Thursday, May 03, 2012
I've been using the Swarovski AT80 HD spotting scope ever since I started digiscoping in 2001. The last digital camera I bought was the Nikon Coolpix 8400 back in 2006. It's been a wonderful combination that has given me years of fantastic results. Well, I have finally upgraded my gear! I got a brand new Swarovski ATM80 HD, Nikon 1 V1 camera & 10-30mm kit lens, and UCA adapter. Sadly, I haven't had much time to do any serious digiscoping in the field, but I tested my new setup on White-crowned Sparrows coming to our feeders at Eagle Optics yesterday.
I'm pleased with my initial results. The V1's features and specifications are excellent for digiscoping. I especially like the large LCD screen and the Electronic Viewfinder that has a sensor to detect when you're looking through it and automatically turns it on. Best of all? Super fast auto-focus and electronic shutter (10 fps). I thought there might be an adjustment period getting used to the new equipment, but it's easy to use. Although the Nikon 1 V1 is somewhat expensive at $799.95, many digiscoping gurus are singing its praises, including Kevin Bolton, Jerry Jourdan, and Neil Fifer.
On the birding front, the Madison Audubon field trip I led today at Pheasant Branch Conservancy produced 75 bird species, 21 of which were warblers. The dense foliage has made observing them rather challenging at times, but I identify most birds by ear before even trying to look at them. Today I saw my first-of-spring Gray-cheeked Thrush, Bay-breasted Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and Philadelphia Vireo. It's only the third day of May and I already have 101 bird species at Pheasant Branch Conservancy for the month. My record of 131 species was set last year.
White-crowned Sparrow © 2012 Mike McDowell