Sunday, 5 September 2010

Impressed of Seaton

Well my Birthday present finally arrived on Friday morning, it's a Nikon ED 50 scope. I had been toying with the idea of getting one of these for some time, well, since getting back from Scilly last year at least. Why?  Well because I've had my Nikon ED82 for over 4 years and it just seems to get heavier and heavier! Yes, yes, I know it's just that I'm getting older and older!! Although it's not too bad over short distances, the thought of having to lug it around for a week on the Isles of Scilly again next month was just too much. Well the ED50's certainly light and with the lighter tripod I brought to go with it it's an absolute pleasure to carry. I was quite confident the view would be good as it's had many a good review (and indeed it is) but I was a bit worried about digiscoping with it, so as soon as it arrived I set it up and had a go digiscoping the House Sparrows in my garden.
A close view of the juvenile House Sparrow showing it has a couple of 
unwelcome guests on the back of its neck, yuck!
This Juvenile's a little bit scabby looking too.
I think the ED50's definitely okay for digiscoping on this evidence though :-)

I'd just started writing this blog post this morning when I got a call from Bun, James McCarthy had found a Dotterel on Axe Cliff, although I hadn't been planning on going out birding today as I'm nursing a rather painful finger injury (accidentally (obviously) stuck it in the meat slicer at work!!) I just had to go up there for a look, Dotterel is a patch Mega and my only previous encounter with this species were the nine shimmering Dotterel shaped blobs in a Cambridgeshire field in May last year. Bun and I were the first on site and James showed us where the bird was, it kept approaching us but each time it did so it was spooked by people walking the coastpath, which is very well trodden in this area. Still they were superb views compared to those we'd both enjoyed in Cambridgeshire. Happily all the local patch birders and most Devon birders were able to see the bird. 
It was also the perfect opportunity to give the ED50's digiscoping ability a real test, a quite distant (typically it never approached as closely as it had before I got the camera out), and very mobile bird against a stony background wasn't going to be easy. It wasn't.The main drawback was the overall lightness of the scope and tripod meaning that the wind was much more of a problem than with the larger scope.The results are quite pleasing though, considering the magnification was only 15x. I popped back up later with the ED82 hoping to take some shots for comparison but the bird remained distant and the wind had really picked up too. So I didn't. It probably would have done a better job but never the less I'm happy with my purchase. 
All heavily cropped and sharpened.

A couple of ( always popular for some reason) 'twitch shots' too.
First to arrive (after Bun and me) were Brian and Dave.
Most local patch birders were out of town.
If you look really closely you may be able to see a 'naughty birder' far in the distance, creeping up for a photo opportunity.
There he is look, naughty, naughty! ;-)

Finally, while watching a Barn Owl from the Farm Gate on Friday evening I noticed a lovely example of the atmospheric phenonenon 'sundogs' or parhelia.
Parhelia over Black Hole Marsh.

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