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Monthly Archives: December 2010

31 Dec

Looking back on 2010, there were no big developments in the world of binoculars, though some advanced binocular features, such as flat field optics and HD lenses continue to filter down to lower binocular price points. In other words, this has been a typical year in the binocular market and that is fine by me. I appreciate the fact that binoculars are relatively free of the “upgraditis” syndrome that plagues digital products, in general, and digital cameras in particular. Enough, already. Please. It’s nice to know that you can still buy binoculars, today, and it will still be in the…

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30 Dec

Arrived at our home in northern Wisconsin, late last night and awoke this morning to fog and drizzle and a foot of accumulated snow. Home, sweet home! Yes, it is quite a different world, up here, than the one we left on the Mexican Baja, but it just seems somehow right to me. I can think of so many places I would like to visit, yet, but I suspect this north country will always be home.

In our two week absence, the bird feeders had not been filled, so my first morning chore was to load up on the bird…

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29 Dec

After a very long day on airplanes and airports, we are back in Wisconsin. Back to cold and snow and clouds. What a change from two weeks of sunny days, warm temps and pleasant ocean breezes off the Mexican Pacific! I guess you might say I am suffering from what could be called climate lag, right next to my case of jet lag. Ah, well, all good things must end.

I will be spending the next few days editing all the pics from several digital cameras and reviewing my bird lists. In all, I added 11 new species to my …

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28 Dec

Our trip to the southern tip of the Baja in Mexico is about over. It’s been an education in more ways than one. As far as optics, though, I am fairly satisfied that I limited myself to one compact binocular (though not just any compact binocular), instead of bringing larger binoculars. My hunch that my Leica Ultravid 10x25BL would do anything I needed a binocular to do proved correct.

The Leica Ultravid 10×25 BL served as my primary birding binoculars and also did a great job spotting whales from the beach. Even though the Leica technically belongs in the compact …

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27 Dec

Though not at all an exotic bird or rare bird and certainly not a bird I would have associated with Mexico, the Osprey has been with us for most of our trip on the Baja. First, there were Ospreys at the plush resort beach on the first half of our vacation, though all I ever managed was an occasional glimpse through my Leica binoculars. No pics, even though I carried my digital cameras, constantly. Now, we have an Osprey that perches on a power pole at the entrance to our more modest, but delightfully charming motel (El Delfin Blanco, S.A …

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24 Dec

As much as Bill and I have enjoyed ourselves, here in Cabo, no trip to Cabo would be complete for a birder like me without seeing the Xantus’s Hummingbird. Sure enough, as I walked down to the pool to meet the others in our group, I spotted a hummer in the garden and then raised my Leica binoculars to confirm it. It was a Xantus’, a hummingbird found nowhere else in the world but the Baja peninsula. What a beautiful bird in an already beautiful bird group! No, I haven’t succeeded in capturing a pic with my digital cameras, but…

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23 Dec

People are the same everywhere – no one ever asks me, here in Cabo or anywhere else, why I am carrying binoculars around my neck or what I am trying to see with my binoculars, even though my compact binoculars are with me, always. I suspect folks are just too polite, because when I offer to let someone see a hummingbird or whale out on the Pacific with my Leica Ultravid 10×25 BL, they always eagerly accept. If nothing else, sharing binoculars with others is a good way to break the ice and met other people.

In the same vein,…

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22 Dec

I’ve become a pool rat or maybe a beach bum or whatever. Yes, it is a heck of a way to spend a day, but soaking up sun and taking a dip in the pool or ocean when it suits us is becoming a habit. Still, believe it or not, my binoculars are always at my side or around my neck, just waiting to identify the next bird or spot the next whale.

Of particular interest has been the regular sightings of an Osprey. In the Leica binoculars, this bird is magnificent with its classical Osprey markings, right out of…

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21 Dec

Still feels like I blundered into the set of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, down here in this Cabo resort, but I am slowly making my peace with this very temporary excursion into what my mind keeps telling me is an exploitive and overly consumptive lifestyle. So be it, then. I will put my guilt aside and treat this as more of a birdwatching or wildlife watching expedition. There is plenty in the way of wildlife to support such a view. Besides, with a Leica 10x25BL binocular around my neck I may fool some folks into thinking we are…

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20 Dec

I am more convinced than ever that really excellent compact binoculars, in the hands of an experienced binocular user can do just about any job you would use a binocular to do. Our trip to Cabo San Lucas has been a great success for both birdwatching and whale watching, thanks largely to my excellent Leica Ultravid 10x25BL compact binoculars. In truth, I really don´t see how a full size set of birding binoculars or long range observation binoculars could have done much better. Of course, I have been using the binoculars in bright light – it is always sunny in …

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