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Old Sunday 22nd October 2017, 19:02   #1
christine
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Watching wildlife at night - night vision bins?

Hi everyone,

Apologies if this has been posted before, but I did do a quick search and nothing came up so... what would you recommend for watching wildlife at night? We have deer, wild boar, badgers and lots of owls in this neck of the woods and we'd love to see them as well as hear them. I was thinking of those night vision bins that show up everything in green (infrared?) - Any recommendations for a starter pair? I'm steering well clear of those ones on eBay that are a fiver; I kind of get the feeling they aren't what they're claiming to be at that price! Cheers all.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 00:04   #2
jurek
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I suggest investing in a strong torch (with good throw - that is length of the beam), red filter and lots of rechargeable batteries. For less than EUR 200 you can have a great kit. Added benefit is that you will see eye-shine which gives away animals from a long distance. Wildlife does not fear red light much - mammals usually cannot see red color. However, more important would be avoiding noise (walking on roads etc), to which night wildlife is extremely sensitive.

Night vision things worth buying are either several times more expensive or prohibited military equipment.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 11:15   #3
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Many thanks for your reply Jurek, a quick question - a normal everyday torch with a bit of red acetate on the top, or a purpose built red torch? I know astronomers use red torches but I'm assuming they wouldn't be strong enough.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 11:51   #4
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A white torch with a detachable red filter. Many good torches come with one, and some people did their own from a piece of plastic foil. Red filter dims light rather a lot, so it is better to look for eyeshine with normal light and then switch to red if wildlife looks uneasy.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 12:42   #5
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Brilliant, thanks Jurek! Will give it a go.
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Old Monday 23rd October 2017, 18:36   #6
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Or you could try one of the new LED torches. My current one is a Fenix TK32 2016 edition which has a four-step white light that throws over 400 yards plus a red and a green LED both of which have two settings - all in the same torch using rechargeable 18650 batteries one of which seems enough for an evening's spotlighting.

As the red and green are not achieved with filters there is no attenuation and they work very well over thirty-forty yards.

Cost is well within Jurek's recommended budget, even with a few spare batteries.

Available on line, bought my torch and batteries separately.

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Old Tuesday 24th October 2017, 19:46   #7
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Thanks ever so much John, am looking your recommendation up now.
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Old Tuesday 24th October 2017, 20:02   #8
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Rather sold on the thermal imaging camera on BBC2's Autumnwatch! *Rummages down back of sofa for spare change*
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 11:07   #9
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Quick update - anyone know anything about these? Bushnell 4.5x40 Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular.

https://www.opticsplanet.com/reviews...tml?_iv_page=3
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 20:28   #10
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Generally digital and other cheap NV need an infra red light to help them see things, which is dainty visible. Should help you see more things less intrusively than with a torch. Proper NV will cost a lot more, but will turn night into day (literally). For animals there is also the option of a thermal camera.. picks up warm things, costs more than decent NV, but performance keeps improving and prices falling. No way (warm) wee beasties can hide from you!

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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 20:19   #11
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I agree with Peter that a handheld thermal camera would fit your needs best.

It works during the night and by daylight, helps to find unobstrusive or well camouflaged species. The only thing is: useful devices are still quite expensive, they start at < 1300,- EUR with a resolution of mostly 384x288 pixel with different lens (19mm, 23mm, 25mm, 30mm) depending on manufacturer (Liemke, Guide, Pulsar, FLIR and others) and model. Higher resolutions are available, 640x480 start at about 3000,- EUR, depending on features.

The attached picture is an extracted image of a footage made from a distance of about 70 meters. It shows a thawny owl while attracting a female by singing at a cavity. With my bare eye I couldn't see anything. Some minutes later the owl started flying through the sparse forest and could be followed by the thermal imager for about 200m.
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Old Monday 11th December 2017, 20:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Or you could try one of the new LED torches. My current one is a Fenix TK32 2016 edition which has a four-step white light that throws over 400 yards plus a red and a green LED both of which have two settings - all in the same torch using rechargeable 18650 batteries one of which seems enough for an evening's spotlighting.

As the red and green are not achieved with filters there is no attenuation and they work very well over thirty-forty yards.

Cost is well within Jurek's recommended budget, even with a few spare batteries.

Available on line, bought my torch and batteries separately.

John
I have one of these, it is pretty good. I can hold the torch and bins together, with the beam in the binocular view for some pretty good night watching.
An Otter on the River Test, the highlight so far.. the torch was so strong, and the water so clear, I could see it underwater.. magic!
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Old Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 19:08   #13
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Cheers guys! I ended up with the Bushnell Equino Night Vision monocular in the end. It took me a while to get used to it, but i think it will serve me well. I'd especially like to see some owls, as we have so many in Normandy - i can hear them but i can't see them... i'm hoping this will change!
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Old Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 19:16   #14
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Only caught owls in flight a few times with night vision, hoping one day that thermal will let me find where they’re hiding!! Do post your experince with the bushnell.

Peter
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