Man, I've been all over the place with this! And actually canceled an order for a Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / TZ70 this morning.
I have now simply ordered a 'Like New—Demo' Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 from Adorama. I had been panicked at the last minute that the ZS50's autofocus might not be quite as amazing as the ZS70's is, since the ZS70 includes Depth from Defocus. And it will be nice, in any event, to have the use of a touch screen.
At $265, this is not a gigantic investment, and it seems as if the camera can actually do a lot of the things I will want it to do while birding—above all, have amazing continuous autofocus for its compact form factor. It seems as if Panasonic's compacts have the best AF this side of phase detection, and it's only gotten better since the ZS50.
I'll let you know what I think!
At that price, this camera is a steal.
It is an enormously capable little gem, but be sure to read the skimpy manual carefully and then spend some time working through the options.
As with smart phones, few buyers use even a fraction of the capacity of this camera, but it will surprise you if you give it a chance.
PS Panasonic camera JPEG images come in very muted colors. I've grown to like that, but you can easily adjust the default settings to be more vibrant.