Thursday, 30 May 2013

Iscoping revisited.

Today I decided to pay a visit to a nearby nature reserve. Conditions were not favourable. It was overcast and raining quite heavily. I decided to take my Opticron GS52 GA ED scope with me. It really isn't a chore carrying it around. As light values were so poor, I decided for the first time to use the 40809 HDF Eyepiece. This gives a magnification of 18x on this scope, and being a fixed magnification eyepiece should maximise light transmission. To say that the image using this eyepiece impressed me, would be seriously understating the situation. When I looked through the scope with this eyepiece attached, I just thought, Wow! A very bright image and to my eye, it seemed sharp edge to edge. Now, as always I had my iPhone in my pocket. Even in these overcast dull conditions with the rain belting down I felt that the light transmission through this little 52mm objective lens was good enough to try some impromptu iscoping. When you click the link and the video starts playing, click the cog shaped icon at the bottom of the screen and ensure you are viewing in HD.I tried stills and video. The results of which can be seen by clicking the link below.

Youtube. Click Here to view in HD


The quality of the video in particular has really impressed me. Now I cannot wait to try iscoping with this little scope and 18x eyepiece in bright ideal conditions. I'm quite excited by the possibilities.

Opticron have also announced the imminent release of dedicated smartphone adaptors. This can only improve the overall end result. I look forward to their release.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Start of the Bank Holiday

Stayed local all weekend. To be honest, it's been really quiet around my local haunts. The highlight being a year tick of a Cetti's Warbler at Dosthill reserve. I really like the Dosthill side of the RSPB reserve. Can't wait for the planned bridge to join Middleton and Dosthill sides together. Hope it happens soon? We seem to have been waiting a long time.

Anyway, the Black Headed Gulls are well into breeding mode. All prime nesting sites are occupied.


Tried to get some pictures of resting Grebes out on the water. This is the best I could do in the available light and distance involved.

I have mentioned before the strange looking geese I encountered this past winter. One on the Tame in Tamworth, the other at Kingsbury Water Park. Well, Spring has seem them both change venue. Both have now met up on the Tame at Dosthill.

I now believe these are Canada/Greylag Hybrids.



So, even though it's been quiet on the year tick front, there is still plenty of interest about.

Borrowpit Lake is also holding a few Spring youngsters. This Gosling was really enjoying the Sun on its back.


I hope,we see more of the Sunshine. Today is Bank holiday Monday, and it's windy and cold. Rain forecast for rest of week. Went for a quick walk this evening, needed a fleece and wooly hat, at the end of May!

This unseasonably cold weather is affecting the movement of our birds. I have yet to hear a Grasshopper Warbler locally this year. Surely one must show soon?

It has been very pleasant having a couple of warm sunny days. Taz and I found looking for Grashopper Warblers thirsty work. So, we have started indulging in a post birding pint. Very welcome it is too. Who knows how many we will have to drink in our search for local birds? Lets hope the sun comes back soon, and we can again get thirsty in the heat.



Monday, 20 May 2013

The weekend

Stayed local all weekend. On arriving home from work on Friday, I noticed a Temminck's Stint reported at Branston Gravel Pits. I whistled up Taz, we jumped in the car and headed off. Half hour later, we arrived at the pits and headed towards the new workings.

It was a fair old walk. But on arrival some guys were already in position with scopes trained on the Temminck's. one of the guys told me to get a view now through his scope as the Stint was very mobile. I did this, got some good views of the bird and thanked him for his generosity.

So, a life tick to start the weekend in the form of a Temminck's Stint.

Saturday found Pete and I wandering the Moors. It turned out to be a quiet morning. I also checked out around Alvecote on Saturday evening, but nothing new much to mention.

Sunday morning I met up with Jon and we roamed around Dosthill reserve. Again, quiet!

Sunday evening Pete and I went to Kingsbury water Park. We walked up to the canal and headed for the Dog and Doublet on what was a pleasant bright and warm evening. On route to the pub, I even managed some decent photographs.

Sitting outside the pub on this warm evening was very therapeutic, and all thoughts of tomorrow's impending start of the working week seemed a long way off. Even Taz enjoyed stretching out on the grass waiting for some Guinness.


She enjoyed her share.


Nothing really to report except a good walk, good company and a good pint. Happy Days!


OPTICRON take customer service SERIOUSLY!

Where to begin? As some of you know, I am an Opticron devotee and use their equipment for all my birding. I pay full price and have no other affiliation to Opticron other than being a customer. I use Opticron products because in my opinion, the optical difference between Opticron's top of the range products and Alpha glass is minimal. I have spent countless hours at bird-fairs, optical dealers and in the field with fellow birders using Opticron equipment side by side with the top flight offerings. I stand by my statement that image quality from Opticron is up there with the best.

When I started this blog I listed the Opticron equipment I use and gave details as to why I choose the products from this company. My Birding Equipment .

As well as the equipment detailed in the above link, I also own an Opticron GS52 GA ED Travel Scope. I use it with a SDL Zoom eyepiece and the view through this little scope is exceptional. It has become the first thing I grab as I go out of the door. So, you can imagine my dismay when on Sunday 12th May, I noticed some damage on my scope. I was cleaning the objective lens when I noticed some lateral movement of the Cowl covering the lens. On further investigation, the cowl came away from the scope body. I noticed the threaded area the cowl screws into had broken. Now, I admit that the scope has taken a few knocks while out birding when Climbing fences. It has caught on branches while carring the scope on a Mulepack etc. So there is a chance, I accidently caused this damage. I said as much to Opticron in the letter I enclosed with the scope when I returned it to their customer service dept by first class post on Tuesday 14th May.


Well, today is Monday the 20th of May. Unbelievebly my scope has been returned by Opticron. Repaired and as good as new, FREE OF CHARGE under the warranty.

A 6 day turn around! That is EXCEPTIONAL customer service, so good in fact i feel it needed sharing.

With this service, Opticron has increased further my loyalty to their brand, and I will recommend their products not just based on my first hand experience of their optical performance, but also by my first hand experience of their outstanding cutomer service.

Thank You Opticron

P.S .... Just returned from an evening stroll. Was great to take the GS52 out with me. It's been less than a week, but I was missing it. Had great views of my first Cuckoo of the year through it this evening.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Cannock Chase

Bank holiday Monday and a visit to Cannock Chase. I went with the intention of finding a Pied Flycatcher. This was eventually located near the Stepping Stones area of the Chase. I just couldn't get close enough for decent pictures, but I did get some great views through the little scope.

The Opticron GS52 GA ED. I cannot begin to explain how impressive the image through this scope is. I am using the SDL zoom eyepiece. The fine focus facility on the scope also makes sharp focus at full zoom easy to achieve.

I also managed to locate another life tick to join my Pied Flycatcher in the shape of a Tree Pipet.

Unfortunately, after we left the Chase, there was a fire. The Fire investigators seem to think it was started deliberately. I have no idea why someone would want to destroy such a beautiful area of countryside?

To celebrate a two life tick day, we all went for an evening stroll along the canal. A celebratory pint went down well on the hottest day of the year so far.


Taz always enjoys sharing.