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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 02:05   #1
aveschapines
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New birder needs help

Hi Everyone,

I've been birding for about a year and I need help. What do you do when you go to your work Christmas party and can hardly pay attention to what your coworkers are signing because there's a large gray flycatcher with a black mask and a while belly in the palm tree near the pool? Can't watch both the signs and the bird... How do you continue to politely chat with your coworker in the bus when there's a strange grayish vulture in the tree outside the window? How do you enjoy the party despite not having been able to identify the large jay (cuckoo?) in the trees at the entrance to the hotel complex? And why are the tame peafowl and macaws they have strolling around hardly worth a second glance any more? Do you bring the binoculars and field guides and just put up with the questions and stares from the coworkers, or do you separate the bird-related and non-bird-related areas of your life? HOW?

LOL This sure is an addictive activity, and while I had fun at the party it kills me to have missed the opportunity to identify those three birds - and wonder how many more were lurking around there and I never saw them!

Helen
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 05:45   #2
Trygve Danbolt
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A known problem here in Norway as well. And the hardest is when my wife want to go picnic or something and I'm not allowed to even talk about the birds, and have to pay attention all the time...
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 13:58   #3
aveschapines
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A known problem here in Norway as well. And the hardest is when my wife want to go picnic or something and I'm not allowed to even talk about the birds, and have to pay attention all the time...
Now, THAT sounds like torture! My coworkers already think I'm a little stange, so I'm a bit ahead of you I guess!

Helen
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 17:48   #4
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I'm probably quite lucky as my co-workers have tended to be slightly interested in wildlife so when I spot something (like a Sparrowhawk that flew over at the company barbeque) they wanted to look too. Only a couple actively go out to look at wildlife though and they're not anything like as obsessed with looking for stuff all the time as I am!

If people think I'm a bit nutty because of it I don't really mind, I'd rather be nutty about wildlife than nuts about cars or boozing!
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 19:57   #5
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All my friends know I'm a birder, so they're just amused when I get sidetracked watching something outside the window... and they don't seem to mind when I point out stuff like eagles and falcons flying by!
Addicting hobby indeed... :)
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 19:59   #6
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A small monocular is useful in such circumstances. A 9 or 10 x 21 fits neatly in a pocket without any bulges, and also in almost any budget. It's not your ideal birding optics, to understate a bit, but it beats the M1 eyeball in the described situations. Of course, ultimately, most of us accept that we are, well, odd by most standards and just haul along the bins and a fieldguide.

Will
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 20:03   #7
wildlifelove
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I get that 2 LOL.
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 20:20   #8
aveschapines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fozzybear View Post
I'm probably quite lucky as my co-workers have tended to be slightly interested in wildlife so when I spot something (like a Sparrowhawk that flew over at the company barbeque) they wanted to look too. Only a couple actively go out to look at wildlife though and they're not anything like as obsessed with looking for stuff all the time as I am!

If people think I'm a bit nutty because of it I don't really mind, I'd rather be nutty about wildlife than nuts about cars or boozing!
One of the janitors at the school where I work enjoys checking out the birds with me, and some of my students are interested too. I work at a school for Deaf kids, and some of them have learned to interpret the facial expression I make when I hear a Rufous-collared Sparrow, hummingbird or migrating warbler outside the classroom window. One student even tells me he sees birds outside to distract me, like when he is in trouble and wants me to forget what he has done!

And yes, I agree - definitely better birds than cars or booze!

Helen
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 20:23   #9
aveschapines
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Originally Posted by prattw View Post
A small monocular is useful in such circumstances. A 9 or 10 x 21 fits neatly in a pocket without any bulges, and also in almost any budget. It's not your ideal birding optics, to understate a bit, but it beats the M1 eyeball in the described situations. Of course, ultimately, most of us accept that we are, well, odd by most standards and just haul along the bins and a fieldguide.

Will
That sounds like a good idea! I have 10x50 binoculars, which serve me well, but they are big and heavy to carry. I was thinking of getting a smaller pair that I could carry around with me, but the monocular sounds good too. Wonder if I can get one here? Is it any different from a small telescope? Any idea what it's called in Spanish? LOL (Binoculars are bincoulares, so it may be un monocular...)

Helen
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 18:27   #10
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Opticron do a very good little 10x40 monocular. Try www.warehouseexpress.com

Good birding

Dave
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Old Thursday 9th December 2010, 23:46   #11
etudiant
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The small Zeiss 8x20 monocular is wonderfully unobtrusive, yet has good optics.
Small enough to be easily pocketed, but not dirt cheap, as even on Ebay they go for $200+ used.
They are much more portable than even a 25 or 30mm glass, vastly more than a 40mm, admittedly at the expense of light gathering. Still, for daytime use, they are quite adequate.
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Old Friday 10th December 2010, 02:09   #12
aveschapines
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

Helen
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