With the adjustment made by Sheryl, this is pretty good for a first outing with a good, long lens
Especially when shooting long focal lengths, it's important to keep your shutter speed up when hand-holding. Try aiming for keeping 1/640 or higher when shooting 400mm+. Don't give up, it takes a little while to really get comfortable shooting that puppy, but it will shine for you once you get it down.
Your exposure was definitely a stop or two too low for that shot; most likely from zeroing the needle on subjects with that much white. Grab a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson to get some of the basics for metering; you'll want to understand WHAT the meter is actually telling you before setting your exposure.
Some "quick and dirty" tips, though:
Exposure: When determining a "correct" exposure, the camera attempts to render the metered subject at a "middle gray" luminance. This means that if you zero the needle on a pure white subject, you'll severely under-expose the overall shot; if you zero the needle on a pure black subject, you'll severely over-expose the overall shot. Two options for your shot that would have, probably, gotten you good and close would have been:
a) Spot meter off the bird, itself, and set your exposure to indicate around +2 on the scale
b) Spot meter off the water and set your exposure to, around -2/3 to -1
ISO: Do not be afraid to raise your ISO. In the conditions this appears to be shot under, ISO 400 would have been more appropriate.
For focusing: Remember the aforementioned "keep your shutter speed up", when shooting hand-held; also, get a good, solid stance. Feet slightly spread (about shoulder-width apart); support the lens with your left hand around the lens mount; tuck your left elbow in, tight, against your body; breathe; squeeze the shutter button. Additionally, you may want to crouch and use one knee as a place to rest your elbow; or go completely prone and shoot from the ground.
Keep at it and keep posting! There's lots of learnin' to be had around here