Going birdwatching is a hobby for some, but it can also develop into a full-time passion. For such an activity, you need to get ready with knowledge about birds (you do want to know what you saw), patience and some gadgets that will make the whole experience easier for you and which won’t disturb the birds.
The main items you’ll need
The first item you’ll really need is binoculars. You have to always keep them clean by wiping the lenses with some simple lens wipes. In order to catch every sighting, adjust them while you’re still at home so you won’t miss anything while you’re out there, when the group is fascinated by a bird and you’re still struggling to adjust the lenses.
There are hundreds of models of binoculars out there and this review from Optics & Lab may help you choose a better model as more expensive or better looking doesn’t always mean quality results.
Having an electronic insect repellent may help you more than you think. The classic sprays and creams may help you but you also have to reapply them, so make sure they don’t mix with your sunblock and that sometimes they just don’t work as good. This is why you can use a Thermacell to help you fight those pesky bugs around you.
The device can be wearable, although it can be a bit bit, so you can choose the other version, which is a handheld one. The item heats a pad that contains a chemical repellent that doesn’t have a scent so it won’t bother you or scare the birds away. Another great thing is the fact that you won’t need to apply anything else on your skin.
The area around you that will be protected by the device can be pretty big which means you’ll protect your buddies from the group as well with only one device. On windy days though, these devices are less effective even for you, let alone for your nearby friends.
You can always check on an audio-based repellent, but they aren’t as exact as a version that uses chemicals, although you can find good ones that will do the job.
Secondary items you’ll need
The chances of using your phone quite a lot are pretty high. Aside from messages and phone calls, you’ll also use different apps and the GPS so you can find your route if you get lost. Also, if the sun is very bright, you’ll have the screen brightness all the way up which also runs your battery down. For all this, you can use a portable battery to save the day!
A bird guide app is also much needed as you probably don’t know all birds in the area and a book is much harder to navigate – plus, it also takes space. You’ll find plenty of apps for iOS or Android even for beginners which lets you identify and log the birds you’ve seen.
Such apps can also let you search through birds using various criteria, such as the habitat, their sizes, color, etc. They’ll memorize the species you’ve seen, how many of them, in what areas, etc.
As you take your stroll alongside various parks, forests and so on, you’ll have to rely more and more on apps like Google Maps to see where exactly you are or in what direction you need to go. Smartwatches also have often built-in compasses in them which can also be of great help when it comes to finding your direction.
Other items you’ll need
The items mentioned here may be a bit more obvious, but you can forget about them nonetheless, which is why we decided to mention them.
A water bottle is something you should never leave your house without in general, let alone when you are going into the wild, where you don’t know if you’ll find a fountain or spring and how good that water is. Bring your own reusable bottle as you don’t want to litter either. Based on how much water you generally drink, you can go with a small one or a large one.
Some snacks are also good for the road. Peanuts are a good option because they give you plenty of energy, but they’re also really easy to carry and don’t occupy a lot of space. As they can often be salty, you will need that bottle of water even more.
Lastly, you’ll need a backpack in which you’ll carry all of these things. While your phone can go into your pockets, you probably don’t want to carry on you the insect repellant, the water bottle, the food, etc., if you want to be able to move freely.
Follow this list and you’ll surely find that birdwatching can become an even more pleasant adventure than you thought it could be.