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  1. H

    Buzzard near Cologne, Germany

    Hi Alexander, I just received an email from the ornitho.de identification help, whom I also sent the above photograph, and they basically agree with you. They note that Long-legged Buzzard can almost certainly be excluded for structural reasons, while a young ssp. vulpinus can not be exluded...
  2. H

    More than 100 European species of bird at risk of extinction

    Hi, Well, I guess it depends on what you consider "pre-agricultural" ... agriculture in Europe goes back at least 6000 years. My impression is that there is no doubt that certain forms of agriculture have historically created large habitats for bird species compatible with them, and the...
  3. H

    Magnification of handheld binoculars

    Hi, I see a certain justification to your point. My girl friend always carried a Leica 10x50, I a Nikon 8 x 42. My eyesight was better, so we were very evenly matched in our ability to identify birds. If we found a bird we both could not identify because it was a bit too far away, she handed...
  4. H

    Magnification of handheld binoculars

    Hi, .. and 59% for 8x/8.5x. As double selections are possible, it might just be that the majority of 8x/8.5x fans like a 7x just as well - hypothetically, as it's not possible to tell for sure from the poll. Regards, Henning
  5. H

    Raptor ID Central France

    Hi Mike, Well, personally I'd confidently rule out Common Buzzard and Kestrel at least. Looking at the right wingtip in DSC1672, that seems consistent with a Goshawk or a Sparrowhawk. However, I wouldn't dare to be confident in any positive identification I might attempt. Regards, Henning
  6. H

    Magnification of handheld binoculars

    Hi, as Hermann wrote above, "Later many people started using lower power binoculars, especially when more people started carrying a scope at all times.", it would have been logical to set up the poll to test for this correlation. I know it certainly influences how I think about binoculars...
  7. H

    Magnification of handheld binoculars

    Moin, The question "and whether you also use a scope (or scopes)" should have gone into the poll answers. Like "8x and no scope" and "8x and scope" as separate tick boxes. Your introductory text is quite good, but I fear the poll results will be too vague as the two potential clusters of...
  8. H

    Buzzard near Cologne, Germany

    Hi Jörn, Thanks a lot for the beautiful drawing! :-) This one and the one on the photographs are really quite close to my bird, only the terminal band on the tail is not as pronounced as on the other birds. I noticed you remarked on that wide terminal band in your field notes, too! I really...
  9. H

    Crow hybrid? Berlin/Germany

    Hi, Yes, you're right. Here's a (German) article with a very useful illustration on these hybrids: https://www.ornitho.de/index.php?m_id=20076 Regards, Henning
  10. H

    Buzzard near Cologne, Germany

    Hi Alexander, Excellent, thanks! Do you know whether these variation ranges are regionally different? I'm fairly sure I've never seen one like that in Northern Germany, where I do most of my birding. Regards, Henning
  11. H

    Buzzard near Cologne, Germany

    Hi everyone, last Sunday, I took this picture of a buzzard near Cologne in Germany. When it flew up to the branch it sits on in the picture, I noticed that the tail was a very warm brown. So I set up scope while the buzzard patiently waited, keeping an eye on me all the time :-) It doesn't...
  12. H

    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    Hi Binastro, I'd guess that the cost of fixing them would be uneconomic when it's perfectly possible to sell them as is. Partially, that's due to the fact that few customers are able to determine the actual quality of their scopes in relation to the potential of the design. (Personally, I...
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    Any customer review of new tsn-99?

    Hi, I wonder if minor misaligments of the adapter might be able to introduce additional artifacts that show shortcomings of the phone lens rather than those of the scope. Might be irrelevant in practice, but I thought I'd maybe bring up this question for the experts :-) Regards, Henning
  14. H

    Sirui VA-5 vs Manfrotto MVH500AH (visual comparison)

    Hi Hermann, Thanks for pointing that out. My girl friend had a small Sirui, and I felt it thrummed like a harp in strong winds. It also was prone to tipping over, as part of the reason it was so light was that its first clickstop - a selling point because it determines the nominal height -...
  15. H

    1st winter Mediterranean gull? [Düsseldorf, Germany]

    Hi David, Not that I'm any good with gulls, but have you considered a Kittywake? ornitho.de shows them occassionally following rivers far into Germany. Regards, Henning
  16. H

    Motacilla flava flavissima ID in autumn/Opus clarification?

    Hi everyone, I just observed a Motacilla flava ssp. on Germany's North Sea coast which to my untrained eye looked like a perfect example of a M. f. flavissima male in breeding plumage. I was told (by the very friendly local ornitho.de expert) that in autumn, it's very difficult to reliably...
  17. H

    Investigating the Potential of a Small Newtonian Reflector used in Spotting Scope Mode

    Hi Henry, Thanks a lot, that's fascinating with regard to the utility of having a way to brace the optics against the shoulder, too. I've experimented with shoulder stocks for conventional refectors (the Nikon ED50), so seeing that there's a scope purpose-built for shouldered use is quite a...
  18. H

    Using a camera wildlife lens as a spotting scope?

    Hi, Years ago, I used an (angled) Lens2Scope with a Sigma 50-500 "Bigma" zoom lens, as well as some other, smaller photo lenses. Image quality wasn't so good, and after comparing it to a Zeiss scope in the field, I went ahead and bought a proper scope. I think I wasn't too enthusiastic to take...
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    Bino vs Scope

    Hi Steve, Have you considered a hand truck-style beach trolley? A guy I know used one in the Bavarian Forest, with excellent results. He was trying to alleviate knee stress rather than shoulder pain, but I think the key is to get the weight off the back. At a travel-orientied exhibition, I...
  20. H

    Newbie - Scope or Binoculars

    Hi, Maybe it might make sense for you to buy an inexpensive pair of binoculars as "format simulators" first and try them out in practice before committing to buying a premium pair. The thing is, once you take up birding, you will discover new things to do and develop new ideas of what's most...
  21. H

    Anyone use a filter to observe the moon with your Kowa 883?

    Hi, Well, I 3D-printed a lens cover with a half-diameter hole inside. It dimmed the image, but also made a lot of dust specks in the optics become visible. I might try again with a grid-type pattern lens cover so I don't decrease the aperture, in the hopes I get reduced brightness without...
  22. H

    Cable-tie sighting device: IMPROVED! COLLAPSABLE!

    Hi, I've designed and printed a couple of sighting solutions, but of course, it's hard to beat the value-for-money ratio of the cable tie sight :-) The advantages of a fully 3D printed solution is that it aligns immediately (upon setting up the scope) without the need for being bent back...
  23. H

    spotting scope and bicycling on rough paths?

    Hi John, Ah, thanks - now it makes sense! :-) The wind really isn't single-speeder friendly, I'm afraid! But I've recently moved to the Cologne area, so I'm re-evaluating bikes right now. Seems that whenever I leave the Rhine valley, I need very slow gears - and when I come back, I need good...
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    Swallows and Martins, What is the difference?

    Hi MJB, For a brief moment, I thought the German trivial names, addressing all the swallows as "Schwalben", were much more logical, but then I remembered that terns are called "sea swallows" in German, so the confusion is actually worse in my native language! :-D (I read that swifts sometimes...
  25. H

    spotting scope and bicycling on rough paths?

    Hi John, Hm, now I'm linguistically confused. "In civvies" seems to mean "in non-uniform clothing"? Considering the Dursley-Pedersen's history as military bike, I'd have expected the opposite to apply ;-) I'm glad to hear both you and your sense of humour survived the encounter with a careless...