From Jeff R. in Bedford, IN:
Exactly what I wanted
A lot of birders, especially those in the area of a large lake or other type of large expanse, spend a considerable amount of time with their eye to a scope panning for distant birds.
The smoothness with which your scope pans is of utmost importance. The Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head has the exact "stiffness" with extremely smooth operation that I was looking for.