Bird watching has been a popular past time for a number of years and it remains a great hobby that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, while out and about or while on holiday. With these 5 Tips for successful bird watching, you will be ready to go – without spending a ton of money!
Here are some of the items that you may need to get yourself up and running as a bird watcher and to start enjoying the daily activities of the range of species of birds that live in the gardens and countryside of our local areas.
5 Tips for Successful Bird Watching
– you can enjoy the sight of wild birds with nothing more than a little patience and access to a garden or the open countryside. At its most basic, you do not need any accessories just the time to spend waiting to see what birds appear.
Notebook or Birding Journal
– As your interest develops you may want to begin to keep a record of the birds that you spot. A record will help you identify visitors to your garden or the different birds you have seen on your travels. In the UK, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) also conduct surveys of garden birds and so you can get involved to help the society record bird numbers and the species present across the country.
Bird Guide Book
– A beginner to bird watching is unlikely to be able to identify all the birds that they see so a great investment (and the one I would recommend starting with) is to buy yourself a bird guide book. These vary in prices so you should choose one depending on your needs; if you are mainly looking to identify birds in your back garden then a basic garden birds book will be sufficient. If your bird watching activities are likely to take you further afield consider picking up a book that covers the birds of the country you live in. Here in the UK, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) offer some good books that will help you identify wild birds that are both native and migratory visitors to the UK.
Binoculars and Optical Devices
– These devices are where budgets will need to increase and so you may want to consider one of these items as you find your enjoyment of the hobby increasing and you would like to pursue it further. Binoculars are available in a range of models and with different levels of magnification; if you are spotting birds in your garden or local neighbourhood and you want to get a little closer to the action then you may not need the same level of magnification than you might if you are out in the countryside watching for more elusive species. A great alternative to binoculars are spotting scopes -these are similar to a telescope and allow you to achieve good levels of magnification and enjoy the activities of the birds from a distance where you will not disturb them.
If you are set up in a hide (a place of concealment created for the purpose of watching birds in their natural habitats) then the spotting scope is ideal for bird watching and the use of a tripod can help provide extra stability.
– You can enhance a bird journal further through taking pictures of birds as you spot them. Digital cameras range dramatically in price so you will need to consider how best you want to use the camera. For serious bird photographers a digital SLR camera is an essential piece of kit and one that may need to be saved up for! If you are bird watching in your garden, perhaps with children, a great alternative to a camera is to create sketches of the birds that you see. For both children and adults this can enhance the enjoyment of spotting a bird and nurture your artistic skills! A bird journal with sketches can end up being a wonderful art project that will be treasured for many years.
Enjoy the sights of our feathered friends and with some patience and help from the magnification of optical devices you will begin to see and appreciate the daily lives of these birds.
About the Author
Thanks for reading, I’m Ben and I love to get out in the countryside, sketch and appreciate the local wildlife.