[Tweeters] last bird, first bird, and BINOCULAR QUESTION

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 1 10:09:52 PST 2019

Dear Tweeters,
Last night, the Barn Owl was flying over my front yard under a starry sky. I think he was trying to console me after I had found 95 species on December 31, failing once again to hit the century mark in a single December day in Skagit County. The Washington Birder Big Day table shows that 95 is the record for Skagit in December, so at least I as able to tie it--without seeing or even hearing a Raven all day!
This morning, the first bird I heard and saw was one I could not identify. That was because it was either an American Crow, or a Northwestern Crow, or a hybrid crow, or whatever it is that the taxonomists have decided we have around here!
Now to my BINOCULAR QUESTION. During Saturday's downpours on the Padilla Bay CBC, my Brunton Epoch binoculars filled up with water. I am waiting for the company to respond; they have a lifetime warranty that covers "use, abuse, and misuse." However, they don't make binoculars any more. They have retreated to concentrate on their core business: surveyors' compasses and theodolites and such. The last time I needed warranty service, they told me that they no longer had the equipment to repair the binoculars that they used to manufacture.
If the company has a stockpile of replacement binoculars, I will be happy to take one and carry on. If they simply refund my money, I should have about $1350 to play with. My question is, what are some of the best top-of-the-line birding binoculars out there? I know that $1350 won't cover those, but it would defray the cost, if I had to buy one. 
Any recommendations would be welcomed.
I will add that the wonderful old "Better View Desired" website no longer exists--that was THE place to find out unbiased information about birding binoculars, and is sorely missed. 
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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