Friday 13 March 2009


Friggatriskaidekaphobia, what a great word! Clearly it means an irrational fear of Friday the thirteenth, which today just happens to be. I do not have this affliction myself and for the life of me cannot see how any name or number attached to a day can make it any luckier/unluckier than any other, pure mumbo-jumbo! In fact, I can categorically state that I can't remember a single unfortunate occurrence happening to me on any of the 66 Friday the thirteenths that I have so far lived through. (Yes I'm nerdy enough to have worked that out). So when a catastrophic disaster (for my birding at least) occurred this morning it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the date!

I decided to take Rex for a quick stroll on the beach, hoping to see a Wheatear (or better) and took along my scope to have a quick scan over the sea too. Well, I was setting it up when I noticed something was amiss, it was strangely limp - I'm no technical expert but I know a spotting scope should generally be rigid rather than floppy. It was inside the stay-on case so I couldn't see what the problem was. I assumed the eyepiece had come loose, yes, surely that could be the only explanation!? When I undid the drawstring covering the eyepiece end I was astonished to find that all of the scope from the back of the focusing ring to the eyepiece had fallen off, simply FALLEN OFF!! Three tiny screws were rattling around loose inside. How on earth could three screws unthread themselves when they were contained entirely within the scope! Weird.

So as I write this my scope is in the capable hands of the Royal Mail (eek!) winging its way to the Nikon Service Centre, where I'm told they will look at it and let me know what they can do. I got the impression the guy on the phone thought I was joking at first when I said it hsd fell in two. No doubt they will try and blame me when they spot the damage to the objective bezel, which it sustained when it blew over a couple of months ago. It's been fine ever since then (well up until today) so I can't see that that was the cause. Anyway I was also informed that IF they repair it I will have to wait at least 3 or 4 weeks!

I can only hope for a reasonably speedy (and inexpensive) repair and return- I'm not holding my breath though...I'm a bit annoyed... No one mention seawatching ... Please! :( :(

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