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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? (6 Viewers)

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Was lucky enough to catch this Gray Ghost Harrier hunting along the water’s edge.

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Red-flanked Bluetail. It has been hanging around a suburban backyard in New Jersey; fortunately the homeowner is very “birder friendly” and allows folks to stake out. Seen by many but according to my research this is the 1st time this species has been recorded in the eastern USA.
 
Red-flanked Bluetail. It has been hanging around a suburban backyard in New Jersey; fortunately the homeowner is very “birder friendly” and allows folks to stake out. Seen by many but according to my research this is the 1st time this species has been recorded in the eastern USA.
Very nice! I had to go to Finland to see one... singing as an added bonus.
 
Special evening at my local patch today, 6 very active Marsh Harriers as the sun set and the moon rose. One female harrased by one crow, then mobbed by half a dozen or so. She took refuge on a a tree on "comorant island" a rather small muddy lump in the moddle of the lake. The branch was rather thin and she spent five minutes swaying and hanging on for dear life! At one point a female and two juveniles sat in another tree, all with wings outstretched until a male chased them away. All with in 10 minutes walk of home. A couple of Cetti's warblers were singing as I walked back in the twitlight
 
I really don't have time for birdwatching lately. Today after several days of rain some sun came out and I went out with the pram to put my youngest daughter to sleep. In a quarter of an hour, in addition to the local buzzards, I saw seven migrating buzzards, three golden eagles, one of which was young, a red kite and a peregrine, I think a male.
 
Went on a local bird tour and we saw two massive eagles eating a fish, one of them appeared to be one of the biggest bald eagles I've ever seen. They were right across a tidal creek only about 100 yards away.

I think I'm not cut out to be a real birder. Been trying for several years now, I am more interested in watching huge eagles for a half hour than ticking off species of ducks that are 1 mile out in the ocean it seems. :) I did see a dozen species of ducks & seabirds, but I don't even care to look through a spotting scope to tick off a few more in the distance, I'd rather watch the closer ones.
 
That may because you are more interested in the birds than accumulating “points”.

I share your priorities.

I would much rather have watched a great blue heron capture a huge bullfrog than brood about never having seen a Purple-rumped Gadabout.
 
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That may because you are more interested in the birds than accumulating “points”.

I share your priorities.

I would much rather have watched a great blue heron capture a huge bullfrog than brood about never having seen a Purple-rumped Gadabout.

Do you mean Purple-rumped Sunbird? :)

Today I observed male and female Hooded Merganser at a small lake on my way to work.
 
A couple of stories from last year: we watched a Great Blue Heron catch such a large fish that we worried whether it could get it down. It actually took about five minutes of tossing around to get rotated 90° and into just the right position, and the subsequent gyrations of the throat as it worked its way down must surely have been uncomfortable at least. But it worked. We had to wonder what would have happened had the fish been a little bigger.

Another time in the same vicinity we saw a Belted Kingfisher catch a lovely silvery fish, fly up to a high branch on the shore of the pond, start to work it around... and drop it. Of course it could just have flown to the ground and picked it up again, but apparently there's no instinct to do that. We did wonder what was going through its mind. (Most likely bins: SLC HD 10x42, FL 10x32.)

Meanwhile, more unusual birds could have flown right by us and we'd never have noticed.
 
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Went on a local bird tour and we saw two massive eagles eating a fish, one of them appeared to be one of the biggest bald eagles I've ever seen. They were right across a tidal creek only about 100 yards away.

I think I'm not cut out to be a real birder. Been trying for several years now, I am more interested in watching huge eagles for a half hour than ticking off species of ducks that are 1 mile out in the ocean it seems. :) I did see a dozen species of ducks & seabirds, but I don't even care to look through a spotting scope to tick off a few more in the distance, I'd rather watch the closer ones.
I 'get' your POV completely. I am a birder (lister, ticker, occasionally twitcher) but really I'm a slooow birder and easily distracted by observing birds or nature in general. It's how I started and the 'listing' came later - but hopefully will never take over my priorities. In practice it means that I'm not someone to go on a big tour and I generally prefer to bird alone or with wife/one or two close friends.

Today I watched two Red-tailed Hawks, perched together in a tree, occasionally foraying out to examine something in the pasture below. I could watch raptors all day :p
 
This saturday, went out to a park I hadn't visited before, some 17 minutes away by train and another 10 minute walk after that.
Brought my 8x32 victory SF and 10x42 IS canon binoculars. It was my first time taking both out at the same time, and the experience was fairly illuminating.

There was a kingfisher in a small pond in the park, and several people were already there taking photos/video of it with their cameras and telephoto lenses. For the kingfisher, which was fairly close, I preferred the 8x32 SF, as the view remained mostly stable and the wider field of vew allowed me to track the kingfisher and watch it while it dove to catch fish and shrimp. The view from the 10x42 IS canon was a bit superior when looking at the kingfisher sitting on a branch, but with the narrower FOV I couldn't track it whenever it would dive for food, and watching a kingfisher dive and catch food is so entertaining that I hate to miss it.

The canons were clearly better for viewing small birds like Japanese greenfinches up at the tops of trees.

It was nice having 2 pairs of binoculars there to share one with my girlfriend when she wasn't taking photos with her little zoom lens camera. Also shared the canon briefly with a passerby who came by and was looking at the kingfisher. The biggest problem is really just the weight. I've been using a tote bag but I think it's time I look for a good backpack.
 
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Last Saturday we also travelled to a possible birding spot, Heisinger Aue, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ruhr, Germany, by train. I found this place by using birdingplaces.eu website, which was kindly introduced to me by our well-known BF member @yarrellii. This place is the closest place to me (within 20 km of my city) that is marked as "Worth a detour" on the website. Since it is a wetland area we took Canon 12x36 IS iii, SFL 10x40 as well as Monarch 7 8x30. I bought these canons around two years ago however, this is the second time I have taken them out for birding.

That visit was a fruitful experience. We saw more than 15 bird species while two of them were lifers to me (Tufted Ducks and Green-Winged Teal). Following are the photos of them captured using Canon 12x36 IS iii and iPhone SE 2020.

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The other important sighting was the breeding colonies of Gray Herons and Great Cormorants. The birdingplaces.eu website also reported, "There is a big Grey Heron colony, 70 - 80 breeding pairs raise their offspring here every year, and Great Cormorant also breeds in the area". My wife was so excited to see the large number of Gray Herons and their nesting behaviours. We roughly counted around 50 Gray Herons and 25 Great Cormorants. The picture of Great Cormorant was captured using Canon 12x36 IS iii and iPhone SE 2020 and Gray Herons using SFL 10x40 and iPhone SE 2020.

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The other birds we saw were Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Eurasian Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Carrion Crows, Blackbirds, Gulls, and Blue and Great Tits.
 
Got the Chinese Egret, White-bellied Swiftlet, Long-tailed Parakeet, Oriental Darter, Dollarbird, Bold-striped Tit-Babbler, Collared Kingfisher, Large-tailed Nightjar, Buffy Fish Owl, Common Sandpiper and Brown-throated Sunbird.

On bird survey trip until the 2nd March

Bold-striped Tit-Babbler taken with Swarovski Optik ATC56 spotting scope + VPA 2 adapter + smartphone

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