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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 19:59   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: London
Posts: 213
Thank you very much, everyone - really interesting reading about how your binoculars are actually used. I very much agree with those who have noted that identifying, and even finding, forest environments, is difficult - I know when I have found myself in forest or even just wooded areas, both here and on a recent visit to Singapore, I have found it quite challenging. I did get a great (but fleeting) view of a crimson sunbird there, but that was more by luck than by judgement. I'm very fortunate that my birding doesn't involve trying to ID species - I'm interested in just one species and that species can easily be recognized, even at long distances. The main challenge is keeping track of a bird, often fast-moving, flying across a cluttered backdrop and staying with (and to a lesser extent picking up) birds that can be very distant. When using my brother's 8.5x42 Swarovski I once picked up a peregrine leaving the Palace of Westminster just over 5km away. Resolution, aka sharpness, is probably the most important factor in finding/holding these tiny targets and my experience is that at distances of say 1km or greater, unfortunately, quality truly wins out - I say unfortunately because I truly wish that non-alphas could perform as well. I like a very wide field of view to follow their acrobatics or find them after they have disappeared into patches of cloud, but it would appear that tracking a bird over a difficult background is best achieved with higher magnification optics and magnification is diametrically opposed to field of view. I tend to go for field of view but must admit I would like to try a quality 12x some day.
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