Bird watching is a great hobby, an enthralling holiday activity, and a career to others. The thrill of watching the red-throated divers plunge into the water or puffins breeding on cliffs can be magnificent. For some people, the thrill of citing a rare species of eagle or ducks is a lifetime accomplishment. To accomplish these important activities, you need the right bird watching gear. The following are five most essentials that every bird watcher should have.
A field guide
This is a very critical tool because it provides the watcher with information on appearance, habitat ranges, and behavior of various birds. Guides could be specific to species or regions depending on the target of authors. It is advisable to look for a guide that can be carried conveniently and read easily. Take a step further to select the guides with comprehensive checklists of various profiled species. Make a comprehensive background review of the area to visit and then pick a guide with many related features.
Hiking Boots & Waders
While it is still possible to see birds in urban areas, serious birders have irresistible urge to venture into the wild to see rare species, learn about them, and document their presence. To enjoy this, a pair of properly fitting boots is very critical to help protect your legs and make it possible to reach every part of the jungle. Boots also provide better traction so that you can walk even in areas with loose soil of rocks to see especially birds like puffins that breed in cliffs. If you are watching birds in wetlands, a pair of waterproof boots will come in handy.
Waders are also a requirement if you want to get up close and personal with waterfowl. Getting cold and wet is nobody’s idea of fun, so in order to find the best waterfowl waders for you ensure you find ones that fit well and are suitable to the water temperature depending on the season.
A camera is a very crucial tool that enables the user to catch every bird on camera. The images help to compare images, follow the backgrounds, and even reproduce them for publication. Look for a camera with great zoom so that you can capture birds even at a distance without getting close and disturbing them. For example, you can follow fly patterns of an eagle even from a very long distance. The ideal camera should come with different settings so that a birder can select the varying light level for clearer images whether it is a foggy morning or a very bright afternoon.
A field bag is an important essential for every birder. It helps to carry all other tools and accessories safely. For example, you need to have your camera, binoculars, mobile phone, field guides, bottles of water, and sunglasses among others. The bag should, therefore, be water and dust proof to keep all the items as safe as possible even when watching birds on a rainy day. It should also have a different pocket with straps and cushioning for extra safety. Do not forget to check on broad straps to carry easily on the back.
Every moment you see a bird, the first thing is getting the characteristics such as color, size, and behavior. Then, the habitat is carefully identified and compared with what is in the guide. To follow on these details, it is prudent to have a birding journal that is easy to use. It should have columns to out down type of bird, colors schemes, GPS column. It is advisable to pick journals that are hand sized or foldable for easy access, storage in filed bags, and use.