Outdoor Equipment Reviews from Ireland's Wildlife

We feature independent reviews of the latest wildlife equipment, clothing, gadgets and optics for the most discerning wildlife enthusiast. All of our reviews are based on hands-on experience of products we've tested extensively under field conditions. We put the best wildlife equipment out there through its paces, and give you our honest opinion, allowing you to make informed decisions about what you buy.

Vanguard Endeavor EDIV 10×42 Binocular Review

Pros: Great ergonomics, excellent build quality and superb optics combine to make this the best Vanguard binocular yet. Sharp detailed views across an expansive field of view. Vivid contrast and natural colours with no colour fringing. New SK15 prisms give noticeably brighter view than predecessor. Protective hydrophobic coatings shield lenses and make cleaning a breeze. Cons: Very […]

Hawke Endurance 50 12-36x Spotting Scope Review

Pros: Tiny but robust travel scope with great ergonomics that delivers plenty of optical bang for the buck. Super-portable the Endurance delivers a bright, clear, razor sharp image across a wide field of view at 12x, and remains sharp and detailed (though a little darker, as you’d expect with a 50mm objective) right up to a […]

Binocular Review: Eschenbach Trophy D 8×42 ED

Pros: Bright, high contrast image with excellent detail and vivid colours. Wide field of view. High quality materials throughout give a robust, premium feel. Cons: Design makes for curious ergonomics. While It could be argued that the angular shaping of the rubber armour helps grip, it feels odd, and smacks more of an attempt to be different […]

Feeder guardian: keep larger birds and squirrels at bay

Feeding garden birds is a great way to give our feathered friends a helping hand and perhaps the easiest way to attract more wildlife to your garden. Here at IWHQ we feed the birds all year round, but with a rookery nearby it’s not unusual to see dozens of enterprising corvids descend whenever we put out food. It often […]

Vanguard VEO 235AP Travel Tripod and VEO 37 Bag

For the wildlife enthusiast travelling light can be a real challenge. While you don’t want to lug around too much heavy equipment, you also don’t want to compromise too much on getting the best views of the wildlife you encounter while you’re away from home. The main concern, of course, is optics. A quality, lightweight pair of […]

Hawke Endurance ED 8×32 Binocular Review

Pros: Bright, high contrast views with natural looking colours and excellent fine detail even at lower light levels. Impressively lightweight, yet still feel extremely robust. Packed with high-end features at a price that represents exceptional value. Cons: None worth noting. Price: Listed in the Birdwatch Ireland Shop for €230, RRP on the Hawke UK website is GB£169.99 (c. €215). You may find them cheaper by shopping […]

Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Spotting Scope Review

Pros: As with its 82mm sibling we reviewed here, this is a smart, modern-looking scope. Very solid and extremely compact. Image is very bright and sharp from 15x to around 30x. Wide central sweet spot, with some softening towards the field edges. Dual focus controls make fine-focus quick and easy. Cons: This scope uses the same eyepiece as the 82A model, and suffers […]

Vanguard’s new travel tripod impresses

When you’re travelling, or even if you simply have a way to walk from the car to a favourite viewing point, carrying a bulky scope and tripod can be a tiresome business. There are solutions out there of course — things like scope carriers (I use the Cley Spy MulePack to tote around my Meopta Meostar […]

Hawke Endurance ED 8×42 Binocular Review

Pros: Crisp, detailed views at a price that’s hard to believe. Packed with premium features you normally only see on much more expensive binoculars. Lightweight and robust thanks to its magnesium alloy chassis. Cons: Not many… a little softening evident around the field edge, but not noticeable in normal use. Focus wheel has a bit more resistance than I was expecting, but […]

Olivon T650 Spotting Scope Review

Pros: Crisp, high resolution views with good colour and contrast throughout most of the 16-48x zoom range. Excellent wide angle eyepiece delivers expansive viewing experience without “tunnel vision” common with budget scopes. Standard 1.25″ astronomy eyepiece mount means compatible with a vast range of third party eyepieces. Cons: Non-ED version reviewed does suffers slightly from some colour fringing (chromatic aberration) when viewing […]

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