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Birdwatching tech!

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by marty21, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    I went to Minsmere RSPB nature reserve in Suffolk during the week, loved it, but felt real tech envy at the scopes, binoculars,cameras that the 'pro' twitchers had. I'm going back to Minsmere in May, but quite fancy going to some more hides, etc and wouldn't mind having some better kit than the crappy binoculars we had, and a camera phone.

    Any techy twitchers/birders out there - what do you use

    and I don't want to break the bank:)
  2. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated


    with a tripod from Argos which was upgraded after a couple of years with a head that cost about £15. The eyepiece does 15x to 40x I think.

    It weighs less than 1/3 of the better kit but has good enough optics for most purposes. It's an insurance replacement for a cheaper Opticron I had before but is much, much better.
  3. fen_boy

    fen_boy Exits gracefully.

    I don't have a scope, but have some Hawke bins. My advice would be to go to a specialist retailer who'll let you try some out. I got mine from Cley Spy at Cley Marshes in North Norfolk and they really know their stuff there. Different bins suit different people, I found some binoculars I couldn't get on with at all, but when I tried the hawke's they were perfect.
  4. Callie

    Callie Pivoting

    I just look for birdies with my eyes but I look all the time! There was a lovely wren that kept sitting in the tree outside the window, singing away today. I also take rubbish pictures of possible Polish eaglebirds on my plain old digital camera by zooming in so far they look all pixelated :D

    Elvis Parsley, marty21 and two sheds like this.
  5. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    cheers but that is £300! I wanted more of a starter one!
  6. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    cheers - I'm saying in Norfolk at the end of April - might try this place
  7. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I'm afraid to say that is a starter, I'd love the Swarovski equivalent but it costs a couple of grand. Grinding glass into exact shapes and then putting cleverclever coatings on isn't cheap and there's a relatively small market in spotting scopes, so they probably don't compare pricewise with decent camera lenses.

    Sometime in the 70s I bought a pair of binoculars. Maybe 25 years later it occurred to me that I'd used them many times every year and they were by far the best toy (or tool) I'd ever bought. So on the basis that it'd also last 20 years or more I bought a 'starter' Opticron scope and was disappointed from day 1. Never quite pinsharp focus across the whole image, wouldn't hold focus for the whole zoom range, always a little colour fringing, never quite bright enough... So although I still lament the theft of the binoculars (the Nikon replacements are crap) I was really pleased to get a much better scope, at a slightly higher price point but so much more satisfying to use.

    I'd also second Cley (rhymes with spy not hay) as a place for both peering at birds and checking out optics. There's a cafe with a few scopes set up and Cley Spy out the back with a pretty good range of scopes and 'nocs.
  8. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    damn, I'd like to be there right now!!

  9. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    I sometimes carry a mini pair of binoculars when walking the dog and really enjoy the fuzzy glimpses of the local waders here, but i could never bother with, or justify the high price of some decent bins. I do keep an eye on the charity shops though.

    I'm pretty sure we can hear curlews down on the beach at low tide, be nice to actually see one, but not much chance when you're with a dog :)
  10. fen_boy

    fen_boy Exits gracefully.

    This is their website and main shop http://www.cleyspy.co.uk/ but I went to the little shop they have at Cley Marshes.
  11. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Marty, Lidl(brand name Mead) quite often do perfectly decent binos for about £15. I've been using mine for years.
    Hubby suggests checking for any local bird/wildlife forum for second hand stuff(people upgrade) and shops do 2ndhand binos too. The RSPB do some reasonably priced stuff.
    He can look out some links later if you like?
    marty21 likes this.
  12. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    we ended up buying some binoculars from a place near the British Museum, lovely shop, they don't display anything, but we tried out several and eventually bought some for about £75

    geminisnake likes this.

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