Friday, 25 February 2011

25th Feb


Out at my local watch point this PM. Started well with a Kestrel and then a pair of Peregrines, followed by a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk. 2 Sparrowhawks up together and then a further 3 sightings during the afternoon. A Raven was then mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows, the Buzzard returned an hour later and was set upon by the 2 Peregrines. Other birds included 36 Stock Doves, 1 Grey Heron, 8 Reed Buntings, 5 Mistle Thrushes, Goldfinches etc. On my way back I missed the chance to get a really close up shot of the Raven as it flew past me just some 30 yards way, Id just put my camera away as I jumped over a style.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Opticron Explorers 10x42 vs Leica 8x32

Opticron Explorers 10x42 Leica 8x32bn

Field of view 0 1
Depth of field 0 1
Close focus 1 0
Brightness 1 0
Magnification 1 0
Easy of use 0 1
Cost 1 0

Its probably unfair to judge these against each other one being 10x42 and the other 8x32. Ive given 1 point to the pair that I judged best in each category.
Field of view, the Leica out performed the Opticron with its big 135 mt at 1000mt 7.7degree compared to the Opticron 106mt at 1000mt 6.1 degree.
Depth of field, again the Leica out performed the Opticron with its huge depth of field, where as the Opticron focus is very touchy, I was constantly having to refocus the wheel.
Close focus, I got my Leicas for there close focus but the Opticons focus even closer down to 1.5meters, very impressive.
Brightness, the Opticron appear to be slightly brighter than the Leicas which was a surprise.
Magnification, 10x42 beats 8x32 but the Opticron seem to have that horrible rolling effect that old Zeiss used to have when scanning the horizon, having said this on stationary birs they were great.
Ease of use, The Leicas easily win.
Cost Opticron £159, Leicas £600+ probably now the ultravids will be £1300

Ive bought the Opticrons as a spare pair, only time will tell if I use them all the time or wheather I retuen to my Leicas.

Just looked up the 10x42 Leica ultravids, field of view 112mt at 1000mt 6.4degree, cost£1500+

24th Feb

Male Spar.

Out at 2 sites today, 2 male Buzzards (Darky and Rusty) at different sites. 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, 1 LBBG, 3 Stock Doves, Grey Heron, Green Woodpecker, GSWPecker, 2 Skylarks, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Song Thrush, Coal Tit, Common Gulls and BHGs etc.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

New Bins

I got my Leica 8x32 bn bins about 8 years ago to replace my fogged up swift audubons, and they have surved me very well. I bought them for their great field of view and depth of field and their close focus. I got them at a bargan price of £559 new, they were selling in other shops at anything between £629 - £700. Having said this in recent weeks whilst out with people with 10x42 bins I found myself struggling to id distant birds whilst they had no problem. I was recomended the Opticron Explorer 10x42 by two birders who paid just over £200. I looked on the internet and found them going for £159.99 so with my birthday comming up I ordered a pair
and they arrived yesterday. Took them and my Leicas out in the field to compare but thick fog had desended. First impressions are very favorable and I will try and give a review to follow.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The boys are back in town

Are you tough enough ? Just watched the Thin Lizzy doc on BBC 4 again, what a great programme and what a band, they dont make em like that anymore. There were a few pictures of Phil Lynott playing a Rickenbacker Bass, he only used it a few times because Brian Leecy's mate dropped it whilst he and Brian were roadying for them and snapped its neck off, upps.

Brian Robertson was too wild for Motorhead so they kicked him out. I remember my dad watching Top of the Pops and on come Thin Lizzy, he took one look at Robbo and said, he looks like a bloody woman, I thought Jesus whats he going to say when he sees Scott Gorham?

The late great Garry Moore who died a few weeks ago. I saw Lizzy live twice the first time with Garry Moore, he was a superb guitar player.

Mary Hoppkins did backing vocals on Bad Reputaion apparently, those were the days!
Top 5 Lizzy albums in no order, Jailbreak, Johnny the Fox, Bad Reputation, Live and Dangerous and Black Rose.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Hero of the week, Larry the cat

Larry the tom cat is called in to number 10 to sought out a rat problem

May I suggest that he starts at the top with King Rat himself.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

16th Feb

Out and about this PM, 2 or 3 Buzzards, 1 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Ravens, 1 Nuthatch, 1 GSWPecker etc. Digi scoped the Buzzard on the post with my Lumix and got better results than using my fuji f30.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

15th Feb

Just arriving back home after my weekly shop to asda and I see a Collared Dove sat in the tree at the bottom of my garden (only tree left in the street now) all of a sudden a dark shape comes shooting out of the sky and crashes into the dove, feathers flying all over the place, a female Sparrowhawk fantastic, I expected to see it carrying off the dove but it somehow got away !
Went a walk over Roils Head but only had 1 Skylark and 2 Grey Partridge at Tower Hill.

Monday, 14 February 2011

12th Feb, Northern England

Back to my favorite subject Raptors. Visited a site in northern England and had 2 Common Buzzards showing all day, also 3 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel and

10th - 11th Feb

Rook at Mount Tabor.

Brambling at Wainstalls.
10th February had a walk up to Cold Edge Dams and Wainstalls, 3 Tufties and 7 Greylags were the only birds of note at Cold Edge. 3 Brambling were still in the big garden at Wainstalls.
11th February, a walk over Roils Head brought 2 Stock Doves and a female Peregrine flew west.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

8th Feb

After visiting my dad in Huddersfield Hospital we poped in at Elland GP for 10 minutes and had 3 Goldeneye, 3 Cormorants, 2 Goosander and herad a Little Grebe. A surprise in an Elland garden was a Peacock butterfly.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

6th Feb SAD NEWS

Ive just found out that Gary Moore, brilliant guitarist has died at the age of 58. He was one of a few guitar players who could play just about any style, blues, rock, heavy rock, jazz rock etc. I only saw him live on 2 occasions, first round about 1979 when he stepped into Thin Lizzy on the Black Rose tour at Bradford st George's Hall, he was blisteringly good. A few years later I saw him again at Bradford at a different venue, I think it was the Corridor of Powers tour, he had Ian Paice of purple fame on the drums, again a faltless brilliant show, he will be sadly missed. The odd thing is that last night at our Upper Gearge reunion me and binky were talking alot about just how good Moores album G Force was and the first record I heard as I entered the Sports Man later was Out in the Fields by Gary Moore.

5th Feb

Out in the rain this PM with SC checking out a site at Copley, the only decent bird we had was a Woodcock that flushed from cover. Then my first night out in 4 or 5 months, an Upper George reunion get together, sadly due to bad weather and other commitments only 7 of us made it, still it was good to catch up with old mates and talk about times gone by. Super Bowl tonight, will be wanting the Green Bay cheese heads to win after the steelers nocked out the Jets with the help of some dodgy reffing foul ups.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

1st Feb

First stop this PM was to feed the gulls at Mount Tabor, then I walked up to Wainstalls to look for Dave's Bramblings, found at least two birds in with the other finches but getting a photo proved difficult. Then went to Cold Edge Dams for the first time this year but not much happening there apart from 50 Fieldfares. A Kestrel and an unidentified accipiter where the only birds of note on the way back.