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New Toy!
Last Post 02/02/2023 11:18 PM by 79 pmooney. 2 Replies.
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02/02/2023 06:28 PM
Binoculars. For (not very serious) birding, general land based use. I've wanted good binocs a while. Years ago my dad gave me nice 6X30 waterproof ones that were very good on moving boats but lacking in power. Now that I am getting on decent terms with the birds I feed, I'd like to start identifying them. But my eyesight, aided only prescription lenses, isn't up to the job.

So I started researching yesterday. Nikon M5s came up quickly. $300 something. The local Audubon carried them, as well as a rather vast array of others. (M7s for about $200 more.) So I went this morning. Looked through more than a half dozen, both 8X42 and 10X42. Asked for coaching on birding binocs and got good help. Quickly decided that 10X (10 power) was, in reality, less useful for details because my shake more than nullified the advantages of the additional power as well as making a lot harder to find that bird I could see with naked eye or that someone else was describing to me.

Settled on Nikon Monarch M7 8X42. A soft spot for Nikon (had a Nikkormat I loved for many years), these binocs were so easy to use (very glasses friendly at the hoods-in default and the center focus better than anything I have ever used) and the optics! Best at reading a barely legible sign of the bunch I tried by quite a bit.

And now that I am home? Fun! Just playing around, dialing in the diopter of the right eye, reading the on-line manual. Focused on the feeder in the yard. 15 feet?. Required a big focus scroll after the sights across the street but it came in loud and clear (and bigger than the optics.) While there, a chickadee showed up and hogged the entire screen!

Now I need to get the second part of this. To get serious about getting to know my bird regulars. I now have the means to read the nametags they should be wearing. So I guess I have to start making them and figuring out to get them to wear 'em.


02/02/2023 07:53 PM
Margaret Atwood's partner, Graeme Gibson, loved birding. As his dementia progressed, he wrote "I no longer know their names, but then, they don't know my name either."
I've often stopped on a ride when a bird of interest flew by or chirped. My favorites were a bluebird and a pileated woodpecker.


02/02/2023 11:18 PM
I don't often stop but I love seeing them. We have a lot of hawks and other raptors. I've had big ones glide about 20' over my head at exactly my speed. Kinda erie. So is riding in vulture territory. We saw a lot on a very hot Cycle Oregon day and more than a few of us wondered if they knew something about us we were going to find out.

I saw a raven take off on one of my rides. Thought it was a crow but it looked big, heavy and that wingbeat was just too slow. Up 'till then ravens were just in stories I'd watched or read by authors like Hitchcock and Poe.

Today a downy woodpecker landed on a fairly distant tree while I was trying the binocs. I didn't see it but my "coach" did and guided my eyes to it. Watched it peck away while higher then I thought they ever went.
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