I have one resolution on this 2012 to do more birding with my brand new binocular Vanguard 10 x 42. This would be my third binoculars after Pentax 10 x 50 and Nikon action 8 x40. The first one actually belongs to my belated Father and its already with my family since I cannot remember. It is very bulky and heavy but sometimes I am still using it to paparazi-ing my neighbour back home. Second one, I asked my friend to buy it in UK. After the third year and many adventures, this buddy cannot survived in extreme weather in Borneo. My old Nikon action is not water-proof and fog-proof. Later on I found some spots inside my binocular lenses which irritated me very much. It turns out everything I see will be foggy and unclear many times. From that time, I am really keen to get new binoculars especially with water-proof and fog-proof specification.
Finally after googling few days, I asked my friend again to buy Vanguard 10 x 42 in UK. It’s finally arrived Indonesia after 3 weeks and from that time I use my Vanguard anywhere. For a binoculars with 245 pounds price, my Vanguard is not very heavy, water-proof and also fog-proof. The last specification is probably unusual for some people but I need that since my previous experiences in Borneo. Another thing is I like the green lining near the lense cap. Not only for birding, sometimes I use it as magnifier during fieldwork. As you can see, distance is not a biggie problem with binoculars even its far from you or near your feet.
I just went birding with my new colleagues recently (Dave Kelly and Nicola Marples from Ireland). It was soaky wet after heavy rain but it is wonderful because I can do birding with both of them and my Vanguard. Their reputation in ornithology or what we called in common study about birds are already famous especially who are interested in Wallacean birds. They have been working in Mainland Sulawesi, Buton Island, and Wakatobi for more than ten years and it still keeps going until now. British citizens but working in Ireland’s university, They come back again this year to Buton Island with their students to study bird speciation in Sulawesi.
Buton Island as miniature of Sulawesi has been known as bird paradise for many birders around the world. I have been lucky because I can visit this asphalt island for another fifth times. During the three weeks, I spent my time birding when not doing batting in the evening. Black naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis) which has distinctive voice is on my first list even I cannot seen them directly. The list is expanded to at least 15 bird such as Collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris), Sulawesi Scoops Owl (Otus manadensis), Green Imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea), White necked myna (Streptocitta albicollis), Sulawesi babbler (Trichastoma celebense), Blue-breasted Pitta (Pitta erythrogaster), and Ivory-backed woodswallow (Artamus monarchus) (see below for full bird list). I will definitely try more to add more bird list if I could but God knows I am only a Dude. As a Dude maybe I am gone birding to see only scenery and wildlife. Usually not really keen birder like Twitcher where you can find twitcher everywhere all around the world chasing rare and mysterious bird. Because usually they are possessed with only one or two species that maybe only few people have seen it.
Buton Bird List Summer 2012
- Yellow-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus calyorhynchus)
- Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis rufipectus)
- Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis)
- Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus)
- Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
- Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
- Ivory-backed Wood-swallow (Artamus monarchus)
- Grosbeak Starling (Scissirostrum dubium)
- Black Sunbird (Nectarinia aspasia)
- Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
- Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
- Sulawesi Scoops Owl (Otus manadensis)
- Green Imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea)
- White-necked Myna (Streptocitta albicollis)
- Sulawesi babbler (Trichastoma celebense)