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Birdwatching essentials

Birdwatching is a fun hobby that can be enjoyed by all age groups and can draw you closer to nature. And with birds all around us, one doesn't need to go far to get started with bird watching. You could watch birds in your own garden, head to a local park or if you live close to a woodland or canal, head there and you will see a variety of birds. It is a simple hobby with no rules other than enjoying some time in the outdoors watching the birds. Furthermore, getting started with bird watching will not cost you a lot. Listed below are some of the items you would need for your birding experience.

Birdwatching
[Post in collaboration with Outdoor Supply]


Binoculars


This is the main equipment that you would need for your bird watching experience. Binoculars make birding fun, allowing you to get up close to birds even when you are at a distance. Binoculars come in different shapes and sizes, with an array of features and varying price ranges. But you don't need to invest in an expensive pair as a beginner. You could take a look at Outdoor Supply's website for a range of binoculars that are suitable for all types of outdoor activities. One of the popular brands featured on their website is Barska, a worldwide sport optics company with strong brand recognition in the optics industry. They offer an extensive range of products from binoculars to spotting scopes and more. Prices for Barska binoculars range from £25.95 to £413.95 on the Outdoor Supply website.

Binoculars for birdwatching


If you are just getting started with bird watching, you could stick to a reasonably priced pair to begin with.

Bird Book/Guide


So, you have got the binoculars; head out for bird watching and you spot a number of beautiful birds. How do you identify them? This is where the next essential item - the bird book - comes in. Bird books also called bird guides or field guides contain pictures of birds along with their nesting habits, range maps, migratory facts etc. and help you to quickly and effectively identify the birds.

There are innumerable bird books available in the market. However, a good starting point would be to check out RSPB's collection of bird reference books

Notebook


With the advent of smartphones and compact 'point-and-shoot' cameras, the art of note-taking seems to be losing favour. But for bird watching, I believe that note-taking is important. All you need is a good notebook or journal where you can jot down information like the habitat of the bird, the date/time when you spotted the bird, its appearance, behavioural details, any vocalizations you heard etc. And over time, you will notice that you develop your own style of writing and your observational skills also improve. These notes will help make your bird sighting experience even more special.

Good boots/shoes


The place where you plan to do your birding will have a bearing on the footwear you choose. If you are planning to head to a wetland habitat, then investing in a good pair of walking boots/shoes which are waterproof,  cushioned, light-weight and comfortable will enhance your bird watching experience. You could pick a hiking boot with Goretex technology or a trail shoe which offers a more light-weight and flexible alternative to a Goretex boot.

Outdoor Supply offers an extensive range of walking boots for both men and women from popular footwear brands such as LOWA, Hanwag, Grisport, Columbia, Berghen and many more.

Walking shoes for Birdwatching

You can check out their advice page which will help you decide which category of walking shoes you will need based on the activities you plan to undertake.

Hat


Birding trips often tend to last longer than planned because it is such an addictive hobby. Once you head outdoors and start spotting birds, you want to just keep continuing. It is easy to lose track of time. And that is why it is important to wear comfortable clothing. Choose non-restrictive clothes preferably in light-weight fabrics and in colours that help you camouflage and blend into the habitat. Colours like brown, green and grey work well. A hat is also very important - it not only keeps the sun off your head but also helps break up the outline of your head and offers some level of camouflage.

Bird watching

Casual birding, I believe, doesn't require a lot of gear. You could easily head out kitted with the items listed above and have a great time. Like I mentioned earlier, the main aspect of bird watching is its simplicity. However, once you are hooked on to birdwatching, you end up adding to your birdwatching gear kit. Until then, the list above should suffice.

I hope you give birdwatching a try! It is wonderful and usually develops into a lifelong hobby once you have given it a go.

7 comments:

  1. Can't say I'm an avid bird watcher but I do like to encourage them into the garden with lots of fatballs, mealworms and seeds!

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  2. i dont go bird watching per se ---but i do keep an eye when im dog walking n seen al sorts

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  3. I don't go bird watching but we gets lodes in the garden which is lovely to sit and watch x

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  4. I live near the coast and the only birds are I really see are seagulls, pigeons and the odd magpie. I do love to see Robins and I look out for them

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  5. Watch the birds from the house/garden.Saw a woodpecker this summer!

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  6. I notice them when I'm out and about but I'm not an avid bird watch

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  7. We go very often to our local park, On the pond we have all types of duck, geese and swans and my fave the Heron. And around the park there are hundreds of ring necked parakeets which we can feed by hand and starlings, tits, finches, blackbirds and huge crows

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