Thursday, September 10, 2009

I have seen the light!

Anyone who has spent any time with me in the tropics knows that I am addicted to night spotting. I just love getting out at night and poking around for frogs, reptiles, mammals and birds. The search for the perfect spotlight has taken me from my trusty 4 D-cell Maglite, through a bulky dive torch and onto to 6 volt and 12 volt spotlights with heavy batteries and connecting wires. With the exception of the Maglite all have been prone to wear-and-tear and the number of battery chargers I have gone through in countries with irregular currents beggars belief. Well all that seems to be over now, I have gone tactical... With both my spotlights out of action yet again I was contemplating spending £130 on a new 12v kit at Clulite where I have shopped in the past but then I started looking around at LED stuff and this made a lot more sense.

The LED Lenser X21 - oh my god! It is awesome, superlatives do not exist to describe this bit of kit. I just hope it is robust. Took it for a spin tonight and it rocks. Nice clean white light, good spot beam and a wide beam that is really going to make frogging a lot easier in the future. Pricey though. Chuck the name in google for a laugh at the macho hard-sell and check out 'you-tube' and online forums for a murky (or perhaps well-lit) world of well-informed torch geeks. I bought mail order from Doc at GlowGadgets, great personal service from a guy who only sells the best gear on the market.

Bought a LED Lenser P14 too for back-up, smaller (4 AA) but incredible. If you are short of space or weight just pack this. For close tape-playback work in forests this will be more than enough.

Just a few pretty things seen at night in the last 12 months...

Spotted stream frog Rana picturata (Borneo) - easily one of the most photogenic frogs in Borneo.

The sluggish common mock viper Psammodynastes pulverulentus (Borneo)

Brown wood-owl Strix leptogrammica (Borneo)

Common genet Genetta genetta (Namibia)

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