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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

4 weeks tropical birding with the Zeiss SFL 8x30 (1 Viewer)

How to avoid this: a) buy a big coat with lots of pockets (one of my favourites has seven pockets that are plenty big enough for my really bad binoculars but was thrown away by my mum who declared it was too old)

b) stick everything in your pockets

c) if you still manage to get something stolen, then props to them. They deserve it.
 
The UN uses 'less economically developed countries.'
I guess that could be used for certain inner cities in the states. We could say ‘less economically developed parts of town. At one point they were developed, but then for some reason they were destroyed.

I’m so amazed and at awe of some of you that travel to these less economically developed countries and have no issues , except having some confiscated.

I’m a RE broker in NY and travel to some less economically developed areas for my job. I don’t have equipment and dress accordingly not to attract attention. There are multiple times a year that if I wasn’t (legally) armed , at the very least I’d be robbed, at worst not make it home.

Yet I always bring one binocular , usually the Vortex Viper and when I get chance to pull over and do a little glassing of the city skyline , or someone’s flock of pigeons is still a nice break in the day. I’ve lost optics , but never had one stolen.
In my early days of tropical birding, when on a very low budget and staying in very basic places, I used to take my bins out with me when going to restaurants etc in case of a room break-in. I stopped doing this when I left a pair of Leitz (as they were then) in a restaurant In Kathmandu. Fortunately someone came running out with them in theirs hands to return them to me. I am pleased to say that in about two years in total in LEDCs I have never had any optics stolen although I am worried enough that I usually take a pair of 8 x 20s as emergency back-ups just in case in whatever the economic level of the country.

I suspect the SFLs will be my next binocular. Love the low weight and the optics sound great without the price tag being as outrageous as some other new bins. Hoping my FLs last a few more years though.

On the insurance front, my insurance does cover car break in as long as they were in the boot.
 
I guess that could be used for certain inner cities in the states. We could say ‘less economically developed parts of town. At one point they were developed, but then for some reason they were destroyed.
A fairly regularly wander around a park in one of the 'less affluent' areas of the town I live in with about £5000 worth of gear hanging off me. I've never had the slightest issues but I have lots of chats with interested locals.

Re the foreign travel I wouldn't wander around the centre of, for example, J'burg with gear on show but I more or less never think about it.
 
Getting a car broken into is a beach / tourist area parking lot phenomenon the world over and has very little to do with what country you're in. N=1 but I've spent like 1/4 of my life in Latin America and have had fewer incidences of robbery / car break in per unit of time there than I have in the US and Europe.
 
Getting a car broken into is a beach / tourist area parking lot phenomenon the world over and has very little to do with what country you're in. N=1 but I've spent like 1/4 of my life in Latin America and have had fewer incidences of robbery / car break in per unit of time there than I have in the US and Europe.
I don't like politicizing threads, but here I am doing it... ugh.

I've traveled repeatedly (work related) to the poorest areas of Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, etc... and never had any safety issues or been robbed. In fact, I've done stupid things like leave a shoulder bag in a small eatery and had a total stranger chase me down the street and bring it out to me.

I'll add that poverty does not always equate with lack of motivation, pride, or culture. One time as a friend and I were walking home from a worksite in Haiti where we had been drilling holes in concrete beams over our heads (and were thus covered in gray dust and dirt), an impecably dressed skinny old woman sharply spoke to us (in Creole) as we passed each other. My friend broke out laughing and finally translated that she had chastised us for not having cleaned up before going home. On Haitian jobsites the guys would change at the jobsite, then strip and wash down with a bucketful of clean water, before donning their 'street' clothes for the walk/bus home. We stupid Americuns didn't have the self-respect to know any better!

I'm sure there are statistics correlating poverty and crime. But it's not always fair to generalize...

 
I’m so amazed and at awe of some of you that travel to these less economically developed countries and have no issues , except having some confiscated.
I have traveled a lot to poor countries (or "low income countries", to use world bank's terms) in the past two decades, work related mostly, and that bags in Costa Rica (a "upper middle income country", btw.) are the first things that ever have been stolen from me. And even that - while sad that my SFL is gone - was just a minor hassle and some money lost after all. So I'm counting myself quite lucky overall, and also things arn't that bad in most places when using some common sense, as many here have said.
 
"Where Costa Rica had previously been just a pass-through for northbound cocaine from Colombian and Mexican cartels, authorities say it is now a warehousing and transshipment point for drugs sent to Europe by homegrown Costa Rican gangs."

"LIMON, Costa Rica (AP) — In this colorful Caribbean port, where cruise ship passengers are whisked to jungle adventures in Costa Rica’s interior, locals try to be home by dark and police patrol with high-caliber guns in the face of soaring drug violence. Costa Rica logged a record 657 homicides last year, and Limon – with a homicide rate five times the national average -- was the epicenter. The bloodshed in a country better known for its laid-back, “it’s all good” outlook and its lack of a standing army has stirred a public outcry as the administration of President Rodrigo Chaves scrambles for answers."

"The U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica recently issued a new security alert for Costa Rica due to “increasing levels of crime, particularly violent crime, in Costa Rica and specifically San Jose.” For this reason, the Embassy would like to remind you of the importance of personal safety and situational awareness,” the advisory reads."

“Stay alert to your surroundings.? Leave the area if you do not feel safe. Maintain a low profile in public and avoid going out alone, especially after dark. Avoid excessive jewelry, electronics, and carrying and flashing large sums of cash,” the warning reads."


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Pride and culture are the ones missing in many crime areas.
yes, you must be talking about the White House or Capitol building in DC of course! or the EU Parliament.

It's true about common sense, you always have to remember how elusive it can be for some people. One of my best friends had his car robbed in Manhattan in the 90's, right outside his office building, when he went inside. "I lost three suits and my laptop" he whined. I was like, where were they? Hanging in a plastic bag in the back seat, in plain view next to the laptop bag.

We grew up near NYC, somehow he didn't learn common sense like the rest of us. btw fearmongering about Mexico and Costa Rica is very common in the corporate media these days, because they're afraid of us leaving. The baby boomer generation in particular is starting to chose to live in those countries which have large and growing expat communities.

A couple I know moved to Mexico, just south of Tijijuana, to be near family in San Diego recently because my friend couldn't get the pain medication she needed in the US and the cost of her health care was much cheaper. As the cost of living continues to soar, many people are choosing to leave the high cost of living countries. Here in Massachusetts I pay high taxes and the roads and infrastructure are 3rd-world. So is the health care system IMO. In many ways it's worse than 3rd world.

Also know a group of retired friends that go to Mexico for dental care, even though it's 3,000 miles away.
 
yes, you must be talking about the White House or Capitol building in DC of course! or the EU Parliament.

It's true about common sense, you always have to remember how elusive it can be for some people. One of my best friends had his car robbed in Manhattan in the 90's, right outside his office building, when he went inside. "I lost three suits and my laptop" he whined. I was like, where were they? Hanging in a plastic bag in the back seat, in plain view next to the laptop bag.

We grew up near NYC, somehow he didn't learn common sense like the rest of us. btw fearmongering about Mexico and Costa Rica is very common in the corporate media these days, because they're afraid of us leaving. The baby boomer generation in particular is starting to chose to live in those countries which have large and growing expat communities.

A couple I know moved to Mexico, just south of Tijijuana, to be near family in San Diego recently because my friend couldn't get the pain medication she needed in the US and the cost of her health care was much cheaper. As the cost of living continues to soar, many people are choosing to leave the high cost of living countries. Here in Massachusetts I pay high taxes and the roads and infrastructure are 3rd-world. So is the health care system IMO. In many ways it's worse than 3rd world.
Same here in NY.
Also know a group of retired friends that go to Mexico for dental care, even though it's 3,000 miles away.
Dental care is like 80% less in Mexico.
 
Sorry guys but health care is not a good example: you are being robbed blind in the US.

To go back to the subject of thread, I just came back from 2 weeks in eastern europe: hiking and sea. I had the Curio 7x21 and the SFL 8x40.
I used the Curio most because they fit in a pocket but the conclusion of the trip is that I should have taken the SFL 8x30: great view, compact, lightweight?
 
Any updates about the tropical birding? And I just go about thinking the best of people. May not be good, but that's my current mindset and so far nothing's happened.
 

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Not sure what's the question? Anyway, here some more impressions about the birding ;)
That 3rd photo from the left on the top looks like Monteverde. The 4th photo from the left on the bottom is the rare Resplendent Quetzal. You probably saw him, in Monteverde. Did you see any big Crocs?
 
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Hi Dennis, we did go to Monteverde, but the pic is from La Selva Biological Station (one of the best places of the trip). The last 6 pics are from San Gerado de Dota (another favourite spot). And yes, we did see both Caimans (in Caño Negro) and Crocs (at the Tarcoles bridge).

Edit: To see the Quetzal was my daugher's dream, and we finally managed to see six birds in one tree on our last day in Monteverde. In San Gerado de Dota they were then surprisingly easy to see, twice we saw some from restaurant terraces. My daughter counted 16 individuals in total. :love:
 
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Hi Dennis, we did go to Monteverde, but the pic is from La Selva Biological Station (one of the best places of the trip). The last 6 pics are from San Gerado de Dota (another favourite spot). And yes, we did see both Caimans (in Caño Negro) and Crocs (at the Tarcoles bridge).
Did you see any huge Crocs at Tarcoles? You probably saw Sloths, Howlers and Coatimundi. The Coatimundi wait along the road in places, waiting to be fed by travelers. We stopped to see one once and I got of the car for a picture, and he started coming towards me looking for a handout. It surprised me. The road to Monteverde is the roughest road I have seen in my life. Good thing for rental cars.
 
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Yes, there were some big crocs, the biggest maybe 3-4 m. And indeed plenty of wildlife, and often easy to see. We saw all 4 monkey species, the 2 sloth sp, Coati, Racoon, Humpback Whales, White Tent-making Bat and other bats, several snakes, iguanas of course, plenty of colorful frogs, green turtles, and 282 bird species. Amazing place! The road to Monteverde was good, no problem to drive (probably they have improved the roads since you went last time?).
 
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