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Using Scopes in Forested Areas

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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 04:10   #1
Andy1
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Question Using Scopes in Forested Areas

I'm still contemplating the purchase of a scope. For about half of my birding, I enjoy slowly moving through a nearby forest listening and spotting songbirds in the mid and upper canopy levels. I am considering using an angled scope at 15-25X power for this type of activity. Is a scope useful for this type of birding?

It would seem that it would be impracticle to set up a scope in this type of environment due to the presence of undergrowth, shrubs, etc. that would complicate quick tripod setup. By the time you get set up, the bird might be gone. So, if a scope is usable, would a shoulderpod or monopod be easier to use?

I'd appreciate reading your comments.

Thanks, Andy.

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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 11:44   #2
Edward woodwood
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a shoulder pod is like lightning Andy

I do use a normal tripod from time to time but never in a forest

with a shoulder pod you are straight onto the bird. Best with smaller scopes like a Kowa 613 or a Nikon ED III. There is always something to lean against in a forest for extra stability. Although be careful if you go somewhere tropical - i have found myself eye-to-eye with Mantises, Snakes and some rather nasty 'bullet' ants...
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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 21:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allwood
There is always something to lean against in a forest for extra stability. Although be careful if you go somewhere tropical - i have found myself eye-to-eye with Mantises, Snakes and some rather nasty 'bullet' ants...
Not just tropical, lots of trees in the US have a good covering of poison-ivy . . .
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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 21:43   #4
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I wonder if you would be better off considering high power bins with IS, a lot more convenient.

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Old Sunday 13th March 2005, 22:37   #5
Jane Turner
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Seriously.. small scope - something like a straight through Bushnell spacemaster or a Nikon fieldscope 60mm with no more than a 20x wide angle lens on a shoulder pod and you can't go wrong. Not used one in a rain forest.. but I do use that set up to ID high flying migrants which has to be as difficult!

You can track flying swifts without a problem and its as fast as bins!

I'm almost never without mine - hence the state of it! - Nearly as bad as my shoes :)
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Old Monday 14th March 2005, 06:45   #6
karmantra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Seriously.. small scope - something like a straight through Bushnell spacemaster or a Nikon fieldscope 60mm with no more than a 20x wide angle lens on a shoulder pod and you can't go wrong. Not used one in a rain forest.. but I do use that set up to ID high flying migrants which has to be as difficult!

You can track flying swifts without a problem and its as fast as bins!

I'm almost never without mine - hence the state of it! - Nearly as bad as my shoes :)
I have to agree with Jane on the use of shoulder mounts--I purchased a shoulder mount a month ago and use it with a 'cheap but adequate' Celestron Wildlife 15-45x60 scope, and am amazed at how quick it is to get on a bird! I use it mainly between 15-25x, (brace against something above 30x), and its a compact package that weighs around 2.5 pounds!

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Old Monday 14th March 2005, 20:47   #7
zack2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmantra
I have to agree with Jane on the use of shoulder mounts--I purchased a shoulder mount a month ago and use it with a 'cheap but adequate' Celestron Wildlife 15-45x60 scope, and am amazed at how quick it is to get on a bird! I use it mainly between 15-25x, (brace against something above 30x), and its a compact package that weighs around 2.5 pounds!
I've never used a shoulder mount before, and I'm curious about them. What are you using for a mount, and where did you get it? Also, I will be getting a small, light scope but it is angled - does that pretty much rule out the possibility of using a shoulder mount?

Thanks,
Zack
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Old Tuesday 15th March 2005, 00:50   #8
karmantra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zack2
I've never used a shoulder mount before, and I'm curious about them. What are you using for a mount, and where did you get it? Also, I will be getting a small, light scope but it is angled - does that pretty much rule out the possibility of using a shoulder mount?

Thanks,
Zack
Dear Zack: I'm using a Bush Hawk Shoulder mount available through Eagle Optics for 69 USD. It weighs 12 oz. and is infinitely adjustable--I use a straight thru scope (quick for lining up on a bird), but it should work well for an angled scope--it's a matter of adjustment on the mount brace. The web site shows an angled scope being used. Use with a long soft strap to carry, and it's ready to pull up and use!
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