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

What did you see in your binoculars today? (3 Viewers)

A bit of Africa/Asia unexpectedly on my bird feeder today for some breakfast excitement.

A Rose-ringed parakeet, which till now have been seen only in local high trees or flying over, was sitting eating peanuts 10' from the house. Lovely close views through the ever-handy 10x44, they are attractive birds, and actually bigger than the feeder. I crept near to the window and took some phone-photos.
Thankfully only one mute bird, I had a vision of a 100 strong flock visiting at dusk.

Unlike the jackdaws or magpies that tend to make smaller birds wary as they demolish a fat ball, the large green bird had no effect. At least 6 goldfinch vying for the four nijer seed rests, plus the usual suspects on the mixed seed/fatballs/other peanut feeders, and underneath.
I like this thread :t:

I wish I had something more exciting to contribute |:(|

Today was just watching sulphur-crested cockatoos flying about (nice views of those, though), some nasty noisy miners and one distant kookaburra.

Still, I enjoyed the views through my 10x35 EIIs, which are my usual “balcony bins”.

Went to the local park early for some exercise this morning to beat the rain, and took the bins along. Had really nice looks at 4 species of parrots/parakeets - Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, and the typical plague of Monk Parakeets. Nicest experience though was being surrounded by and serenaded by 30-40 Grayish Baywings while getting a bit of exercise done! One of my field guides describes them as sounding like an orchestra tuning and warming up. And it's a great descriptor - a collage of odd whistles and squeaks, starting and stopping randomly, that are never quite in tune with each other but lovely as a whole.
I took a half-hour break from work on my balcony this afternoon, just to see what birds I could spot. Pretty much normal for the most part - some sulphur-crested cockatoos, some rainbow lorikeets and a couple of noisy miner birds, mostly at a distance and mostly on the wing.

But the stars of this afternoon's show were a couple of currawongs having what I took to be a territorial dispute involving a lot of posturing, a lot of chasing and a little bit of biffo (close swoops and pecks). Eventually one of them flew off (in my direction, so I was able to track to quite close overhead). The one I took to be the winner then seemed to posture, making a couple of aerobatic excursions - appearing to show off to another currawong, which I'm guessing was female, which appeared lower down in the tree at the centre of the dispute. If I'm interpreting this right, she wasn't much impressed - turning her back and flying off during the 2nd round of aerobatics.

A good show, I thought. Even though it was at quite a distance from me (in bushland opposite me, the other side of a creek) I could see the whole episode quite clearly. It once again reminded me of all the good qualities of my 10x35 EIIs for this kind of distance viewing.


P.S. As I was finishing this I heard an eastern spinebill. So I went out on the balcony and tracked it flitting around in some trees just near my balcony. I used the 10x35 EIIs again, as they were to hand and because I find Porro-prism binoculars quite good for 'peering through' foliage to get a view of the bird (the separation of the objectives means the view through one tube isn't blocked by the same leaves etc. as the other, giving that impression of 'peering through'). I like the little spinebills and had quite a good view as it flitted about before flying off again.
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RSPB Rainham today. Adult and juvenile hobby hunting with great style for 2-3 hours over the water as we walked around, a real treat to watch them chase and swoop after dragonflies.
Also of note: whinchat, peregrine, barn owl, little egret, buzzard, kestrel, cormorant, pintail, wigeon; and a huge murmuration of starling over the adjacent landfill site, hard to estimate but maybe 1,000-2,000 birds? I've only ever seen the like once before on the high moors of Teesdale.
We just missed seeing a marsh harrier, but did see a lizzard on the decking sunning itself and a frog, no need for the binoculars on those.
Tide was high so didn't walk the estuary path. Rainham is always enjoyable.
We were staring at birds, while some others were staring at us! :king: Most distressing migration watch ever!


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A pair of hobbies hunting insects (moths?), hundreds of European goldfinches, and a few great green woodpeckers.
Binoculars: Zeiss SF 10x42.
Yesterday 7/9
A rare trip out to Titchfield Haven for myself and the wife, our wedding anniversary. Not been for a few years, so a couple of Avocets was a first for us. Also Kingfisher, black tailed Godwits, Redshank, Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Little Egrets, herons, cormorants, buzzards, kestrel various ducks, and terns and gulls, canada geese, barnacle goose, curlew sandpiper and knot. Missed the hobby and the ruff, but had a good 40 minutes watching a young Osprey trying and mostly failing to catch fish.
PS new binos too, Viking Peregrine ED 10x42
This evening: the usual run of sulphur-crested cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets and noisy miners. I did get quite a good view of a little eastern spinebill feeding on a neighbour's grevillea. I saw an Australian magpie seeing off a currawong, and also a crimson rosella - both at a distance where I'd not have been able to ID the magpie nor the rosella without my bins being small and handy (it was all on-the-wing stuff needing rapid tracking) and providing a good clear view against a backlit sky.

Because I'd mentioned them in another thread, I was using my 8x32 FLs and reminding myself of how nice they are. (This was all from my balcony, where I usually use 10x bins because there's a lot going on in the distance. I can't say I lost much if anything with the 8x magnification, though.)

Went hiking with the 7x42 SLC NEU at a local nature preserve; birding was a secondary concern. That said, I saw a few south-bound migrating warblers (Bay-breasted, Pine, Ovenbird, Black & White), various vireos, a Yellow-billed cuckoo, and many of our fall/winter residents. The Nature Preserve is close to the property I manage and similar in terms of ecology, but since it has much less human access, there were far fewer invasive plants, which was good to see ; we constantly fight invasive plants, particularly along our multitude of trails.

This time of year I like to go out after dark and just listen to the migrating birds going south. Supposedly you can tell the difference between species with a recording and whatever. I can't. But Uranus, Saturn, and Mars have been pretty cool as well.

A spotting scope was pretty cool to see the rings of Saturn. Sometimes you can see the birds fly past the moon. Just lovely.
Today I saw a moon crescent, and faintly the rest of the disk.

All of these handheld with a Zeiss Pocket 8x25 from the brightly lit Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

I had a visit from this screechy bread thief today (well, I'm not sure the bread was stolen, but it didn't seem to come from any legitimate source). Had quite a good look through my EII 10x35s and even had time for a photo.



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A flock of long-tailed tits eating berries in a bush---what a pretty little bird---and a huge flock of wood pigeons (a few hundreds of them) eating the seeds behind a sowing machine, along with a few pheasants. Binoculars: Swaro 10x50 SV.
Cormorants, great crested grebes, little egrets and long tailed tits. And a load of ducks and geese. Zeiss Conquest HD 8x32 which I have to say coped really well on a very gloomy early morning.
For the last couple of weeks I've been so busy - well, I'll stop there: just so, so, busy with work. |:S|

One of the few things I've been able to do, just to break things up a bit, is to take short breaks on my balcony and see what I can see of the reserve opposite me (with no time to visit) and the local bird life around me.

I've been quite enjoying a pair (I assume a mated pair) of little Eastern Spinebills which often comes to feed in a bottlebrush between my neighbour's place and mine (close enough to observe even quite small birds). Until, over the last 2-3 days, they keep being driven off by 'something' lurking in the foliage there. It took me a day or so (because it hides deep within foliage even more than the Spinebills tend to) but eventually 'it' had to come out and be visible. Turns out it's a White-Cheeked Honeyeater, though it took me a while to ID.

(While I've nothing against a White-Cheeked Honeyeater - which seems a fine enough little bird - I have a real soft spot for the Eastern Spinebills so seeing them - close-up at least - only through quick "grab and go" raids is a little sad |:(|)

Both breeds of little bird are even harder to photograph than they are to observe (that "hiding in foliage" thing, again), but I have got some shots (you should be able to tell the Spinebill shots from the Honeyeater shots easily enough: just check their photos against their names :t:).



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