[Tweeters] Scopes, Resolved (long). Padilla Bay birds

Guy McWethy lguy_mcw at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 30 09:14:05 PDT 2006

Hey Tweets!
I finally made a decision and got my new spotting

>From the poll of tweeters and what everyone has:

Majority of respondents have Leica APO Televid.
Second place was the Swarovski 80mm. The 65mm also
came highly recomended. Kowa probably came in next.
The Zeiss got one recomendation.

>From internet reviews, the Leica, Swarovsky, and Zeiss

got very similar reviews in terms of optic bench
So I HAD to SEE them to make a decision. So I took
advantage of the miserable rain storm yesterday, and
drove up to Anacortes Telescope in the afternoon.
I looked thru the Leica APO Televid, the Zeiss 85mm,
and the Swarovsky 80mm Scopes. It took me 2 hours to
make the decision, and the folks at Anacortes
Telescope were very helpful.
All 3 have great optics, and the discernible
differences were very minor. I would say the Zeiss is
probably the brightest and clearest, but only by a
small fraction. The Zeiss and Leica have the dual
focusing knobs (fast and slow focus), while the
Swarovski has a single, large focus ring. The Leica
is the largest and heaviest by far. The Zeiss and
Leica have burnished metal surfaces, while the
Swarovski has the green rubberized coating.
I finally based my decision on ergonomics and what I
felt most comfortable with.

The Swarovski just barely edged out the Zeiss in my
opinion. I just felt more comfortable with the
Swarovski, and I like a single wide focus ring versus
the small dual focusing mechanisms (too many years as
a photographer, I guess). I got the HD glass and 80mm
in anticipation of using it for photography.

So after I got my new Swarovski, I had to go try it
out. The rain had tapered off, and it turned into a
reasonable afternoon around Padilla Bay.
I stopped at the first turnoff on the way to Bay City,
and set up the Scope. Just Gorgeous!
Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, LB Dowitcher, and
BRIGHT brreding colors on the Dunlin!!! How did I
ever go birding without this scope!
So yeah, I think I made the right decision for me ;)

Ran into Kraig Kemper, and he pointed out a few new
spots for me to try around Padilla Bay for shorebirds,
so I spent the late afternoon chasing around.
Highlights - Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs,
Peregrine Falcon, Least and Western Sandpipers,
Lincoln's Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow HORDES. 4 Tundra
Swans, and 5 GWF Geese. Large flocks of Pacific Loon,
Surf Scoter, and Common Loon on the Bay.

A N. Harrier spooked a flock of Savannah Sparows (at
least 100!) across the road in front of my car, and I
barely managed to slow down enough to avoid taking out
the whole flock. The Sav Sparrows were THICK around
the roads wherever I drove around the flats. I've
only seen bird flocks around roads like that in
Eastern Washington, when the Horned Larks blast up and
around the road as you drive past. (we called them
Kamakazi birds because they seemed to be diving
towards your grill!)

It was a GREAT Day!

Guy McWethy
Renton, WA
mailto: lguy_mcw at yahoo.com

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