Subject: [Tweeters] Re spotting scopes
Date: Nov 26 16:48:16 2011
From: Rob Sandelin - nwnature1 at

Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars is warranted I suppose if you are pretty committed to birding, or have tons of disposable income, but might not be a wise choice until you are sure that birding is really something you want to invest major time in. Some people who start birding don't necessarily continue. My advice is keep your investment low until you find yourself out on a winter day, in the sleet, and wondering...Am I crazy to be out here chasing a bird? When you get to that place you are probably committed enough to start investing in optics, although many birders get by just fine with medium quality binoculars and inexpensive scopes such as a Bushnell spacemaster. If your goal is to ID birds, thousands of dollars of optics are not required, if it was, very few would actually ever get to bird.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
40 years birding with modest gear


From: tweeters-bounces at [mailto:tweeters-bounces at] On Behalf Of reedjs at
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:17 AM
To: tweeters at
Subject: [Tweeters] Re spotting scopes

Re: spotting scopes

Went through this myself 2 years ago when bought my scope. Am a novice myself and know that you run into people with all sorts of different equipment and at least for me, the scopes that people had on the audubon trips reflected their high level of expertise and were a bit too expensive for my beginner tastes.

I went to the Seattle audubon nature shop in the Wedgewood neighborhood and bought one there in the $600 range. They have no pressure volunteers who know a lot about birding and scopes and were very helpful to me. Depending on your age and eyesite, there were some very expensive scopes that I couldn't take advantage of because of my own limitations. You can compare them there side by side and a good portion of your purchase goes towards the nonprofit. Was very happy with the help I got there.

Good luck

Steve Reed
reedjs at



I am looking at purchasing a spotting scope or something
better than the B&L binoculars I?m using now when I?m out watching our
feathered friends. Does anyone have any
suggestions? This would be my first
scope, and I want it to be water proof, somewhat light, and be able to clearly
see a long ways a way. I?ve looked at scopes from the Celestron 52252
at Amazon to the Tasco 20-60x80 waterproof scopes on sale at Big 5. There are so many choices out there its a little overwhelming. so I'm hoping someone here with experience can make a recommendation. I hope to make the
trip up to Stanwood this coming week and I hope the Snowy's are still there. What a thrill it would be to be able to see them clearly from far away!

On a side note ? How likely is it that a Snowy Owl would be
in Gig Harbor? I have 3 sets of
neighbors now that claim, without shadow of doubt, that they have seen a Snowy
Owl sitting on the ground across from a wooded area marsh/pond in the
neighborhood. We are a block or two from
waters edge. Has there ever been a Snowy
reported in Gig Harbor before in the past?
Wendy Thuring-WelchGig Harbor, WA Wendy_Thuring at hotmail dot com
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