It is a fun hobby for me. I surely don't take it very seriously. I just have fun and photo birds. Great retirement hobby by the way. I highly recommend it. I never even owned a DSLR until I retired 4 years ago. But it is so easy and fun.
I was looking up to photo some gulls when I was sapped with a poo shot... I always remember that.
You are going to love that lens if you rent it. I am just floored by the sharpness. Let me know how you like it. I wasn't going to upgrade because I had the 500 IS. But I live in Asia most of the year and the dealer here traded with me and gave me a good deal. So I bit the bullet. I am glad I did not. No regrets or complaints.
Thanks for the complements on the pics, I love piddling with this stuff.