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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 11:52   #51
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A birder is, and this is obvious, anyone who enjoys watching birds. I remember reading years ago that it's a great hobby because no equipment at all is needed to enjoy it.
This certainly satisfies your definition. I did, indeed, start out with binoculars, and you are quite badly mistaken about cameras and observation. A zoom lens mounted on a tripod could arguably be called an improvement in many situations because you can quickly change the width of the field being observed, and there is more stability. In any event, I have vision problems in my right eye and binoculars don't work well for me.
Although I'm not new to birding or photography, I'm quite an amateur at both and hoping to improve my skills.
No, it doesn't.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 12:57   #52
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Ok... To show value of both.... If u are in a relatively dead zone or know your birding area pretty good... Binos are fine. But if you travel to hot spots, .... Central America, Ecuador, Indonesia etc.... Without a camera you are simply not going to be able to ID birds due to the variety but also the number of birds close enough in appearance to confuse in establishing positive ID w/o a camera.jim
Certainly don't agree with this; I've birded in 35+ countries on 6 continents and am certain I would have missed any number of birds had I been faffing about with shutter speeds, F-stops, manual/auto focus and a socking great tripod especially in rain-forest. Plus there is no joy in trying to bird with a camera unless you enjoy hours sat behind a computer screen trying to brighten and sharpen a whole bunch of dodgy pictures trying to work out what you may have seen and then posting them on BF for others opinions!! Plainly a bird-photographer will have a very different modus-operandi in these situations. I'm happy to go out into the countryside with a camera and no bins but only when I'm wearing my 'Bird Photographer hat!! I suspect (if you have a good knowledge of bird songs) that you'd have better luck birding with just a notebook and no optics than with a camera.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 01:30   #53
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Perhaps English isn't your native tongue?
A birder is, "...somebody who has developed identifications skills to some extent."
How are you going to parse that? Number of species? Number on life list? Maybe you'll come up with a different definition?
Lighten up a little.

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No, it doesn't.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 08:18   #54
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Perhaps English isn't your native tongue?
A birder is, "...somebody who has developed identifications skills to some extent."
How are you going to parse that? Number of species? Number on life list? Maybe you'll come up with a different definition?
Lighten up a little.
There's a hierarchy in birding, I think if you knew more about birding you would have understood what I was alluding to in the first place.

This article will explain, it's interesting, and a good read. Birding Newfoundland with Dave Brown. "Birder's: A Subculture??"

http://birdingnewfoundland.blogspot....ubculture.html

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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 09:35   #55
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Originally Posted by Hughv View Post
Perhaps English isn't your native tongue?
A birder is, "...somebody who has developed identifications skills to some extent."
How are you going to parse that? Number of species? Number on life list? Maybe you'll come up with a different definition?
Lighten up a little.
Hugh,

You are getting into a no hoper I am afraid here. Shameless "Twite" Feeney is not really a very good birder, but he likes to think he is at least better than some others and is willing to put those others down in the same vein as he has in this thread.

Do not worry about what you do. Just enjoy it. Birds are great, and whether you get your enjoyment out of them through binoculars or off the back of an LCD screen only matters to those arrogant enough to question others standards when they think their standards are high themselves.

As long as you enjoy what you are doing, you are doing it right.

Regards

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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 09:47   #56
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Hugh,

You are getting into a no hoper I am afraid here. Shameless "Twite" Feeney is not really a very good birder, but he likes to think he is at least better than some others and is willing to put those others down in the same vein as he has in this thread.

Do not worry about what you do. Just enjoy it. Birds are great, and whether you get your enjoyment out of them through binoculars or off the back of an LCD screen only matters to those arrogant enough to question others standards when they think their standards are high themselves.

As long as you enjoy what you are doing, you are doing it right.

Regards

Owen
Nice one Owen, I owe you one.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 10:00   #57
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Nice one Owen, I owe you one.
No worries shameless. Feel free to accuse me of "stalking" you in your signature like the last guy that stood up to you.

shame there's no cuckoo emoticon. you would think birdforum would have it.

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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 10:07   #58
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No worries shameless. Feel free to accuse me of "stalking" you in your signature like the last guy that stood up to you.

shame there's no cuckoo emoticon. you would think birdforum would have it.

Owen
Yeah, wasn't one of my more mature moments. Life's just too short Owen.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 10:19   #59
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So you went with "Change the definition".
I'm sure Mr. Brown is a serious man and a dedicated birdwatcher, but I'm not going to let him exclude me, and millions of others, from calling ourselves birdwatchers.
Most people have lives other than birding, which is a hobby to the majority of us, not a calling.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 10:23   #60
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I can't comment on Twite's birding skills, but his social skills seem to be stunted. I assume he's very young, and perhaps time will help him with the arrogance problem.
In any case, you're right;it's a waste of time to bandy words with a twit(e).
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Hugh,

You are getting into a no hoper I am afraid here. Shameless "Twite" Feeney is not really a very good birder, but he likes to think he is at least better than some others and is willing to put those others down in the same vein as he has in this thread.

Do not worry about what you do. Just enjoy it. Birds are great, and whether you get your enjoyment out of them through binoculars or off the back of an LCD screen only matters to those arrogant enough to question others standards when they think their standards are high themselves.

As long as you enjoy what you are doing, you are doing it right.

Regards

Owen
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 11:02   #61
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I can't comment on Twite's birding skills, but his social skills seem to be stunted. I assume he's very young, and perhaps time will help him with the arrogance problem.
In any case, you're right;it's a waste of time to bandy words with a twit(e).
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 11:32   #62
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I'm a birder and a bird photographer.

I cut my teeth in simply birding, bins and scope, many years ago before expanding into photography in the past decade and half. I certainly would not have had the same benefit of field skills should I have gone down the photo/camera route only from the outset, not that option was really plausible when I started 30 pre digital years ago.

Binoculars are fundamental to the core basics of birding and becoming a better birder, cameras really do not serve the same purpose in my view.

True you can look at a bird through a camera's view finder, and I have learnt much over the years through doing this but this is only after a particualr bird has already been located by using Binoculars. Observing behaviour, plumage etc has all been done whilst waiting for that special shot however it is the experience of using a pair of bins that really provides the 'in the field experience' of watching the bird to its maximum potential. A camera is to take the memory and preserve on a screen on a print as a single snap shot.

I go birding and have a camera over my shoulder incase I should find something that takes my interest in photographing and preserving the moment, I certainly would never ever ever leave my bins behind.

Should I really have to chose between the purpose of the thread here, Bins or Camera, I would go with Binoculars every time and thats from someone who loves taking photos.
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Old Friday 27th April 2012, 14:54   #63
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Where a camera lets you down is those fleeting glimpses, those briefest of encounters. Let me give a little example. The other day I was lucky enough to kick up a wryneck while birding my local patch - I had it in my bins, in focus, for what must have been less than a second. Not very long, but long enough to know what it was.

There is no way on earth I'd have got a suitable shot with a camera. It would have ended up a suspected wryneck, rather than a confirmed one.
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Old Friday 27th April 2012, 15:04   #64
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It would have ended up a suspected wryneck, rather than a confirmed one.
Does of course sometimes work the other way - quick snap of a distant fleeting bird, zooming up on screen letting you study the finer points, etc.

And the category of "took a picture of a Little Auk off Dawlish, but got home and thought something odd..."
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Old Friday 27th April 2012, 20:05   #65
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Does of course sometimes work the other way - quick snap of a distant fleeting bird, zooming up on screen letting you study the finer points, etc.

And the category of "took a picture of a Little Auk off Dawlish, but got home and thought something odd..."
But would you have been able to re-find the next day with a camera?
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Old Friday 27th April 2012, 20:23   #66
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Eventually binoculars will follow the way some scopes are heading and have a camera built in which will solve both arguements, the battery though will probably be the size of a small volkswagon.
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Old Friday 27th April 2012, 23:24   #67
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For me, a camera all the way. Partly because I've yet to find bins that will open wide enough to fit my eyes. But mostly because i love taking pictures.

For those critical of people like me who take a picture and post it for an ID... If you don't want to reply to us lesser birders, don't. Thankfully, there are many individuals who, like me, love to look at a photo and try to analyze what type of bird it is and share that info with the photographer. And, also thankfully, many of them are better at it than i am.

I would say that most of the photos I post are crappy, because if I got a good photo, I would have gotten the id myself. I might look into the gallery functions more so I could post some better stuff.

But, back to the point, a camera all the way.
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Old Saturday 28th April 2012, 04:03   #68
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i like (anymore) to use a small 'point and shoot' when the feelin' hits me. 'closer' is always better - unless you're a real photographer with real lenses. the above shot is from 12 inches away.
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Old Saturday 28th April 2012, 04:40   #69
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Where a camera lets you down is those fleeting glimpses, those briefest of encounters. Let me give a little example. The other day I was lucky enough to kick up a wryneck while birding my local patch - I had it in my bins, in focus, for what must have been less than a second. Not very long, but long enough to know what it was.

There is no way on earth I'd have got a suitable shot with a camera. It would have ended up a suspected wryneck, rather than a confirmed one.
though last year i took a pic of a passing flock of migrating teal, it wasn't till i got home and looked at the picture on the computer that i realised one of the birds was a female red crested pochard, and all the birds were too far away to see properly with bins
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 15:46   #70
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Carry them both. There have been instances when I had one or the other and regretted not having the other. Like they say - the grass is always greener...
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 16:04   #71
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I've always thought that for photographers there is the added benefit of satisfying the human hunting instinct without the bang and gore. I've been a birdwatcher for over 50 years, but only in the last 20 or so have I been photographing them, and I find it immensely satisfying to get a good shot of any bird - my photos are my "trophies". I'll get as big a buzz out of a good shot of a Spuggie knowing that what fieldcraft I have has enabled me to get it, as seeing a distant rarity that I have no chance of shooting.
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Old Tuesday 1st May 2012, 20:15   #72
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I've always thought that for photographers there is the added benefit of satisfying the human hunting instinct without the bang and gore. I've been a birdwatcher for over 50 years, but only in the last 20 or so have I been photographing them, and I find it immensely satisfying to get a good shot of any bird - my photos are my "trophies". I'll get as big a buzz out of a good shot of a Spuggie knowing that what fieldcraft I have has enabled me to get it, as seeing a distant rarity that I have no chance of shooting.
In total agreement....When you first use bins!...and are aiming at a sitting.. then a flying target you invariably fail to connect..once you get your ''eye in'' and are able to reference matrix the subject to the background (more often than not)..on a firing from the hip basis there is a great sense of self achievement. I too have taken up ''imaging'' over the last nine years..and if push came to shove..although I would find it a wrench! my existing 30x bridge camera would win at day-end. Yes I might miss the odd bird...but hey!..being able to access the images of that fast moving warbler..and to be (If your lucky) able to count the emarginations plus all the other detail that your ''minds-eye'' can't see or recall...then I believe that's a price worth paying...but then..I carry both..total weight 3lbs, and I never leave home without them. :)

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Old Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 06:15   #73
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Isnt the simple answer to this thread that a someone who is predominately a photographer will take a camera and someone who is predominately a birdwatcher will take binoculars?
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Old Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 16:35   #74
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Isnt the simple answer to this thread that a someone who is predominately a photographer will take a camera and someone who is predominately a birdwatcher will take binoculars?
Perhaps twenty plus years ago it might have been that straightforward, nowdays with the advent of digiscoping, and lightweight Bridge cameras, the goalposts may have moved somewhat (might be interesting to know..if possible what percentage of birders now use a camera..as opposed to those that don't when they bird, as compared to yester-year?
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Old Saturday 5th May 2012, 02:10   #75
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This thread made me curious and I borrowed a superzoom camera from a friend.

I have never tried to take pictures in the wild, only at feeders before. The superzoom was challenging and I found it frustrating. Hard to see and line up what I wanted to photograph, going into sleep mode when I really wanted it for a quick shot, zoom was noisy, and I was missing everything going on around me. That was probably the biggest. The ability to sweep and follow, quickly find the Crane or Hawk flying overhead, and a glance at the Moon or far away deer. I rarely use any type of camera and of course that would be a contributing factor to a lot of the problems I was having.

None of those comments are meant to say one is better than the other. I could see me setting a tripod up and watching a nest or a certain area where I have observed behavior, while checking things out with the binoculars.

For me it is more about that moment, yet there are many times I want to capture it to show others. I certainly realize the skill level now of those that get great looking pictures.

My earlier post about one person with a camera and one with binoculars is still my ideal after this trial.
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