Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Back from hols

We went on holiday to Arran and to Stirling and I didn't seem to have much time to post whilst there. At some point I may put up a pile of pictures. However, bit of a birthday whilst away which resulted in some new gear. The faithful Zeiss scope which I've had for a very long time is being retired (maybe temporarily, I'm going to see if Zeiss think it's repairable). The Zeiss still works but it is much damaged, both the eye piece and the main scope, indeed there are elements within the main scope which look to be in danger of falling out. I wondered about what to replace it with and have decided to try this Nikon 50 ED. I already have a Nikon scope (82 ED) which I like (but it's a big brute, not much cop for my wanderings, just use it from the car mostly)  and I only have a fixed 37x lens. So I've got a zoom with the 50. So far I'm liking the 50 ED, it's very light which at my time of life is handy. There are a few negatives but they may just be about getting used to it. It is very sharp and clear, actually sticking the 37x on it (becomes a 20x on the 50 ED) makes it even better, though losing the flexibility of the zoom. As you can see it is a wee thing. (Watching Shortie from the garden.)

Have also added a new camera to the kit. Still using the Canon for birding but I've been really impressed with elder daughter's Nikon for macro stuff so went for the later version, P7800. I'm not disappointed. The P7800 is also good for low light and night photography (for which the Canon is pretty much useless) so come the aurora season, but I'm hoping for some noc' clouds one night soon.

Moths and hoverflies from today and yesterday.... using the Nikon.

 Rhingia campestris

Platycheirus manicutus

 Poplar Hawkmoth

Silver Y

...and there was a bit of drama in the greenhouse as I was hunting hovers there.

The garden is a worry whilst away and of course the Woodpigs had laid into the peas, maybe they'll recover, emergency treatment today. Everything else seems to have survived but the cold has made this a very slow growing season here, tatties seem ok but everything else is well behind.

Another worry was the Arctic Tern colony, have the sandeels hung on? Or will the chicks have all starved to death again? A happy outcome there I'm pleased to report with quite a few Arctics already flying and a pile of chicks at different stages still coming on. Food does seem less plentiful, but that might have just been during the time I was there.

There were a few Whimbrel moving through yesterday, so autumn is here.

The eider don't seem to have done too well though, with just 7 broods on the whole of the Birsay patch, and most of those small broods.

Our meadow, which is slowly improving, and Midas.

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