Friday, 17 July 2009

Warwickshire Birding

Well, I got my tripod – a nice Velbon Sherpa with a one-twist action to lock and unlock panning and tilt together. What an improvement! I'd had to use two hands before. I left Focus Optics, chuffed as hell. Then guess what?

I only dropped the fucker again. In a brief half-hour I'd forgotten that on this model the legs didn't all extend together, which I did want: it cuts out the cross-struts. Anyhoo, I parked the tripod, thought I'd got it balanced and biff! However, I don't think I've damaged it or the scope, God willing.
Tufted ducks

I gave the whole combo a trial run at Coton, the Warwickshire adjunct to Kingsbury Water Park. Very sturdy it was too. I had no trouble picking ruddy ducks and pochards out from the tufties at the far side of the lake, but couldn't turn any of them into scaup.

Dozens of swifts and sand martins skimmed the water’s surface, which was heartening, especially the swifts. A sedge warbler kept up its crazed song and occasionally flitted into view. These all filled a pleasant dry hour until black clouds started to lour over Tamworth. I scuttled off not too long before another downpour of tropical dimensions descended from the heavens.

I will need that cagoule.

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