The Hawke Sapphire ED 10x42 Top Hinge Bins Arrived

The binoculars arrived ages ago, and there have been a couple of other things to report since then.
I'll most likely spread things over a couple of posts.

First, the binoculars.

Hawke Optics Sapphire ED 10x42. Like these:

I'm very happy with them. I can't really do a proper review, as they are the first set of binoculars I've looked through since being a kid.

What I can say is that when I look through them, I see a big, bright image, in which I can (personally) detect no distortion, and no chromatic aberration. Well, no CA at focus. A white bird on black water shows some delightful extra colour when out of focus, but this disappears entirely when in focus.

They are around £400, so maybe if I looked through some 'alpha' bins, I'd see the difference, and come back to these a little deflated. But without that comparison to be made, I can't fins any fault with these at all.

Also, they feel very robust in the hand. A good weight to give some confidence in qu…

Binoculars on Order

We didn’t manage to get out last weekend due to other commitments, but we are planning to take another trip out on Saturday if the weather is less than disasterous.

I haven’t decided where yet. Maybe Wigan Flashes, or perhaps a return to the river path at Brockholes.

In the meanwhile, I’ve taken the plunge and ordered a set of binoculars. To keep within a reasonable budget, I’ve steered clear of any “alpha’s”, and have ordered a pair of Hawke Sapphire 10x42 ED, in green, of course. Maybe someone will think they are Swarowski’s from a distance :)

I’ve ordered these based on several reviews, where they fare excellently for their price range. I have ordered online, which means I have the online shopping 30 day return guarantee, should anything not be to my taste.

Pat and I will share these for an outing or two, and if she likes them, I’ll order a second pair. If she doesn’t like them, at least we will know what she doesn’t like (they may be a little big and heavy, and she may prefer 32’s…

First outing!

Well, we went...and a good time was had by all!

For the time of year, it was a glorious day. Crystal clear skies, and, surprisingly, not that cold. I'm infamous for not feeling the cold, but Pat even took off her wooly hat and unzipped her outer shell at one point.

I took my fleece, but had to carry it with me for two and half hours, because it was t-shirt weather (about 5 degrees C). No seriosly...I have lots of "natural insulation"...

Brockholes turned out to be a great place, with great staff/volunteers as well. We walked the blue route around the main body of water, and as I mentioned, it took us about two and half hours, because we stopped to observe quite frequently.

I managed to get a few photos that I'll show below, but here's a list of what I'm certain we saw. There were many other things, but I couldn't ID them, or catch them on film (pixels) clearly enough to ID with certainty. So, in no particular order:
Blue titsRobinsNuthatchesMagpiesPheasant…


Today I achieved two things.

First, I mentioned to Missus Newbie about getting out and about a bit more, doing some walking, and maybe taking in some nature reserves whilst we do it. She’s very keen, which is great!

So, this coming Sunday, we’re going to pop over to Brockholes Nature Reserve to have a walk around and see what we can spot “with the naked eye”. And also to see if we can identify anything we spot...

Second, I called a few shops about binoculars, saying I was interested in 8 or 10x42, mid price range. A couple got back saying they had little or nothing in store to try out. One came back saying their Preston branch would have more. And seeing as Brockholes is in Preston, I was thinking we could kill to birds with one stone. Oh, wait...I’m probably not allowed to say that anymore...

I’ve emailed that Preston branch to see what they have in store, but they haven’t come back yet.

I’m especially interested in Hawke Sapphire 10x42’s due to the reviews they get around the web, s…

Hello and Welcome!

Birding newbie?  Absolutely! I've yet to look through a pair of bins at a bird, or to go on a bird specific day out, so this is absolutely day 1 of my birding life.
But you won't be a newbie long, and then the blog will be badly named! Well, I'm not so sure...I think it's good to always retain that "beginner's mind" that Buddhist monks famously talk about. So even when I've been at this for a few years, I'll be making every effort to still be a newbie. Zen Buddhists? Yeah, don't let that worry you. But if it sounds interesting, you can find out more a bout me and my slightly odd worldview on my other blog. But don't let that distract you. I won't be pushing anything down anyone's throats. So, any plans? Well, I'm glad you asked! Yes, I have plans, but for them to make sense, we'll need just a little background. Safari so Goodie Two years ago, my wife's youngest son decided to get married, and his wonderful wife-to-be decide…