I have that lens as well. It's a good lens but a tad slow to auto focus for birds. Having said that I used it a LOT for birds quite successfully.
The trick is to learn what the capabilities of the lens are and work with them. Practice helps a lot as well.
That lens is soft below F8 so I use aperature priority setting the lens at F8 and letting the shutter fall where it will. Obviously full sun works best.
The other thing to note about zoom lenses is that they get softer at full zoom. If possible back it off to 350mm and you'll be amazed at how much sharper your pictures get for a minimal loss of reach.
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