>I currently own a Vivatar 283 Thyristor which used to work >fine on my Pentax ZX7. Any chance, under the right >conditions, that this could work?
Do Not mount the Vivitar flash on your D60!!!!!!
Before connecting the Viviar 383 to your D60 check the Sync voltage and polarity. Most of the Vivitar 283's have a sync voltage high enough to destroy the circuitry of your D60. I will provide a link with directions for testing sync voltage when I get to my computer.
Another potential issue you might have with the 283 is flash duration. I am not sure what the flash duration is but if it is slow you may have a problem freezing the motion of the BIF since you will be limited to using the maxim sync speed of the D60's shutter is 1/200th sec.
I would suggest thinking about a used or refurbished SB-800. It has power, versatility, a short flash duration, and has FP high Speed sync mode though I am not sure if the D60 supports FP mode.
For shooting birds you should also consider getting a flash X-tender or Better Beamer to extend the flashes range.
>In addition to the appropriate flash unit itself, I need to >give some attention to flash MOUNT. My medium duty Manfrotto >tripod has a simple Bogen platform head, with quick-change >plates.
I assume that when you use the tripod with your 300mm lens you are mounting the Manfrotto Q/R to the tripod foot on the lens. For birding, specifically BIF many use a gimbal head on their tripods with an Arca-Swiss compatible Q/R. Then use a bracket attached to the lens foot to mount the flash w/ flash X-tender. That keeps the camera, lens, and Speedlight balanced on the gimbal head. The drawback is the expense. A gimbal head can cost more than a brand new D60, then the cost of the plates and flash bracket add significantly more to the total.
The least expensive way is to mount the Speedlight in the cameras hotshoe and deal with the balance issue the best that you can.
>PART II > >I've apparently misplaced my D60 owner's manual. Is there a >location on line that has a complete manual through which I >can browse? My most burning question at this moment is how to >use the D60's built-in flash on back-lit subjects, especially >birds and portraits.