I take the majority of my bird photos in 3 places:
Burnaby Lake (Piper Spit)
Reifel Bird Sanctuary
My Back balcony near the bird feeder
One of things you learn VERY quickly in shooting birds is that you'll never be able to afford the length of lens that you WANT, so you'll have to settle for what you can afford. I started shooting with the 100-300 from Canon, but could finally pick up the 100-400. That has been my go-to lens for wildlife since then. I yearn for the 500 F4 or 600 F4, but budget stops that
As far as guiding... not so much. Sometimes you go out with a fellow photographer and shoot together for company, but most times, it's a solo endeavour. Birds aren't so fond of chatty people.. more so than fish.