Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 250, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000
Last time, I discovered that 1/200 is not fast enough to freeze a bird in flight and ended up with a bunch of blurry bird photos. 1/2000 seems to do the job; however, unlike the beach where seagulls are plentiful, the July 4th festival was a bit sub-optimal numbers wise. However, these birds did not seem to be spooked off by the masses or the live band.
In an open field, it was hard getting the bird in the right angle. The flights patterns were a bit random. Also, I was really reliant on that autofocus to be spot on.