Scoping Beginners

Scoping Beginners – Advice and Tips

While observing birds at a closer range, binoculars are a preferable option. But for distinguishing the specific features of a bird, a telescope provides a close up view. You’ll be amazed at the detail you can uncover, and even at a close range a telescope will help you unlock a whole new level of intricate details while out birdwatching. Are you considering a telescope for birding but are not sure what to look for? That’s ok, we’ve compiled a list of tips and advice for aspiring birdwatchers below:

  • New to Birding? Our advice if you are starting out your journey as a birder is to start with binoculars. Get comfortable with using these and if you continue to love the thrill of birding, which we are sure you will, a telescope is something you will need to take your spotting to the next level. If you feel you are a beginner to this hobby, we suggest reading our top binocular buying tips to get some advice on the best binoculars to start your journey. However, if you want to jump right in or are looking for an upgrade we have put together some useful tips for you to get started on your telescoping journey.
  • Astronomy Telescopes and Spotting Scopes. Firstly, we feel it is important to distinguish the difference between a spotting scope and an astronomy scope. These two types of scopes are often confused with beginners, if you use an astronomy scope for birding you won’t get the same experience you would with a spotting scope. Astronomy scope images are often shown in a mirror-image (upside down and reversed) which can make it confusing when trying to follow a bird’s flight path, as it will appear backwards. A spotting scope is designed specifically for spotting, they have a wider field of view so you can cover a larger area while searching for a bird. An astronomy scope will also often have too high of a magnification as they are commonly used for observing stars, which are at a far greater distance than the birds we are searching for. 
  • Decide on your level of commitment. This can change how much you will want to spend on a telescope. They can be expensive so it’s best to purchase one that suits the level of time you are going to use it for. 

You might just want to keep it casual, explore local areas and take one out every now and then. In this case it is best to go for a cheaper option. Perfect for observing wildlife in your garden, the Viking 12-36x 50mm Swallow Compact Telescope is a lightweight scope that can be kept at hand or packed away in everyday luggage for convenience if you ever decide to stop for a look while you’re out. 

Are you an accomplished bird watcher with experience using a scope and want to up your game to ID more birds? Then it may be time to upgrade your telescope for something with a longer range so you can discover more wildlife in new locations. For birding fanatics the Harrier 80mm ED telescope is high quality and features two focus wheels for a scope that can identify distinct attributes in Aves that you may not have discovered before. 

  • Birding Alone or With Friends? Many scopes come in straight or angled options, if you intend to share your scope with friends and family it may change the shape you go for. Angled scopes tend to be easier to share with others as they are simpler to line up to an individual’s sight by moving the tripod up or down. However with a straight scope it is a little more difficult as the angle of the eyepiece is harder to adjust. Testing the scope before buying can make sure that when you have spotted a bird, you know that all parties involved feel comfortable and get the best experience out of using the telescope. 

Your telescope needs a tripod to keep it steady, this is another add on you should consider when starting your birding journey. Browse our range of tripods to find the perfect partner for your telescope. 

  • Magnification/Eyepieces. Zoom eyepieces are a useful component to have while bird watching. They have a range of magnifications ranging from low to high. Using this while birding means that birders can use a lower magnification to scan a wider area for the birds. Once identified you should switch to a higher powered lens to one that can accentuate the spotting experience. 

Most eyepieces come with the option to change the eyepiece to fit what magnification, field of view and eye relief you need. However there are some spotting scopes that may not have interchangeable eyepieces, you will usually find this on waterproof scopes. So it is best to check what eyepieces you can use with the scope you are considering before you make your final decision. 

  • Eyeglass wearers. For birders that wear eyeglasses, telescopes can be offered with an eyecup that twists for the comfort of the user. Eye relief distance is something to consider when looking for a spotting scope, you will need one with long eye relief. You may find that with other telescopes your eyes will get tired sooner, this is due to the extra lens between your eye and the scope. An eye relief between 12-15 mm is average for most eyeglass wearers, these measurements can often be found in the description of the product. 

Here at Viking Optical Centres we strive to educate about the beauty of our environment and the animals that inhabit it. We have a wide range of telescopes for beginners to experts and encourage all out there considering bird watching to set up to your scope, relax and enjoy the view. Need some more advice on what scope is best for you? Give us a call on 01986 875315 or email us now at for more information.

Binoculars for bird watching

Buying and Using Binoculars – 10 Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to this community, you might feel daunted at the prospect of venturing out with your new  binocular. Or perhaps you are yet to purchase a binocular due to the sheer amount of choice on offer. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start, here at Viking Optical Centres we are committed to education and inclusivity.  Making optics accessible to everyone who wants to participate. That’s why we have compiled a list of helpful tips for aspiring binocular users below:  

  • Finding the right Binoculars for you. The best way to start shopping is to really think about what you want to use them for. This is the first step to determine what sort of spec you are looking for. Our website has a wide range of binoculars to browse amongst, and any member of our team will be excited to discuss your ambitions with you should you need advice. 
  • Magnification. All lenses will have a certain magnification. The greater  the magnification, the more stability you will require to hold steady. So it is smart to consider how much magnification you actually need. For instance, if you are fairly close to the object you are looking at, you do not need to overcompensate with high magnification. You will achieve a better image by using a lower magnification. If, however, you are looking at something (a bird) that is perched miles from you in the treetops, you will benefit from a higher magnification and possibly even a tripod. Bigger and more powerful lenses are often heavier so a tripod wouldn’t go amiss to keep your hands from shaking and disturbing your field of view.     
  • Consider the light. Knowing what sort of light you will most often be observing from can help you decide what lens you need. In low light situations, for instance dawn and dusk, a large objective lens should be used without compromising comfort and useability. An objective lens is the lens that is furthest from your eye. The ‘windows’ out of the scope, if you like. You’re essentially aiming to collect as much light from those lenses as possible, so the bigger the better. Think of it in terms of a net: The bigger the net, the more light you can catch.

If you will be using your binoculars in broad daylight, or perhaps snowy environments where there is a lot of glare, it’s worth considering purchasing binoculars with ED glass lenses. ED means Extra – Low Dispersion. ED glass virtually eliminates something known in the field as chromatic aberration. In layman’s terms ED glass will provide impeccable colour correction, thus resulting in a sharpness unparalleled by any regular binocular.  

  • Terrain. If you’re a keen hiker or rambler, make sure you choose something versatile, light and easy to carry. Something with a strap perhaps or a comfortable light-weight case
  • Get the right fit. Making sure you get binoculars that fit comfortably against your face. All of our binoculars are adjustable in the centre hinge, however it is important you do your research beforehand to make sure that you are buying the right size for you personally. Make sure you have got enough room between the two barrels to be comfortable and the eye cups don’t interfere with your vision. Ergonomic features such as grip, eyecups and straps should be considered carefully, especially the most avid of explorers who will be out for many hours of the day. 

If you wear glasses it helps to retract the eyecups. The key is to minimise the gap between your eyes and the ocular lens. The ocular lens is the glass closed to your eye. The ‘window’ in. By minimising the gap you are blocking out any unwanted light that could create shadows around the edges of your image. This is why, even if you don’t wear glasses (or you wear contacts) it’s important your eyecups are flush with your eye sockets to ensure you get a crisp and full picture right to the edge of your vision.   

  • Use your naked eye. Start by studying the panoramic view before you without your Binoculars. It can be a tricky task to train your focus onto something very small in the distance when you are not used to it. Especially if you are using a strong magnification, it is best to really gage where you are focusing your line of vision. With your eyes fixed on the desired focal point, lift the binoculars up to your face all the while concentrating on the same place. By practicing this method you will be less likely to lose what you were aiming to look at. 
  • Use your ears. If we are hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife, it’s more likely that we will hear it than see it. Keep your ears trained on the sounds around you, ready for any rustle or movement. 
  • Keep your lenses clean. If you are going to invest in a decent binocular, make sure you invest time into taking care of them. There is nothing worse than having a dirty lens!
  • Always keep your strap round your neck. Even then most experienced birdwatchers among us have accidents from time to time. Better to be safe than sorry, so it’s best to keep your strap around your neck even if you are holding onto them tightly.
  • Adjust your diopter. A diopter is a handy feature that enables you to compensate for the differences in your own eyes. Most of us will experience differences between our left and right eyes in terms of strength of vision. This dial means you can manually adapt each barrel to suit your visual requirements. Keep both eyes open to start but cover up the right lens. Then, ‘focus on a middle-ground object, using the central focusing ring. Change the lens cap so that you see through your right eye. With both eyes open, and staying in the same position, focus on the same object by using the diopter adjustment on the central column.’ (

At Viking Optical Centres we believe in sharing and preserving our natural habitats through education and community. It’s never too late to learn something new and start taking an interest in your natural surroundings. We have a whole range of outdoor adventure gear and optic equipment to support you and your new hobby. Give us a call on 01986 875315 or email us now at

Global Big Day – 8th May 2021

Following on from the fantastic success of the inaugural Global Bird Weekend, we, as the Viking Flyway Birding Team are very happy to announce our participation in the latest worldwide conservation fund raising event brought to you by the indefatigable team of Tim Appleton and Penny Robinson.

This and the October 2020 event, really chimes with Viking Optical as the Global Big Day is so much more than a fundraising vehicle. It is inclusive – anyone can take part from anywhere in the world and any level of interest and experience. No longer the preserve of elite birders and globetrotters, this event is low carbon too and we can get fully behind that!

On Saturday 8th May join us and thousands of others as we celebrate the miracle of bird migration by recording as many species as we can whilst raising funds and awareness to protect vulnerable migrating birds as they undertake their epic and perilous journeys.

We are proud to be able to count on the help and support of our partners, ambassadors, customers and friends to not only participate but spread the word and share the love of migration.

If you feel inspired to take part or help us raise money for the cause you can find out more at where you will find out everything you need to know about the big day and how to sign up.

Please join us – we value all contributions!

Please follow our social media @vikingoptical to keep up to date!

Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher

Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher – Some Positive News

Ten years ago, as part of our growing commitment to conservation, Viking Optical became the Birdlife International species champion providing much needed funding towards efforts to save the critically endangered Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher.

Birdlife partner Nature Seychelles and the Seychelles National Park Authority, supported by Viking Optical undertook an advocacy and education project as part of Birdlife’s Preventing Extinctions Programme.

Dr. Nirmal Shah, CEO of Nature Seychelles speaking in 2011, “Partnerships are crucial for conservation and have been used to save most of Seychelles endangered birds. The combined effort of conservation NGOs, government, businesses, and the community is probably the most powerful tool available to us to address conservation issue in Seychelles.”

At this time the species was classed as ‘critically endangered’ with the population almost entirely confined to La Digue island and numbering as few as 150-200 individuals.

The population has steadily increased since then with birds being successfully introduced to other parts of its former range. It is now estimated that there are 350-500 mature birds.

Birdlife recently reported “This heartening success is the result of years of hard work by Nature Seychelles and its collaborators. They established a nature reserve from scratch, together with an education centre and a large-scale public awareness campaign. This included a drive to set up water baths at schools and community centres, to help all birds survive the dry season. The flycatcher is still classed as Vulnerable, and much of its habitat is still threatened by development projects…” the work goes on.

Viking Optical – committed to wildlife and habitat conservation.

Viking Flyway Birding Team for the Global Bird Weekend 17th/18th October

If you didn’t already know, Global Birding Weekend is the brainchild of Tim Appleton, originator of the world’s first and biggest annual birdfair.

We love the idea of connecting birders from all over the world in a common cause to raise awareness of conservation issues and to help save wild birds and habitats through raising money to help Birdlife International, all while having fun doing something we all love.

Not only that, but encouraging people new to the joys of birdwatching and also contributing to scientific knowledge by entering sightings to the eBird global database!

With our long history of supporting conservation we just had to get involved.

We are proud to be part of the global birding and conservation family and the Global Bird Weekend is a perfect fit for the Flyway Birding family we’ve already been embraced by.

From the outset, we at Viking decided we wanted to reach out to our friends, supporters, partners, ambassadors and customers to form a fully inclusive team. We’re already a family because we share a common love of birds, the miracle of migration, and a desire to help preserve the things we love.

Our core team at present consists of birders, migration lovers and conservationists  from various points along the East Atlantic flyway from the UK to the Gambia.

This inaugural Global Bird Weekend is raising funds to help Birdlife International put an end to the illegal trade in wild birds.

You can donate to our team JustGiving page here – every penny is appreciated thank you!

Join our team!

Meet some of the team! 

Niki Williamson

Niki is also co-owner and partner in Inglorious Bustards, and lives with Simon in the delightful village of Facinas in the epicentre of migration – The Straits of Gibraltar, Spain.

Niki grew up playing amongst the woodlands, fields and streams of the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.  She was given a YOC (Young Ornithologist Club) membership for her 6th birthday, and has loved nature ever since.  Somehow, Niki has managed to remain a member of the RSPB Wildlife Explorers under 9’s to this day, and has found her intellectual level in the Rookie cartoons.

Describing herself as a professional tree-hugger, Niki worked and volunteered for the RSPB for twelve years, managing habitats, brandishing chainsaws with varying levels of threat to limbs (her own and others) and honing her birding skills in amazing wetland, upland and coastal habitats.

In recent years she had the pleasure of working with Nature-friendly farmers to make the countryside a better place for wildlife.  Latterly she headed up RSPB’s Eastern England farmland advisory team which, together with the other partners in Operation Turtle Dove, were working to ensure a future for this iconic bird.

Niki is one of the original members of #teampeanut – a crack troop of A-team style conservationists looking at ways in which West African peanut growers could not only provide peanuts for birdfood but also provide habitats for struggling migratory species – including Turtle Doves – through Fair to Nature accreditation.

Seeing first hand the challenges faced by journeying birds all across the flyway has given Niki a deep passion for the epic spectacle of migration.  This, and her love of international adventure makes her a proud founder member in the Inglorious Bustards’ motley line-up  (Oh and by the way, it was her that thought of the name…).

Simon Tonkin

Simon is co-owner and partner in Inglorious Bustards, living in Facinas in the heart of The Straits of Gibraltar, Spain.

Simon was raised in Plymouth in the UK and his early birding habitats were rubbish tips, sewage outfalls and fish factories. It all started when, at nine years old, his enthralment with the natural world led him to sneak out with his father’s massive binoculars at first light, returning home many hours after dark covered in estuarine mud and other indescribable detritus, to face the music!

Fulfilling a boyhood dream, Simon worked for the RSPB full-time for fifteen years; the first projects he was involved in were to protect breeding Hen Harriers and Bee-eaters in the North of England. Simon has lectured in ornithology, specialising in a variety of subjects including bird ethology, migration and bird populations. He worked in farmland bird conservation for the most of his RSPB career, latterly working at the RSPB’s headquarters in Sandy.  He and Niki launched the first landscape-scale farmland bird initiative, The Thorney Farmland Bird Friendly Zone.

Simon has conducted research on Corn Bunting crop nest site selection and on the seed palatability of farmland granivores. He also co-launched Operation Turtle Dove, co-ordinating efforts in the UK and internationally to save the species from extirpation. Simon has worked as the Conservation Manager for Conservation Grade, working on ground-breaking and exciting conservation projects in Spain, Portugal, Central America, Morocco, Senegal and The Gambia and is widely travelled in these countries, being particularly familiar with their avifauna, lepidoptera and mammalian species. Simon now lives in the epi-centre of migration at The Straits of Gibraltar as one of the Inglorious Bustards working on a variety of conservation projects, and tour leading.

Despite this long and varied career, he was once described by an eminent public figure as having no discernible talents apart from hanging out at sewage outfalls looking at gulls!

Dr. Alejandro Onrubia

Alejandro is the project coordinator at Fundación Migres, working on a number of scientific monitoring schemes here in The Straits of Gibraltar. Many will know Alejandro from his skills in monitoring the crossing of thousands of soaring birds here in The Straits, where seemingly he spends every waking moment at a watchpoint busily ‘clicking’ each new traveler through the migration bottleneck.

Aside from monitoring work, Alejandro is also working on new sustainable eco-tourism opportunities in partnership with the Inglorious Bustards.

Alejandro is a well published ornithologist having authored a vast array of scientific studies, improving our knowledge of bird migration and the ever-increasing and changing threats these migrants face on their travels. Alejandro has vast experience and knowledge and he translates that through his friendly, patient and enlightening guiding skills.  Every time you go birding with Alejandro, you learn something new!

Tijan Kanteh

Tijan is one of the most experienced conservationists, birders and guides in The Gambia.  He is much respected by his peers and renowned for his ability to use his wealth of knowledge to train new and upcoming guides in the country.  So much so that locally he is often referred to as ‘Elder’ or ‘Uncle’!  He certainly has our respect too, and we are proud to have him on the team. Tijan is a passionate conservationist and is involved in local projects around land use policy and illegal hunting and trafficking of birds.  He even hosts the unofficial RSPB Brufut office at his home! He also was one of the original members of the aforementioned #teampeanut, working on sustainable peanut production management to protect wildlife habitats and the wider environment.  Simon and Tijan have worked with each other for nearly twenty years and are often locally referred to as brothers!

Stuart Gillies

Stuart manages the Viking Optical shop in Edinburgh. Hooked on wildlife from an early age by watching Jaques Cousteau, local birds on the nearby Union canal in Edinburgh had to substitute for the undersea world.

Six years as an itinerant contract warden for the RSPB culminated in an opportunity to join Viking Optical who had recently become the optical supplier to RSPB.

Stuart is immensely proud of the conservation work supported by Viking Optical through various partnerships and sponsorships which have grown in scope throughout his 20+ years with the company.

What he lacks in birding skills is partly made up for by an enthusiasm for migration and conservation.

We want that family to grow! To that end, here is a call – we want you! Anyone can join our team for the Global Bird Weekend of 17th & 18th October. Beginner or expert, back garden, local park, nature reserve, birds from the bus…whoever you are, wherever you live and however you see birds…we value your input. Every bird record is of value and so are you!

Please join us! Here’s how to get involved:-

  1. Please register here in order to take part. Please enter your name AND Viking Flyway Birding Team if you would like to be part of our team.
  2. Set up an eBird account here in order to log your sightings (skip this step if you already have an eBird account).
  3. Share your eBird sightings from the 17th October to the team account which is VikingFlywayBirding (no spaces).

Swarovski NL Pure Hands-on Day at our Edinburgh Store 17/9/2020

Paul from Swarovski will be showcasing the new NL Pure binocular range in our Edinburgh store on Thursday 17th September 11am – 4pm.

Viking Optical Centre, 101 Rose Street, Edinburgh

NL Pure – the revolutionary binoculars with the largest field of view to date and barely perceptible edges, without compromising on ergonomics and handling. In other words: Best optics, packed in the smallest possible size. The NL Pure thus provides unprecedented nature experiences.

Enjoy a (sanitised) hands-on trial of the NL and also a demonstration of the ground-breaking dG digital identification aid!

The new Swarovski NL Pure binocular
Swarovski dG 8×25 Monocular

The Swarovski dG 8×25 is the perfect monocular for you and your family. This long-range optical device allows you to view distant objects and instantly share what you are seeing via the Swarovski Optik dG app. Work together with your friends and family to identify distant animals or objects. Of course, this monocular features Swarovski’s extremely high-quality glass and construction.

If there is a particular item you would like to try or you would like to book a one to one session, please call 0131 225 6389 or email
Look forward to seeing you on the 17th!

See the whole Swarovski range on our website.

Lockdown Wildlife with Viking Optical

One of the few positives to come out of the lockdown period was the well reported upsurge in natural history interest.

Being largely confined to gardens and the local vicinity, people started to take the time to learn what was on their own doorstep. The answer was by turns surprising and beautiful. Hitherto unnoticed birds, wild flowers, and an abundance of insects on uncut verges, became sources of both wonder and comfort.

Male Blackcap
Cherry Laurel

Exercise walks became mini voyages of discovery as something new caught the eye and aroused curiosity.

People on social media were questioning why verges were cut at the times they were despite teeming with life and posing no danger to traffic or pedestrians. Why trees, shrubs and hedges were cut whilst birds were nesting. It was wonderful to note that so many were enjoying the wildlife and then were bereft when it was needlessly removed.

Bee Fly

The quiet in March and April was deafening. Little road noise, almost no planes thundering overhead meant that birdsong was heard loud and clear.

Courtship feeding Blue Tits

The economy will slowly recover and traffic levels will increase to pre-pandemic levels but there must be a glimmer of hope that many have been awakened to the kind of local environment that is better for everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

Nature is amazing and you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to exotic locations to see its beauty and drama played out – it’s happening everywhere, you just have to look!

Wader Passage at Levenhall Links Nature Reserve

Our perception of the seasons is subjective. It may sound odd to talk of autumn when in August, surely that’s summer?

Black-tailed Godwits
Black-tailed Godwit

Not if you’re a wader breeding in the arctic! Many adults whose breeding attempts have failed will start to make the long and arduous return journey to their wintering grounds in the height of our summer.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

When juvenile wading birds start to appear on our shores and at our wetlands we really are seeing the onset of autumn for these birds. The fairly brief abundance of daylight and food gives way quickly at these Northern latitudes allowing the birds a limited window of opportunity to establish a territory, find a mate, and raise young.

Juvenile Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank
Juvenile Ruff
Grey Plover

Even more remarkable are the distances involved putting the UK in a vital position as a ‘motorway services’ for millions of waders who need to rest and refuel on their annual return journeys.

Bar-tailed Godwits
Bar-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit

A favourite spot is Levenhall Links nature reserve run by the East Lothian Council Ranger Service.

Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

This small area of purpose-built lagoons near Musselburgh, just to the East of Edinburgh, has proved very productive for roosting waders and passage migrants including many scarce and rare species.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Temminck’s Stints

All of the accompanying photographs were taken from the hides at Levenhall over the past few years.

Andrew Edginton Wildlife Artist

We are very grateful to talented young wildlife artist and committed conservationist from Kent, Andrew Edginton for permission to share his story and some of his beautiful artwork.

Andrew Edginton (age 17) is an avid young wildlife artist, enthusiast and photographer who lives in Kent. He works in a range of media including: Pen & Ink, Biro, Watercolour, Gouache, Acrylic, Oil, Pastel and Mixed Media. He is a member of the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory where he takes part in their friendly Art club and the young Phoenix club.

Andrew first came to our attention as a contributor to the Birdfair mural in 2019 which was painted in aid of the world famous Fair Isle observatory.

Andrew contributing to the Birdfair mural in 2019
Badgers ©Andrew Edginton not to be used without permission

Andrew’s love for the subjects in his highly detailed work is evident. Every example included here is an insight into the rigorous attention to detail which goes into creating each piece of art.

Puffin ©Andrew Edginton not to be used without permission

Andrew has made several television appearances, notably on the incredibly popular Springwatch and has won many awards for his artwork including the RSPB Wild Art competition two years in a row!

He still finds time to be involved with a local village project to help protect the rare Turtle Doves in his area. Andrew has appeared twice on local BBC news in relation to this.

Otter ©Andrew Edginton not to be used without permission

If you are interested in commissioning Andrew’s work or you have any question please contact him here. He would love to hear from you.  Please be aware he may not be able to take on the commission if he is fully booked.

Global Bird Weekend 17th & 18th October 2020

If you’re into birding in the UK (in fact anywhere in the world!), you’ll be familiar with Tim Appleton who founded and ran the worlds first and biggest annual bird fair at Rutland Water.

Tim Appleton MBE and Richard Bonnett MD Viking Optical Ltd

Viking Optical have been very proud to be associated with the Birdfair for the last 16 years and especially the contribution this event has made to nature conservation through the donations to Birdlife International every year.

That’s why it’s a pleasure to support a new venture! 

This year, in these pandemic hit times, Tim has conceived a new initiative which will be the most inclusive birding event ever! Literally anyone and everyone can take part regardless of birding knowledge and geographical location. 

The Global Bird Weekend will also contribute directly to the eBird database which is an amazing resource with over 100,000 users who log millions of bird sightings which further our understanding of bird populations and movements.

Why get involved? By participating in and donating to Global Bird Weekend, Birdlife International will be able to help put an end to the illegal trade in wild birds which threatens many species with extinction.

Help wild birds by going birding in your local area! Every sighting is of value!

Thanks to the astounding generosity of passionate anonymous supporters, Global Bird Weekend are able to make your contribution go even further. Donors have agreed to provide match-funding for the first £50,000 raised – this means your donation will be DOUBLED, to deliver twice the impact!

It’s very easy to sign up – do it today and have a great time birding on 17th & 18th October with the added bonus that you’ll be joining a worldwide birding family and playing your part in saving wild birds!

Virtual Birdfair 18th-23rd August 2020

The name Viking Optical has been synonymous with Birdfair for the past 16 iterations of this world-famous event and proudly so!

It was with great sadness and disappointment we learned the fateful news that this wonderful event would have to be cancelled due to the terrible pandemic.

Funding for conservation has suffered very badly during the subsequent lockdown and it is very heartening to see that the Birdfair will indeed go ahead albeit in Virtual form!

We must applaud the organisers for making a Birdfair which will be recognisable for its mix of inspirational talks, exhibitors from exotic birding destinations and array of vendors selling any and all types of birding associated paraphernalia you care to mention!

We’re sure you’ll join is in making this a great success and look forward to renewing old friendships and making new ones in 2021!

Viking and Birdfair

We are pleased to have been a Birdfair Sponsor for the past 17 years and in that time have donated more than £250,000 towards the various Birdlife International projects.  We have also made a substantial donation to Birdlife International to assist with the conservation of two endangered species: the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher and the Indian Forest Owlet.