26 Sep 2006

Binoculars, Binoculars, Binoculars

Well No new birds for the list even though I have been trying to find some but to no avail. When I was out with Anthony McGeehan last week and he was phishing the birds in a wooded area I realised the shortcomings of my binoculars The Leica Trinovid 10 by 25 . As much as I love them for their portability and the fact I take them in my pocket everywhere; the field of view is very narrow.You can see a bird in bushes put the bins to your eyes and take ages to find exactly where it is by which time it quite often has flown or flitted to the next branch.

I have always been of the the opinion that magnification was everything and therefore it was far better to have ten times magnification which would bring you closer to what you are trying to observe however this has its limitations in that as the magnification increases it becomes less easy to keep the binocular steady.

I think Anthony realised my binoculars limitations and I received a text to say that he had left his spare Zeiss 7 x 42 Dialyts in the observation room for me to borrow. My first thought was 7 times magnification wasn't going to be that good at all. WOW is all I can say. The field of view was much wider (150metres at 1 Kilometreas opposed to 95metres for my Trinovids) and it focuses far quicker than mine. Not at all bad for a binocular that first came out in October 1981. The main downside is the difference in weight.

Being an RSPB volunteer I get to meet many people coming in to the hide and quite often the talk comes round to binoculars and they will let you borrow their bins.Some are amazing and some are simply appalling. This sunday was no exception I tried everything from Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss and Nikon. I find the Leica's do not feel at all right in my hand even though I like what I see. I have now tried SLC Swarovski 10 by 50 and 8 by 42 and the EL 8.5 by 42 . The EL was a lovely binocular and has a price to match. I was impressed with the Nikons but it was the Zeiss FL 8 by 42 that blew me away. I have to have a pair. The clarity was simply stunning and if you are into butterflies the minimum focusing distance is only 6.5 feet. Since looking through them I have been looking at reviews and reviews on the internet and they all have been incredibly positive. Watch this Space.

Back to birding. Last night I read on Birdguidesthat a Hoopoe had been spending the last three weeks less than five miles from where I live and this was the first public indication that it was there. There has been nothing on flightline and nobody seems to know anything about it. So I am sure I probably will not see a bird that I havent seen in thirty years. The only time I saw one was on Portland Bill in the early seventies with a friend of my grandmother who took me birdwatching a couple of times.Heres hoping that I will see my first in Ireland.

Sometimes I find this blog really exciting to do then followed by periods of time when I think what can I write about. Every now and again I think yes I must keep on doing this. I was out at Killard the other day and I start talking to a couple and she out of the blue says " Are you Peregrine from the Bird Blog". What a nice surprise. She had googled Killard and my blog comes up high in the listings. I also get the occasional email asking questions or giving me positive encouragement which is very nice as well. Thank you Eve and Simon.


LauraHinNJ said...

Hi! Nice blog!

Just wanted to say that I love my *old* Zeiss binoculars - wouldn't trade them for anything new, ever.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I said I had just looked at yr blog to see what was worth looking for at Killard that day. Nice to meet you.