I am pleased to find this forum for several reasons. First, I am new to this activity and the forum represents a huge base of knowledge. So far I have a modest pair of binoculars (8x42) and a notebook. I am very lucky because I live near the Essex Wildlife trust sites on the Colne and at Abberton, plus the Stour at Manningtree is within striking distance. There is another thread in this forum which interests me, which is sound recording. I've acquired a recorder and would like to make little sound essays of what I see. Of course it's only when you come to do it you realise how much is involved. The editing software is a nightmare! Recording sound has taught me the things I enjoy (running water, footsteps, bird calls) and the things I detest - principally the internal combustion engine. I have access to a smallholding with a variety of animals on it and I'm going to see if I can't record the sounds of visiting birds - that's if I can distinguish them from the geese, chickens and pigs. Thanks for reading.