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Scope kit for Malaysia advice request

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Old Wednesday 16th March 2005, 02:24   #1
Humboldt Jim
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Location: Eureka, California, USA
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Question Scope kit for Malaysia advice request

My wife and I are planning a trip to Malaysia in July so I am seeking advice on optics accessories. Bins are a given and my scope will be a Pentax 65mm. The question is whether to bring a tripod (190MF3) or Brushhawk shoulder pod, or both? The Brushhawk would be used with an eyepiece yielding about 20x.

We plan to visit Taman Negara and other natural areas using river access. The one situation where I might wish I had a tripod would be tidal areas when looking for "peeps" and nifty birds like Spoonbill sandpiper.

This will not be a pure birding trip so if someone could point me towads some regional guides I'd appreciate that too.
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Old Wednesday 16th March 2005, 09:49   #2
Edward woodwood

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I'd use a shoulder pod at Taman Negara - a beautiful place but not designed for scopes!!!

or maybe just stick with bins (this is what i actually did when i was there...)

a tripod could be useful but only on rare occasions - i didn't miss any forest birds due to not having one i don't think

for the flats it's very useful, but i made do with my bins - you often get much closer to birds over book to take
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Old Wednesday 16th March 2005, 15:20   #3
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I visited Taman Negara in 1986. I imagine that much has changed since then, both for the better (logistics of getting to the park were not simple back then, and there was very little info about where to go within the park) and for the worse (the continuing destruction of the rain forest outside the park boundaries). After staying overnight at a dorm in the park HQ, I set out with an Australian couple that I met and we hiked about 6 hours to spend the night in a blind. It was the first time I had been in a rainforest, and it was overwhelming -- the sheer amount of noise, the huge scale of so many trees and plants (and bugs and worms!). Amusingly, the Australians were most impressed by the fireflies -- common for me, but they had never seen them before. I was not an experienced birder at the time (still no expert), and I don't think I saw a single bird during the entire two day hike - lots of exotic calls, but the canopy was so dense it was nearly impossible to actually see anything. I remember the understory being fairly open, and I don't think that using a tripod would present a problem (if you're willing to carry the extra weight) -- I just don't think you'd have many opportunities to use it.

One tip - I was there in late Spring and some of the trail surfaces were covered with leeches. There were no warnings about this anywhere at the Park HQ and I'd never seen these sorts of leeches before, so it took some time and a couple of bites before I realized what they were. Wear boots that cover your ankles, tuck long pants into them, and put some insecticide around the bottom of the pants legs.

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Old Wednesday 16th March 2005, 16:18   #4
Humboldt Jim
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Thumbs up Malasian scope advice

Thanks Zack and Tim.

I think that the Brushhawk should also work well in the forests here on the northcoast of California. I'd like to see a closer view of a marbled muralett zooming into the top of a Redwood 150 feet up and "stallling" onto its nest perch.
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