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  1. S

    Helical focuser, does it loosen up with use?

    I'm looking at a Swarovski ATM scope. It's really nice and the optics seem to be above average. I am seriously considering getting it. The only thing is that the focuser is kind of stiff and hard to turn and my hand get tire from it. So for the long time Swarovski users out there, does the...
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    Zen Ray at the Midwest Birding Symposium

    My wife and I went to the Midwest Birding Symposium last weekend, where we had the pleasure of visiting Zen Ray's booth and meeting Charles and FrankD in person. In my opinion, they are the best sales people in any of the optics booths at the MBS. They are knowledgeable about optics, very...
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    Random Internet bird picture. What plover?

    I just saw this on the Internet. Very cute little bird. I know next to nothing about shorebirds, but I'm thinking about Snowy Plover. Is this picture enough for an ID? Thanks!
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    Creeping diopter?

    I like my 8x32 Nikon EDG very much. Its optic is right up there with the Nikon SE, and it solves a lot of the other issues I have with the SE, such as waterproofing, focus speed, focus stiffening in the cold. I do have one problem with my sample of the EDG, though. When I first got it several...
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    Nikon D3000 kit?

    I just received my D3000 camera kit for the EDG promotion. There was no paperwork in the box. I remember that the rebate form mentioned something about a one-year warranty on the kit, and am wondering how I could claim the warranty if there's no paperwork with a date on it. For the people who...
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    Collimation with the Sun

    I was looking for a way to test collimation of my binoculars that doesn't require me to look through them. Frankly, I can't detect any image separation using the common methods by looking at terrestrial objects. Looking at stars might yield more definitive results, but I don't have a tripod...
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    Bird's nest. North Carolina, USA

    A friend sent me the picture of a bird's nest in her yard. I tend to think they might be a Mourning Dove's nest, but I'm no nest expert. Anyone can id the bird from the nest? Thanks. Ning
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    Rhode Island birding places

    Hi, my wife and I are going to visit her parents next week in Westerly, RI. I wonder if there are good birding spot close to town that I can check out. As I don't have a spotting scope, I wonder if there are places where I can see sea ducks with binoculars at this time of the year. Thanks. Ning
  9. S

    Strap and rainguard help

    I'm trying to find a strap and ocular rainguard on my Leupold Golden Ring, and would like to seek your help. I like to have my bins just under my chin, so I can raise it without too much motion and without disturbing the bird. The strap that came with the GR is contoured and pretty comfortable...
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    Accipiter help please (Indiana, US)

    Hi, I saw a bird that could've been a young Northern Goshawk today. Because we are in the southern edge of the Goshawk's winter range (north central Indiana), I'd like to seek your opinion before I decide whether it was a good id or not. The following paragraph is the account of my sighting...
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    Surf Scoter sex

    A Surf Scoter that probably ventured 100 miles inland from Lake Michigan showed up in our town this week, and generated some interest among local birders. I have a question about the sex of the bird. The bird's bill has a dark yellow ring and its nape is not white yet, so I thought it was a...
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    Meopta's new line of bins.

    Just a heads-up. I got Meopta's 2010 catalog yesterday, and noticed that they are launching a new line of binoculars called Meopro. They are placed below the Meostar line, and have 65.x32, 8x42 and 10x42 models right now. The specs look decent, with light weight, good eye relief, and ok FOV. I...
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    Tundra or Trumpeter Swan? Indiana, USA

    I just found these pictures in my camera. They were taken in November 2008 in central Indiana. I cannot decide if it was a Tundra or a Trumpeter Swan with the Mute Swan. The gape boarder is quite curved in the third picture, suggesting a Tundra Swan. On the other hand, the forehead boarder looks...
  14. S

    Investigation of Shooting of Whooping Crane

    Just got this from my state birding listserv. I hope they will find out who killed the Whooping Crane: Ning
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    Small exit pupil + dark condition = vignetting?

    I thought that my 10x42 SE, despite its slightly larger exit pupil, requires more precise IPD adjustment/eyepiece positioning than my 8x32 SE. I much more often notice significant vignetting viewing through the 10x42 SE than the 8x32, which I usually try to ameliorate by fiddling with the IPD...
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    How does Zen ED2 work in the rain?

    I use the 8x42 Leupold Cascades porros when it's wet out, and leave my Nikon SE's home. Besides the narrow FOV, the biggest downside of the Cascades is that it doesn't have the water-repellent coating. Since I enjoy going out in the rain a lot, I've been trying to justify an upgrade of my...
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    Northern Harrier? (Indiana, US)

    I saw a raptor during a walk Saturday morning, about sunrise + 1 hour, flying over a residential area. It was flying about 200 feet above ground, long tailed, brown overall, white rump prominent looking from behind. Head projection was short. The wingbeats were continuous, fairly deep and...
  18. S

    Geese in random picture

    Saw this picture on the web. Could anyone identify the geese, please? If possible, the cat, too. Thanks. Ning Geese and Cat
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    Keeping binoculars dry in the rain?

    I enjoy birding in the rain a lot. But I have been having trouble keeping my binoculars dry. I try to use the ocular rainguard whenever I'm not looking through the bins, but the ocular lenses inevitably get big rain drops on them within 5 minutes in moderate rain. I sometimes use my finger to...
  20. S

    Hybrid duck? Indiana, USA

    Just found this duck in the pond this afternoon. It was very small, has light tail covert, so I thought it was a Green-winged Teal. But the weird facial marking puzzled me, and the feet, which I thought was dark through the bins, show a yellow color in the pictures. The bill also seems a little...