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Ocular question (1 Viewer)

I_A_N

Active member
Germany
Hi guys,

This year I will be starting to do some volunteer work with the LBV here in southern Germany and find myself looking to buy a scope which I can use for bird monitoring ect.

I have never owned or used a scope but after reading loads of posts here I am tending towards getting the Meopta MeoStar S2 82 HD or the Nikon monarch.
My question is which Ocular would be better for monitoring the wide angle or normal ocular?

cheers, Ian
 
Last edited:

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
Hi Ian,

A few questions which may assist with answering your query; What genus of birds will you be monitoring? Which habitats? What distance? Time of day? Static or walking between survey areas? Are you just undertaking count or behavioural data or will you need to read rings or identify individuals of the same species? Do you wear glasses?

I use a scope for vantage point surveys at work, and utilise a 30x wide lens, sufficient power to establish identification in most cases but critically, easy to use for long periods of time too.

Cheers, Dan
 

I_A_N

Active member
Germany
Hi Dan,

thankyou for your time.
The scope will be mainly used for waterfowl monitoring in the morning and evening, I will also be covering an area where Hen harriers roost.
I will not be moving around to much.

I am not sure if I will be reading ring in the future but individuals will need counting.
I do wear glasses, but just for reading.

I am looking towards a 20 or 30-60 wide angle ocular after reading a lot over the last couple of days, but now I am lost at which scope I should buy🙈

cheers, Ian
 
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dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
Hi Ian, no problem whatsoever.

The monitoring sounds great - my partners family live in Bavaria, and I've been fortunate to visit them a few times. Goshawk is fairly common in the forest nearby, and one spring afternoon I remember I had a male Hen harrier drift over - wonderful to see. I want to go back in the winter at some stage, as I was fortunate to hear a calling Pygmy owl early one morning - not so easy to see in the spring though!

I'm afraid I may not be best placed to comment much further, as I have not viewed through either of the Meopta or Nikon scopes, however their relative merits have been discussed previously;
Nikon
Meopta

Apologies if you have already read these during your research. Both scopes seem to be very highly regarded, though perhaps the Meopta is used by more people, possibly accounting for more threads on that particular scope. Both scopes offer WA zoom options, which also seem to be recommended. The Meopta has the option of the 20-70x zoom, which perhaps gives more versatility due to the lower power (useful for scanning larger areas) and the additional bit of magnification at the top end.
The standard bit of advice I'd give would be to test them and pick the one that works best for you, but probably not possible/a great idea at present.
I'm unsure of your budget, but the obvious recommendation to consider would be a Swarovski ATX 85, which would gather a bit more light than either scope whilst not being totally unwieldy, with the bonus of purchasing the 1.7x adapter at a later stage if you need a bit more power.

Hopefully somebody who has used the scopes can chip in with a more useful bit of advice, but don't forget that you will also need a good quality tripod to make the most of your scope!
 

I_A_N

Active member
Germany
Thanks again for all this information Dan,
over here is everything closed because of lockdown so I have just ordered the S2, which I can also send back if I am not happy.
Down here at the moment we also have a lot of divers like the red-throated, black-throated and red-necked grebe over the winter. Really great to see.
 

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
Enjoy it, I'm sure you will be happy with it - don't forget to post some thoughts on it once you've had time to use it for a while.

Good birding!
 

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