Bird watching is a favourite hobby of many people, both young and old. If you are just getting started in the hobby, there are a few things you’ll want to buy to get started.
First and foremost you will want a good pair of binoculars. This is your ultimate piece of equipment for bird watching, and you will carry them with you everywhere. If you are going to splurge at all on any equipment, this is the place to do so.
Here at Sherwood Photographic we have many different high quality binoculars to choose from, all from the world’s leading manufacturers. Choose from brands like Acuter, Hawke, Leica, Olympus, Steiner, and Vortex.
You’ll find detailed descriptions of each product on our web site, and there is also a special section dedicated to choosing the correct pair of binoculars. So if you want bird watching binoculars, but you aren’t sure which type are appropriate, this guide can be a great help as you make your decision.
For bird watching, you will probably also want a good camera. Many people like to photograph the birds they see to add to a journal or album. You may also see other wildlife that you would like to photograph while you are out in nature.
It’s also important to have the right clothing, especially if you intend to go out in colder or wet weather. Choose some sturdy walking boots for hiking and a waterproof coat. For more information about our bird watching products, visit the main web site.
Although we tend to think of astronomical telescopes as being the ideal equipment for stargazing, you can also use binoculars. In fact, if you’ve never used a telescope before, you might even be better off using a pair of binoculars if you are new to stargazing.
Astronomical telescopes can be a little tricky to get your head around at first if you are not used to them, as you have to learn to master the equipment itself while also working out where to look in the vast night sky. While you learn to navigate the inky blackness of the night sky, you should probably use a pair of binoculars to get some experience before moving on to a telescope. While binoculars certainly won’t be as powerful as using a telescope, they will still give you the light gathering power you need and a much greater magnification than using nothing at all. A good pair will give you a magnification somewhere between 10 and 30 times (depending on what power you buy), which will allow you to see some detail on the moon, as well as many of the planets, although you won’t be able to see detail on them.
At Sherwoods, we have a wide selection of astronomical binoculars by different well-known and respected brands such as Opticron and Helios. If you are looking to buy a pair of binoculars specifically for astronomical purposes, then choose a pair with at least a 50mm across as the aperture is most important for this purpose.
Getting into birdwatching requires the ability to be able to use a pair of binoculars properly. Using a pair of binoculars is more than just putting them to your eyes and looking around. If you are new to this equipment, you will need to learn how to use the focus wheel and dioptre. The dioptre is also used to focus, but is there to compensate for the difference between your left and right eyes because they will not focus to the same degree. You need to be able to use both of these focuses in the right way in order to get the clearest image from your bird watching binoculars.
To get started with focusing your bird watching binoculars, you should first make sure that they are in right position for the width of your eyes. If they are too far apart or too close together you will have black edges infringing into what you see. When you look through the eye pieces, you should just see a perfect circle. Having got this right, look through them at something and use the central focus wheel to bring the image into focus.
Use the dioptre wheel to focus more finely on the object you’re looking at. To do this, you need to close each eye in turn and adjust the wheel until the image is clear. When you open both eyes again, the image should be perfectly clear through your binoculars. If not, continue to adjust slightly until it is.
Buying your first telescope is an investment we want you to be happy with and so we’ve come up with some pointers for you to follow to help you to choose the right kind. Unlike binoculars, telescopes are not supposed to be solely for magnification, but instead to collect light which will then provide you with detail. Of course, magnification is also necessary in order to be able to see things which are far away, but it is only the amount of light collected that will affect how much detail you see.
Therefore, when buying any kind of telescope, but in particular astronomical telescopes you should focus on the aperture of the instrument rather than the power. The aperture is measured through the diameter of the main lens. The eyepiece is what determines the power and telescopes generally have optional eyepieces available to increase or decrease the power and magnification. You should generally have three eyepieces in your kit – for low, medium and high magnification.
There are three kinds of telescope: refractors, reflectors and catadioptrics. All three have their advantages and disadvantages for use as astronomical telescopes, so it really depends on what exactly you want to look at with them. For a beginner’s telescope, the best all rounder is a catadioptric and these are very compact and portable for carrying around. They are also generally cheaper than refractors and are also the best suited for any near focus work as well, should you want to use your telescope for that purpose also.
If you are thinking about getting into astronomy then a good start is to go and observe with someone else first. They will help you to get used to astronomical telescopes and learn how to navigate the night sky with one too. They will also help to show you what you will be able to see. You should be able to see the moon and all the planets (except Pluto), but some with more detail than others. On Jupiter, you should be able to see the bands and Red Spot, while you should also be able to see Saturn’s rings.
Many people recommend that beginners start off learning how to spot the planets and the constellations using a pair of binoculars first. This is indeed a good way to get started, and you may prefer to stick with your binoculars for a while longer even once you’ve got used to spotting the night’s sights. What’s more, if you find that astronomy isn’t for you, you won’t have invested a large amount of money in buying a telescope.
Astronomical telescopes are affected by weather conditions. The equipment needs to cool down to the outside temperature to give clear and focused images and this usually takes around 20 minutes, but could take longer depending on the temperature difference. Conditions are also affected by seeing conditions and this is down to both the weather and where you live. Large cities are heavily affected by light pollution which will decrease visibility due to excessive amounts of outdoor lighting.
If you’re looking for a way to perk yourself up after the Christmas and New Year holidays, why not come to us here at Sherwoods? We have a variety of optical devices that you are sure to love. So whether you love astronomy, bird watching or are a keen hunter, you should definitely come to us for the best optical devices on the market, such as night vision binoculars, telescopes and bird watching binoculars.
But what should you buy?
Well, rather than going for the usual ties, car wash kits, toiletry sets and socks; you could always consider getting binoculars instead. Indeed, binoculars can be a very good choice of gift for one or more of your loved ones as they can provide many hours of entertainment, whether it be for watching wildlife, gazing at stars or any other kind of observation-based activities.
Although your choice may be largely determined by price, cash shouldn’t be the only factor that influences your decision. Certainly, you will need to take into account the preferences of the recipient in question: for example, a pair of bird watching binoculars would most likely be the best choice for someone who enjoys spending lots of time out and about in the countryside.
Regardless of whether you purchase astronomical, marine or bird watching binoculars; they are sure to make a very fine gift for anyone who is lucky enough to receive them. So, if you want to do your shopping the easy way, look no further than us here at Sherwoods.
It is approaching that time of year when the weather turns cold and the sun goes AWOL until springtime. Indeed, the cold mornings are already here and it surely won’t be long until the snow and ice move in to join them.
Beauty & Joy
Thankfully, there are times when a wintry scene can actually provide episodes of divine beauty and joy. Times when a fleeting blast of early morning sunshine across a frosty landscape is an absolute pleasure to behold, especially if you’re in a rural setting. Indeed, out in the countryside, the rolling hills and spire-like forests can look absolutely stunning under a layer of icy frost or virgin snow; so, if you get the opportunity to spend a few hours out and about in the country on a winter’s day, you really should seize the chance.
Taking a pair of binoculars out with you will enable you to see even more of all the delights that a rural wintry scene has to offer. Certainly, a good pair of bird watching binoculars will allow you to not only examine the landscape in much greater detail; they will also enable you to catch a glimpse of the wildlife that comes out to play at this time of year. For example, a pair of bird watching binoculars could enable you to see a robin red-breast going about his day; and there really are few things as festive as that.