I had hoped it had manual focus so you can pre focus on an area then catch the critter as it appeared but its a bit slow for moving shots
It should have manual focus.
On the front of the camera are two controls, first on the right side (from the back) of the lens is the depth of field preview button, pressing this button stops the lens down to the selected (or metered) aperture allowing the photographer to preview the depth of field of the final shot (obviously the viewfinder view becomes dimmer when the lens is stopped down). On the left side of the lens mount is the focus mode selector (modes defined below).Focus modes Mode
Manual FocusS Single servo AF (focus priority)
Focusing is carried out using the focus ring on the lens, the focus indicator on the viewfinder status bar will indicate 'o' when the manually focused subject distance matches that calculated by the camera's AF system.
If the subject is stationary, the camera focuses when the shutter release button is pressed halfway. Focus remains locked while the shutter release button is held in this position (focus lock). The shutter can only be released when the in-focus indicator is displayed. C
Continuous servo AF (release priority)
The camera adjusts focus continuously while the shutter release button is pressed halfway, automatically tracking moving subjects (focus tracking). The shutter can be released at any time, whether or not the camera is in focus (release priority). Focus is not locked when the in-focus indicator is displayed.
Have you also explored/experimented with the "AF-L" button?