We have, on three previous occasions, carried out surveys of readers' ownership and usage of binoculars and telescopes (Brit. Birds 71: 429-439; 76: 155-161; 78: 167-175). It would, we believe, be generally acknowledged that the readers of British Birds are the most active and discriminating of all birdwatchers, spending more time in the field in a greater variety of habitats and conditions than an

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