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What did you see in your binoculars today?

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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 08:03   #76
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A few days ago I was standing on an observation tower in Southern Germany freezing in a biting wind that was carrying small lumps of hail and stung my face like buckshot. I was overlooking a small marsh and hoping for a glimpse of the Marsh Harrier I had seen about half an hour earlier although in that wind it felt like it was hours ago. Marsh Tits and Long-tailed Tits provided some distraction but then it happened.

The wind dropped, the sun emerged and a group of 4 small birds dropped out of the sky and landed in the reeds but were perfectly visible so I lifted my binos to take a peek and my jaw nearly hit the deck. They looked just like miniature Red-backed Shrikes and while I gasped an alert to my companion their name swam into my dazed head: Penduline Tits! I have searched for these in Southern France but never found them and my companion was muttering to me how rare they are to be seen on migration like this in Germany.

So a lifer for me and what beautiful birds they are but when the sun hid behind the clouds again they took off in a tight group and headed South-West. What a treat and completely unexpected.


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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 17:14   #77
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Lee, lovely encounter and lovely account. :)

Today, while watching a bunch of flamingos and waders (Common sandpiper, Common redshank, plovers) I was complaining to my birdwatching partner how there are few duck/geese species in Ibiza, we barely get mallards and Common shellducks «as standard»... and out of the blue, the first time ever I see a garganey (Anas querquedula). It was already 11 AM, so the sun was relatively high and there was quite a bit of reflections in the water, but their striking plummage, with a thick white stripe across the eye just shone. Never seen them around here, and, for what I read, a pretty rare sight :) I was lucky to had the Nikon E (C) 12x40 and, since I was inside a hide, I had plenty of support, lovely view!
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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 19:57   #78
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Thanks Yarellii and didn't you do well yourself? A Garganey is special anywhere!

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Old Monday 25th March 2019, 18:44   #79
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Dog-walk birdwatch at dusk; heading west back home with the orange-pink light of the sunset I cross a field full of Asphodellus aestivus, a plant whose tall flower somehow remembers a asparagus and which always seems to me a bit oneiric. I stop for a second to hear the somewhat metallic call of the Sardinian warbler and the equally somewhat metallic call of the Stonechat, both birds fly restlessly from stalk to stalk. But what catches my eye is what I think for a minute to be a new species, with quite a cryptic plumage. After closer inspection (and after checking google back home) I see that its a juvenile stonechat (the first impression very vaguely reminded me of an accentor). A quick shot through the 7x42 FLs (yes, I know, the stonechat appears pretty small, but you get the feeling )
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Old Monday 25th March 2019, 21:42   #80
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Stunning view of a Little Owl this morning.

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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 03:34   #81
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Yarrellii,
Your picture has a nice feel to it, I like it.
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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10:20   #82
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Something different today by viewing tonight for which I had my two most low light worthy binoculars with me being a 7x42 roof and hefty 7x50 IF porro.
While peering around in the dark with the porro I came across something much too close for the range it was set for and after some quick fumbling with the IF there was a lovely Tawny Frogmouth. At that stage I swapped over to the 7x42 for ease of focus and watched as the bird slowly peered around cocking it's head in different positions to survey the area. After a change of vantage point by which doing so swooped down past my position and up to another perch for short stay then off into the night.
Prior to this I had been watching the afternoon routine of some local parrots and as darkness fell a procession of Flying Foxes (and mosquitoes).
Overall a nice bit of something different and fun squeezing every available amount of light gathering ability from the binoculars.
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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10:26   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkWGriswold View Post
Stunning view of a Little Owl this morning.

Rich
Sounds great, I've been keen to do some owl searching (Ninox).
Had to look that one up quickly (Little Owl). An introduced species in your parts and also in NZ a short swim from me.
Mind you it's the rabbits that you've really got to look out for.

Last edited by F88 : Tuesday 26th March 2019 at 10:31.
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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 10:50   #84
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Yarrellii,
Your picture has a nice feel to it, I like it.
Thanks, if you've ever tried to handlheld a smartphone against a binocular eyepiece you know how lousy that usually is... that says a lot about the particular ambient light in the Asphodelus field :) (well, and probably also about the glass on the 7x42 FL )
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Old Tuesday 26th March 2019, 11:01   #85
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Originally Posted by yarrellii View Post
Thanks, if you've ever tried to handlheld a smartphone against a binocular eyepiece you know how lousy that usually is... that says a lot about the particular ambient light in the Asphodelus field :) (well, and probably also about the glass on the 7x42 FL )
I first viewed the image on my phone and now on my tablet, it had occurred to me upon both viewings that you were likely handholding both the binoculars and the phone which I quite like really as it adds to the feel of the image. As you've pointed out not the easiest thing to do and while I've never tried imagine it to be so.
The colour and lighting reproduced by your phone (and binoculars) are quite pleasing. The 7x42 FL is a bin I've never tried but always wanted to, by all reports wonderful binoculars.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 05:48   #86
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Just now a frolicking pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles through my 8x32's. What a treat.
Using the EDG 8x32 is like coming home, haven't used them much recently but I'm always impressed when I do.

Last edited by F88 : Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 07:21.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 13:46   #87
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Long Tailed Tits, right outside the first floor office windows, maybe 15' away, picking the spring buds off trees (under which I've hung feeders). 10x44 brought them really close
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 14:50   #88
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Today I've seen the first house martin of the season! It's always a special moment; I was watching a collared dove through my binoculars when a house martin just crossed my FOV like a flash. Impossible to miss it with its white rump.
Coincidentally, a lovely swallow sat on the cable right outside my window this morning (I saw the first one two weeks ago; now I'm just waiting for the first swift of the year). At first I've stood still watching it through the window glass, but then I've opened the window very slowly and carefully to enjoy a better view, trying not to disturbe the bird. This picture is not taken through the binoculars, but using the smartphone on the scope eyepiece. I am not sure if the bird was unaware of my presence (I find it hard to believe), but apparently it couldn't care less.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 15:34   #89
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Four Goshawks.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 20:03   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F88 View Post
Sounds great, I've been keen to do some owl searching (Ninox).
Had to look that one up quickly (Little Owl). An introduced species in your parts and also in NZ a short swim from me.
Mind you it's the rabbits that you've really got to look out for.
Cracking birds F88. Lucky enough to see 3 in the last week. Those White-bellied Sea Eagles you saw take me right back to our trip to WA. A superb place.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 22:30   #91
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Yarrellii,

Another nice tricky photo.
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Old Wednesday 27th March 2019, 22:42   #92
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Cracking birds F88. Lucky enough to see 3 in the last week. Those White-bellied Sea Eagles you saw take me right back to our trip to WA. A superb place.

Rich
Sounds fantastic. No owls for me currently but I spotted the same Tawny Frogmouth perched in the same place last nice.
Beautiful eagles indeed and a pair no less. Apparently their nest was reasonably close to the area I was viewing them in thick coastline forest with steep hills and cliffs. It was commented that this nest is the size of a car although I haven't yet sighted it as it was getting later on and the partially vague directions I was given to access a reasonable view were beyond me for the afternoon.
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Old Friday 29th March 2019, 18:10   #93
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Finally here: the swifts. I think swifts have to be my favourite bird (ok, maybe together with the artic tern). They don't fly in the air; I think they are the air :)
Just three weeks ago we got the first swallow, a couple of days ago I saw the first house martin, and today we finally have the swifts.

Walking back home I looked up and thought... "well, now that's a lot of swallows"... only they were not. A swift look (pun intended) through the E2's and I took this picture (with some stray light coming from the back... which actually I kind of like in the image).

Any other swift fans around?
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Old Friday 29th March 2019, 19:38   #94
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Sounds fantastic. No owls for me currently but I spotted the same Tawny Frogmouth perched in the same place last nice.
Beautiful eagles indeed and a pair no less. Apparently their nest was reasonably close to the area I was viewing them in thick coastline forest with steep hills and cliffs. It was commented that this nest is the size of a car although I haven't yet sighted it as it was getting later on and the partially vague directions I was given to access a reasonable view were beyond me for the afternoon.
I think my brother has seen then in his Melbourne garden.
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Old Friday 29th March 2019, 19:46   #95
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Finally here: the swifts. I think swifts have to be my favourite bird (ok, maybe together with the artic tern). They don't fly in the air; I think they are the air :)
Just three weeks ago we got the first swallow, a couple of days ago I saw the first house martin, and today we finally have the swifts.

Walking back home I looked up and thought... "well, now that's a lot of swallows"... only they were not. A swift look (pun intended) through the E2's and I took this picture (with some stray light coming from the back... which actually I kind of like in the image).

Any other swift fans around?

You bet. Me and Troubadoris are great fans of Swifts and we love to hear their joyful voices drifting down from the skies. When the young are on the wing they will often join together in groups and when swooping around buildings if they meet another group swooping in the opposite direction they call loudly as they pass and to us it seems like they are full of excitement and joy. OK I am anthropomorphising but no apologies this time.

When they are gone the sky seems really empty. A big thrill in the south of France was to see Common Swift, Apline Swift, Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow and Crag Martin all on the wing together at the same time! Wow.

Lee
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Old Saturday 30th March 2019, 12:10   #96
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Today, my wife and I saw some black crowned night herons tucked away in a set of trees near an overpass close to the Mandarin Oriental and Anacostia River. Probably about 30 of them, in the evening near sunset, right there in the the city, and in a part of the world where we seeing one of these guys is a not too frequent occurrence.
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Old Sunday 31st March 2019, 17:29   #97
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First UK Swallow of the year over the oak trees at the bottom of our back garden! YAY!

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Old Sunday 31st March 2019, 17:43   #98
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First UK Swallow of the year over the oak trees at the bottom of our back garden! YAY!
Yeeeehaw!! That moment of the year :) I think it is because of these moments that we watch birds.

Over here I've been intrigued by an unknown (to me ) little passerine that "has been appearing" on my binoculars for the last few days, it is a tiny bird that makes a little tweet each time it flaps its wings on its undulating flight, and today I solved the mystery: a Zitting cisticola! Happy as a hippo :)
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Old Sunday 31st March 2019, 20:01   #99
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Yeeeehaw!! That moment of the year :) I think it is because of these moments that we watch birds.

Over here I've been intrigued by an unknown (to me ) little passerine that "has been appearing" on my binoculars for the last few days, it is a tiny bird that makes a little tweet each time it flaps its wings on its undulating flight, and today I solved the mystery: a Zitting cisticola! Happy as a hippo :)
Nice. Saw Fan-tailed Warbler on Mallorca many years ago. A charismatic background to visits to Albufera and Albufereta.

Lee
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Old Monday 1st April 2019, 18:19   #100
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I think my bird feeders are paying off, up the garden tonight was a Coal Tit.
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