Laura Erickson, who talked about owls at ASM's 2011 Fall Meeting and entertained us with wonderful stories,  has a delightful blog, 
Laura's Birding Blog, For the love, understanding, and protection of birds.  Today's entry, "Economizing on Optics" addresses the issues a person on a "serious budget" faces, and might be of interest to some of you who do not have binoculars, or are sometimes asked by new birders for advice. 

While you're on the site, browse around. 

http://lauraerickson.blogspot.com

June Newman
Carrollton, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting, September 23 - 25, 2011 at Camp Clover Point, Lake of the Ozarks State Park, http://mobirds.org/Meetings/