Nature has a world of wonder to show us, but it can also present significant challenges to even the most experienced of photographers. Woodlands, forests and even jungles can all be difficult to take proper snaps or image through binoculars or telescopes, so it is reasonable to assume that a little help is needed. At Sherwoods Photo, we have a fantastic range of products that will make light work of even the most awkward of terrain, allowing you to get a truly spectacular perspective on wildlife.
Our Acuter Scopes are designed to be affordable, rugged and of a high quality. The Mak-70, for instance, is sleek and compact but will give you incredible magnification capability, so you don’t have to get up close potentially ruining your opportunity to image. The light transmission is some of the best around due to the Fully Multi-Coated design yielding fantastic resolution and contrast. One of the biggest problems effecting your shot is the focusing, with awkward or stiff operation causing your scope to wobble. The Mak-70 has a super smooth action making zooming a joy that won’t frustratingly impinge on your shot.
If you are wanting to step up in technology when imaging the natural world, then the Acuter DS-Pro ED series is a particularly good option. It offers waterproofing, which can allow you to make the most of a hidden world that exists in rain or snow. The design is all-premium, removing chromatic aberrations from shots while also offering super high contrast and pin-sharp colours. The fine focus Double Speed Focuser will give you a 15:1 ratio to allow you to get those all important shots as perfect as possible for professional grade work. It is an adaptable piece of kit as well since you can attach standard 1.25” Push-Fit telescope eyepieces, while the 20mm eye relief is great for those who are wearing glasses.
If you are wanting to go for bird watching binoculars or scopes, we have a great selection. Celestron are a renowned manufacturer of high quality bird watching scopes, each of which will benefit from the high quality, robust tripods that are available with them. If you are going for the Maksutov C90 Mak, then it is always best to pair it with a tripod especially made for the device. The C90 itself is a dual purpose scope that can be used for astronomy as well as for imaging the natural world. It is built to be compact and portable and will provide you with exceptionally crisp images, living up to its price tag as a premium, professional grade scope. The erect image system creates significant advantages for both terrestrial and astronomical use while the T-Adapter will allow you to attach cameras easily. The scope also offers significant versatility with a 32 mm eyepiece, 45° erect image diagonal and 8×21 erect image finderscope. The Celestron Granite Roof Prism is a great binocular to invest in with ED low dispersion glass offering fantastic resolutions and contrast.
Lots of our customers are folks looking to take up a new hobby – astronomy, badger watching and, of course, bird watching. The UK is a superb place for wildlife spotting throughout the year. We’re really lucky in that respect!
Is there anything else you can do to make your world as abundant in bird life as possible?
Of course there is! Even if you live on the fourth floor of a city block of flats, there are ways to encourage bird life into your environment and hopefully make up for a little of the lost natural resources all birds need.
1. Water will attract birds
Birds need to drink regularly to stay hydrated. They like clean, fresh water. Something like a shallow bird bath with a few rocks in for them to stand on is a great way to provide a resource birds will revisit to use.
2. Food will attract birds
In the winter, many birds can struggle to find food. This past spring was awful for British birds, but it was great for garden bird watchers and their binoculars – birds flocked to UK gardens, window boxes and yards for food!
Keep feeders covered, off the ground and as far from the clutches of predators as possible. Use different types of food – some birds prefer fat, others prefer seeds – to attract different species.
3. Shelter will attract birds
Safe shelter is a hugely attractive resource for all birds. Putting up a few nesting boxes can mean having birds return year after year to breed. Keep nesting boxes quite far apart and try to site them so the openings are not facing each other. Avoid exposed areas and clean out the nest box when vacant (at least once a year).
4. Keep the area clean
Diseases can spread very quickly amongst wild birds visiting lots of gardens. There’s no need to be fastidiously clean, but regular cleaning is a great way to minimise the risk of disease transmission. E.g. Don’t let food go rotten or grow mouldy on a bird table, clean out nesting boxes seasonally or annually, etc.
5. Banish predators like domestic cats
Set up some night vision equipment and it’s easy to see why so many birds are easy pray for Britain’s domestic cats and strays! It can be tough to banish a beloved moggy from the garden 100%, but carefully placing bird feeders and shelters away from predators can cut down on the number of casualties.
Common predators include cats, magpies, crows, owls, foxes, squirrels, dogs and hawks. Some of these are natural predators and should not be discouraged – i.e. owls and hawks – but no domesticated animal needs to hunt wild birds. The presence of a cat will likely repel wild birds.
If you’re considering entering the wonderful world of bird watching then we can provide some helpful tips to get you started. We can tell you everything from how to spot a bird down to what type of equipment you will need.
Spotting a Bird
Every second counts when it comes to bird watching; therefore, you should quickly try to identify its specific details. Don’t head straight to a bird guide to find out what type it is. Simply make notes quickly to ensure you don’t forget anything; however, don’t focus too much on this as the watching is more important than the writing.
Remember the Details
In order to place a bird in the right family of birds, there are certain things you will need to identify, such as its size, markings, shape, feeding habits and movements. Try to remember everything you can about the bird. Was it as small as a robin, as big as a turkey or something in between? Did it make smooth movements or was it a little more awkward? Did it have patches of colour or feathers on its head?
Look Out for their Feeding Habits
If you have the opportunity, try to watch their feeding habits. Look out for what the bird is eating and how the feed. Do they dig at the bark of a tree? Fly across a lawn looking for insects? Does it head to the edge of a pond? Their feeding habits will also help you to identify the bird’s species.
Think About the Climate
Different birds inhabit different regions; therefore, you should jot down where it was you spotted them. Was it a wetland or woodland? Was it a rural or urban setting? By taking note of the region, you can narrow down the possible bird species. However, birds migrate depending on the season, so ensure you note down the time of year you saw the bird.
Select the Right Bird Watching Telescope
It’s important you invest in high quality bird watching telescopes to ensure you make the most of your bird watching experience. At Sherwoods, we only provide our customers with the finest telescopes and binoculars so you don’t miss a second of the action and they’ll allow you to get a closer look at the beautiful birds.
We can provide a wide variety of telescopes and binoculars for a variety of different uses, and from some of the best brands in the industry. Therefore, we encourage you to browse our Barr & Stroud, Pentax and Celestron telescopes, plus so much more.
Take a Snap with Bird Watching Cameras
All bird watching enthusiasts should invest in the Brinno Birdwatch Camera as they can take snaps of birds from 1.5m to 3m away from the targeted area. Mount and target it at your birdfeeder, or anywhere that’s common for birds to go, and the motion activated camera will take a snapshot of it.
For further information on our bird watching binoculars, telescopes and accessories, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at Sherwoods.
With this in mind, you might be keen to find the best spots to view birds. Luckily, there is plenty of advice available over the web. For example, Tiscali has highlighted some top locations, including estuaries, marshes, islands and nature reserves.
One area you might want to take your binoculars to is the Insh Marshes in Speyside, Scotland. This national nature reserve in the Highlands is one of Europe’s most vital wetlands and there are plenty of birds to see.
For example, from October until March, you can check out whooper swans and grey geese. Meanwhile, in spring, half of the UK’s goldeneye population nests there and you can also look out for snipe, wigeon, redshank and curlew. By the time summer comes, lapwings should be easy to see.
If you’re looking for birdlife at the other end of the country, Exmouth in Devon could be ideal. Tiscali stated: “The mouth of the River Exe, and the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast east from here, shelter all kinds of our feathered friends.”
It added: “The RSPB reserve in the estuary has winter avocet flocks you can see on an RSPB boat cruise. Elegant little egrets haunt the rivermouth year-round, and the beautiful goldfinch visits in autumn. Along the coast from the rivermouth, at Sandy Bay, there is a kittiwake colony in the towering cliffs, and the Royal Marines, who have a firing range near to the colony, have set up a ‘kitticam’.
Wildfowl and Wetland Trust Centre
You can even check out some great bird life right in the capital. The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust Centre is based in Barnes, London.
Commenting on this, Tiscali said: “In a meander of the River Thames, in south-west London, lies this 42-hectare reserve, sheltering all manner of birds that come and go with the seasons. The excellent visitor centre has a great cafe.”
If you make a trip to the spot in summer, you might be able to see egret, garganey, black-tailed godwit, and hobby falcons. Meanwhile, during spring sanderlings, stone curlews and avocets, as well as wading birds such as lapwings, have been spotted, as have sand martins.
Gigrin Farm, Rhayader
Wales isn’t without its bird watching spots either. The Gigrin Farm in Rhayader is a great place to spot some interesting winged creatures. Located in the middle of Wales, this 200-acre upland sheep farm boasts “stunning views” over the Wye and Elan Valleys.
Until 1992, it was just a farm, but then the RSPB approached the owner with a view to opening it up to the public as a red kite feeding station. It is now the most famous red kite feeding spot in the UK and everyday you can see the birds engage in spectacular aerial displays as they swoop for food.
The perfect binoculars
If you’re on the lookout for new binoculars, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Sherwoods we offer a superb range of these items, as well as telescopes and more.
Earlier this year, thousands of nature lovers across the UK took part in the biggest wildlife survey in the world, the Big Garden Birdwatch from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB.)
Participation involved counting the creatures in a garden or park for just one hour – and then telling the organisation what you had seen. The idea is to record the highest number of each bird spotted at the same time.
The charity asked bird lovers to survey feathered friends present in their area, all over the country. Last year, some 600,000 people nationwide took part, counting over nine million birds between them.
The aim of the survey, now in its 34th year, is to help scientists learn which species of birds are thriving and which are in decline, and how different varieties are doing in different parts of the country.
For example, information gathered over the last decade indicates that mistle thrushes are spotted in fewer than 50% the number of gardens they were noticed in just 10 years ago.
Separate information for a study last year by volunteer ornithologists for the RSPB and the British Trust for Ornithology found that the number of nesting birds in Britain had fallen from 210 million in 1966 to 166 million in 2012.
Spring into action
And if this project or the Big Garden Birdwatch inspired you to grab a pair of bird watching binoculars, perhaps before numbers fall still further, spring is a great time to do just that as wildlife emerges from the chill of winter with noise and flamboyance.
And, with the lighter spring days, plumage, patterns and markings look brighter, allowing species to be more easily identified. At this time of year, many male birds in particular are showing their most vivid colours while songbirds are competing to sing the loudest in a bid to attract a mate for the breeding season ahead.
It’s a great time for other wildlife too, from insects like bumblebees and butterflies to frogs and hares.
How Sherwoods Photographic Can Help
To get the most from your birdwatching, you need the best equipment. At Sherwood Photographic, we’re leading optical specialists for binoculars and
telescopes and can offer extensive advice on using these items.
Established 70 years ago last year, we’re still very much a family firm and have a wealth of expertise and knowledge in our specialist area, and supply a range of premium quality products from the world’s leading manufacturers as well as a variety of unusual and intriguing gifts and gadgets.
We have a showroom in rural Warwickshire, and we’re open six days a week, but shop online in a time and at a place to suit you and we can generally get your order to you the next day.
Buying from our showroom? Give us a call first to check we have the product in stock before setting off.
Learn more from our website and contact us with any queries about our products. Or why not find us on Facebook?
Christmas is a time for giving, and with the big day rapidly approaching you need to make sure you’ve got everyone ticked off the list. If you’ve got a bird watcher in your life you can’t go wrong by giving them a new pair of binoculars, but of course, it’s never as simple as it first appears. You need to choose wisely to ensure the recipient’s eyes light up on Christmas morning, so just how can you go about doing that? Here are a few top tips to help you out:
• Magnification is key. When focusing on a single object, which the recipient generally will be in this case (they might be watching a bird in flight or roosting, for example), magnification is incredibly important and can make all the difference to the overall performance.
• Consider the field of view. A wide field of view may not be as important in bird watching as the magnification, but you still need to make sure you’re getting a quality pair that can offer a decent view.
• Consider the objective lens diameter, light transmission and exit pupil measurement. These features will be important if the user is planning on doing a spot of bird watching in low light conditions such as sunrise or sunset, with them working in combination to improve brightness and clarity.
• Does the recipient wear glasses? This will often have an effect on the style you eventually go for, and you’ll need to check the eye relief—the distance the eye can be from the eyepiece whilst still having the full field of view—with someone that wears glasses needing an eye relief of more than 14mm (or 17mm if they wear thick pairs).
• Consider the size and weight. If the binoculars will be carried around for long distances you’ll need to make sure you’re getting a fairly light, portable pair, although remember that compact options will have smaller objective lens and exit pupil measurements which means they won’t perform quite so well in low light conditions.
• Quality and price. These will of course be major considerations, and whilst you don’t want to spend a fortune you need to make sure you’re getting a quality pair that’s built to last. That’s why careful research will always be important, so why not take a look around?
Find the bird watching equipment you’re after
Here at Sherwoods we’ve got all the products you could need to ensure you find the right gift, covering everything from scopes to night vision to give the bird watcher in your life exactly what they’re looking for. We can offer help and advice to ensure you choose wisely and with great prices you won’t have to spend a fortune, and because we only stock the best products from leading manufacturers you can be confident in getting a quality result. Choosing the right bird watching binoculars can be easier than you think, and with a bit of time and attention (and some help from the experts) you’ll find the perfect gift this Christmas.
Lots of people come to the UK from all over the world to see its towns and stunning countryside, but because you live here all the time, you might take the sights and sounds around you for granted. This is only natural.
However, there’s a simple way to completely change your perspective. By going on trips with your binoculars you can see attractions that would otherwise completely escape your attention. Few things beat spending a day in the open air taking in the nature and scenery around you. If you’re lucky, you can even soak up some sun in the process.
Packing for staycations
It seems a rising number of Britons are making the choice to remain in Britain for their holidays. If you’re planning to do this, make sure you pack your binoculars. Whether you’re looking at the impressive array of bird life on offer, are surveying the sea from the shore or simply want to get a closer look at the general sights around you, you’ll find plenty to keep you amused.
Rather than just travelling through areas of beauty, you’re bound to make more of an effort to stop and appreciate them if you have binoculars with you. They can really help make nature come alive and give you a newfound appreciation for what the countryside has to offer.
You’re not alone
If you’re planning to pack your bird watching binoculars and set off on a break in the UK, you’re not alone. According to research conducted by Jungle Formula, one in five Britons has never been on a foreign holiday, the Daily Mail reports. Meanwhile, of those who have, half wish they had stayed in the UK.
A number of issues were found to put people off jetting off overseas. Language barriers and concerns about dealing with immigration were both cited as potential problems. Meanwhile, falling ill while abroad and experiencing lengthy travel times were also identified as difficulties.
Responding to the findings, a spokesman for Jungle Formula said: “There was a time when people felt they hadn’t been on holiday unless they had been on a plane. But it seems that more people than ever are content to stay in the UK.
“The recession has also had an effect, with people having to tighten their belts and stop splashing out on luxuries like a foreign holiday.”
Choosing the right binoculars
If you’re keen to get your hands on some binoculars for a British staycation, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Sherwoods we offer a whole range of these items and might have the perfect ones for you.
Just take a look around our website to see our full collection. We also offer a range of other products that you might be interested in. For example, if you long to gaze further into the night sky, why not take a look at the superb telescopes we sell? Buying items from us couldn’t be quicker or simpler and it could open up a whole new world of possibilities.