....like how to be positioned so stuff isn't in the road and the lighting is favorable. I then sit and wait and observe what's going on with anticipation.
When I first started bird photography, at the beginning of the year, I got rather frustrated with the number of "in focus twigs" and "out of focus birds" pic's
Plus, the number of pic's where I had blurry twigs / branches / leaves across the subject. But, like any apprenticeship, if you persist, and take lots of mental notes, you do improve. I'm far better these days of anticipating the setup of the shot and how the subject will move. It is digital after all, so, crank away, it won't cost you
With my camera setup (a 5D3), one of the best things I did was to setup a couple of custom settings. They are both similar in settings (AI servo, spot metering, Av, ISO 400, etc), with the only big difference being the focus points. One is setup for a single, center point, the other, a 9 point focus group. The single point is for birds in a bushy / treed environment, the other for more open spaces, where I can use a larger focus area. Plus, I've tweaked the sensitivity of the focus points, to react a little quicker. I think I've set these 2 to C3 and C2 on the dial. The reason being, is that, without looking at the dial, I can turn it all the way and know that the setting is for single point. If I need the group focus setting, I turn it all the way, then come back one notch, if that makes sense