosen to sit on a sign, as if it were reserved seating.
The final point to make here is how sharp this lens can deliver under the right conditions even at the maximum extension of 400mm. There is a lot of eye and feather detail.
Canon T2i with EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 400 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/800th sec at f/7.1 with no exposure compensation.