I'm a little concerned. I think my eyesight is getting a little...
Now that's funny in a way and not quite so funny in another. Funny because a very good friend of mine came round the other night and we were having just that conversation. I announced that I was having to stand further away to focus on things, to which the reply was "Why don't you just wear your glasses?" "Because," and anybody who wears glasses knows this, I said "...the more you wear them, the worse your eyes get..." After her polite "Bollocks!" said friend did GOOGLETH on her smart phone and, as is usually the case, put me straight on a few things...today the myths surrounding spex and eyesight. Apparently these are ALL myths...
● "Although eyeglasses makes you see better, they cause vision to get worse over time.
● Eyeglasses will need to be constantly changed with higher powered one."
● "Don't wear your glasses so often, you need to exercise your eyes!"
● "Overuse of the Eye' or 'use of eye' makes vision worse"
● "Sitting Too Close to the TV Is Bad for Your Eyes"
● "Reading in the Dark Will Damage Your Eyes"
● "Eye exercises can improve vision"
● "Over the counter reading glasses hurt the eye"
● "Wearing contact lenses will prevent nearsightedness from getting worse"
● "Eating carrots can improve vision"
● "Using night light in infant rooms will make then nearsighted"
Now I was bloody surprised! I mean seriously!! So much so that I immediately spat out my carrot and binned the rest!!! So what has all this to do with birding and my initial blogged concern? Well it's this. Much as a lot of bird ID is based on call and song, you can't really get far without good eyes. Take gulls for example, I mean you can't exactly pick out different races amid the winter Birchwood Pool throng on the SOUND of their mantles! Nope. Eyesight, for me at least, is key... and here it is, beginning it would seem, to deteriorate. Combine that with my need to recently pawn my Zeiss 85 scope (beautiful...sheds tear) and get out of the cupboard my old Kowa TSN, complete with missing eyepiece lens (see below - yes I can stick my finger INTO the zoom) and it's affecting my capacity to 'bird'.
Now tbh, I'd blamed my slightly nauseating view of the other day's Ring Ousel on the fish-eye effect my current imperfect scope creates, when i eventually manage to get my eye just the right distance away from the hole where the lens used to be in order to get a sharp and centred image. Move the scope and the whole magnified world arches into view like it's been painted on a mirror ball. Kinda trippy... but not very helpful when you're trying to find a bird, let alone identify one at distance. Never mind...life is full of challenges and at some point, no doubt, I'll get the eye-piece fixed. My eyes though I'd not really considered in birding terms...until the other day.
I'd been wandering the margins of the north fringe of the patch in search of Wheatear on their way through and maybe a Grey Partridge or two in the field margins and the weather had started to close in a bit and I'd seen neither. Common Snipe though WAS an addition to the year list... which was nice. So I decided I'd head back to the old blue Megane and nip to the piers to see if the Roozull was still there (it was btw)... and happened on my way to pass the feeding station. Now I've done this hundreds of times in the past, but what struck me today was the weird sign on the bird table there. It quite clearly said "Noodle Pk"... and the worst of it was I was still trying to figure out why they'd relabelled the bloody thing and what Noodle Park meant when I took the photo at the start of this blog. Yes. I need to get my eyes tested else there are gonna be some very interesting species turning up on these blog pages this year!!! So i may need glasses. Who cares and anyway, let's face it... glasses ARE kinda sexy...