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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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  1. Ratal

    Zeiss Victory 8x25

    To sum it up - Yes, these really are that good that they could be a primary pair of bins for a daytime only birder. Heck, their light transmission is that high that they do not struggle with light dropping off till the sun is all but gone for the day. Staggeringly bright. I've had a loaner...
  2. Ratal

    A strange request - Help identifying an optical problem in a set of binoculars.

    I have on loan a set of very high end bins. To road test them if you will - and I am absolutely stumped. Looking through the eyepieces, the view is crisp, delightful, but around BOTH field stops is a blue vivid colour - as if there is permanent CA around the entire field of view no matter what...
  3. Ratal

    Quick & dirty review of 8x42 Opticron Aurora.

    All I will say straight off the bat is that if you have any doubts at all about this binocular, don't. You seriously owe it to yourself if you have 800 quid and you want a drop dead gorgeous view - To get behind the ocular and give them a road test. *Yes I have Hawke APO, but they are in Africa...
  4. Ratal

    Rough and dirty Hawke 8x42 APO review

    Right. First let us get the bad out of the way. The objective covers are okay for protecting in transit. They have internal plugs so yeah, they work. In the field with any wind you will curse their name and salt their fields. Eyepiece rain guard. Works. For transportation. In the field they...
  5. Ratal

    Thanks for the £600 paperweight Opticron

    Dear Opticron, I'd like to take the time to thank you for your little effort at producing a paper weight shaped like a miniature spotting scope. I just admit, at £600 it was a tad expensive, but wowser, how it holds down those sheets! MM3 50 ED paper weight. Because that is all it is good for...
  6. Ratal

    Opticron MM3 50 Operating temps?

    Trying to persuade a friend that's Looking for a waterproof robust travel scope that the MM3 50 is the way to go. They live in northern Sweden so it gets proper cold in winter, and they have heard that 0 degrees Celcius is the coldest the scope can cope with. I've no longer the packaging for...
  7. Ratal

    Binoculars versus distance to ID

    Having a bit of an animated discussion about distances a pair of 8x binocular will ID a small bird (Robin/Siskin/Gold Finch type size) I understand variables such as user eyesight come into play, but for a rough guide, I'm saying 100 yards / 100 meters, it should be an easy call for a vast...
  8. Ratal

    Any one tested the Viking ED pro 80mm?

    http://www.cleyspy.co.uk/viking-ed-pro-80-i4678.html Never heard of Viking releasing a new spotting scope - Was wondering if any one has had a look through or a decent test of one. I love the matt black design - Pity no one in Scotland stocks one for a test as I'd love to have a good test out...
  9. Ratal

    Best Wader birding hide I have ever seen

    http://www.biotope.no/2013/08/stealth-birding-photo-hide-prototyping.html?m=1 This deserves a mention in despatches for absolute brilliance. The photos he gets from mere inches away are jaw dropping. Would love to have one of these made up some time in the future for a test run. Hat truly...
  10. Ratal

    Pacific Eider, Vardo, Norway

    Thought this should be out there for people. An amazing find in an amazing area. http://birdingfrontiers.com/2014/02/19/pacific-eider-in-norway-a-new-western-palearctic-bird/ I'm just absolutely green with envy.
  11. Ratal

    Bird Watch magazine Hawke Panorama ED82 review

    http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/reviewitem.asp?c=11&review=3309 I came across this on the Bird Watch site, and thought i'd share it along.
  12. Ratal

    Which Pipit? Moray Firth, Scotland

    All thoughts appreciated, seen this afternoon just after three by the sewage works and its the first chance I had to upload. Any help appreciated. Only pic i'm afraid as it was spooked by a slamming car door as I took the shot.
  13. Ratal

    Adult plumage Great Northern Diver Moray Firth

    Seen from the beach at 60X mag (pic taken with mobile phone hence not stellar quality) and a bit of digital zoom. I thought i'd give a heads up as it was towards the Chanonry Point / Fortrose Golf course beach area (NE Scotland). A very nice full plumage adult enjoying the sun and calmer seas...
  14. Ratal

    Crows offering gifts to one another

    This afternoon I spotted a Crow taking pine cones from.a tree, and offering them up to what I presume is a prospective mate. Not behaviour I've ever seen before in Corvids. So am I just seeing something that's fairly common like great crested grebes and river weed, or have I a pair of Crows that...
  15. Ratal

    Got my Hawke 85ED,Need advice on screw in eyepieces

    So, having purchased a scope to see me through the saving for a swaro ATX 95 period, I now need eyepiece help. Specifically looking for screw in eyepieces to give a 38X wide field fixed magnification (or as close as possible). The screw thread on the housing is 37mm in diameter. My...
  16. Ratal

    How to review a spotting scope? What info should it contain?

    Due to a materially costly accident, I am now in the market for a new spotting scope and binoculars. Don't, 4 weeks before Christmas and my wee one, searching for presents, pulled the entire contents of an upper wardrobe shelf down using nothing but a coat hanger and a hanging jumper sleeve...
  17. Ratal

    Please help me choose -opticron hr80ed or swaro ATS 65HD for sea watching...

    I'm torn. I love the idea of the higher zoom opticron at 72 mag, but now having a financial boost means I could go for the ATS 65 hd with the 60 mag lens....so I'm guessing I'm asking for thoughts, pros and cons really. Would I really lose a lot going for the smaller swaro? Or is it a good all...
  18. Ratal

    Sea duck help please, Scotland UK

    The picture is poor I apologise, but here is the description. Swimming amongst common and velvet Scoters off Findhorn bay yesterday, looked like the other Scoters bar a darker bill and yellow tip. White spot on head just visible. It was the white wing patches that caught my attention as it was...
  19. Ratal

    Worst birding day ever, then I get home to find

    Feasting on the williow warblers, garden warblers, chaffinch, bullfinch and much to my horror, the neighbourhood black cap that were displaying well. Pooooffff, blast of feathers, up to the perch. So I spend a day with an idiot who spooked every damn thing on the moors with his crisp packet...
  20. Ratal

    The Original Bug Shirt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs4cnP2P0bw http://www.midgeguard.co.uk/bugshirts.html A short video from the designers of what I can truely say has become my absolute favorite piece of 'going towards the Loch for a birdwatching session' clothing. My Bugshirt Elite. A few things to note...
  21. Ratal

    Culloden Woods, Inverness.

    Very windy day, gusting strong enough to break small branches up in the canopy, so I wasn't expecting much. Damn glad I went for a stroll though. Meadow Pipit Tree Pipit Spotted fly catcher, male, female and three juv. Flock of Goldfinches Flock of Bullfinches Tree Creepr Greater spotted...
  22. Ratal

    Loch Fleet visit

    Well and truely decided on a day out, so decided weather would be good for a coastal visit. Loch Fleet and the Little Ferry Carpark just to the south did not disappoint. Travelled by train from Inverness to golspie and walked the few miles down the golf course road to the reserve List of the...
  23. Ratal

    Hi there from UK

    A long time wilderness fan, but a newbie on the bird watching scene. Decided to join after reading so many informative posts about equipment, locations and little tips and tricks to make life easier in the field. For the record, am using a Helios Fieldmaster ed60 scope on a Velbon Sherpa 600...