I dont know how far the bird was in the second one, did not seem to far to me. I think a fill in Flash would have made it look more beautiful as u are against the light in the shot and the bird got too shadowy.
And try using smaller photos please as
1) big ones may take time to download for some
2) in my case my laptop has a 12 inch screen so viewing is a lil tedious
all the birds were taken at 300mm (f/6.3 minimum)
light was indeed the biggest nuisance in that shot...and the only angle available to shoot (was shooting from a balcony). + this is the result out of a spot metered shot. light was lil too strong and direct!