The days are getting longer, the nights are shorter and the sunshine keeps us company for much longer than we’ve become accustomed to. Spring is most definitely in the air, and that can only mean one thing—it’s time to start preparing for a brand new season of bird watching.
It’s the time of year when nature starts to wake up, filling the air with birdsong and the scent of flowers in bloom, and if you want to make sure you don’t miss a second of all that frivolity it’s essential you’ve got your trusty bird watching binoculars ready and waiting. You never know when you might need them—a simple stroll through the countryside could present you with a wealth of bird watching opportunities, and even driving past a hedgerow could bring something new into focus. You never know what you might find at this time of year and that’s half the fun of it, so having a pair of binoculars or two dotted around the place is essential.
You might want to keep a basic pair in your car for those spontaneous bird watching opportunities, but for true aficionados nothing can beat a pair of top-quality bird watching binoculars. If you’re heading off on a bird watching expedition then you’ll need something a cut above the norm, and instead of simple binoculars you might want a bird watching scope—the choice is yours and comes down to a combination of preference and your level of bird watching dedication, but no matter what you need make sure to take a look around and you’ll find just what you’re after to ensure you’re totally prepared for the season ahead.
What do Alison Steadman, the late Eric Morecambe, The Duke of Edinburgh, Cameron Diaz, Lee Evans and Neville Chamberlain have in common? Apart from being famous for various reasons, they are all keen bird watchers and these six names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the numbers of people who enjoy ornithology.
Millions of people all over the world are bird watchers, some of them never moving from their gardens as they enjoy their hobby, while others travel all over the globe to see a rare bird. If you are thinking of getting involved with ornithology at whatever level – either in your garden or jet setting around the world – you will need to have a good pair of binoculars, and as you are here on the Sherwoods website you are in the right place to find top quality bird watching binoculars which will allow you to see the birds you are looking for close up.
If you want more information about how to get involved with bird watching, have a look online and you will be able to find a club or association in your area who will be able to give you advice about how to get started. On the other hand you may not want to get involved with a structured organisation, preferring instead to just get out into the wilds and enjoy watching these fascinating creatures close up with your bird watching binoculars. Whichever option you go for, happy twitching!
These days, there are many binoculars around for you to choose between. As manufacturing techniques and materials have become more sophisticated, the range of offerings available on the market has grown significantly.
Indeed, the devices on offer today are a far cry from their predecessors from generations gone by. Also, many of them are significantly more accessible in terms of their price, which is great news if you are operating on a limited budget.
For example, you can choose specialist bird watching binoculars that are perfectly tailored to this pursuit. Here at Sherwoods, we stock a selection of these products. When you peruse these, you should have in mind certain criteria that you want to fulfil. This will help ensure you select the ideal offerings for you.
Among the variables you will need to consider is the level of magnification. Obviously, the stronger the magnification, the clearer you will be able to see the birds you look at. However, there are certain drawbacks associated with very powerful items. Because birds tend to move, you might struggle to keep track of them given the narrow field of vision such binoculars have. You therefore have to make a trade-off between image detail and ease of use.
Also, you must decide how big your bird watching binoculars ought to be. If you are planning to do a lot of walking with them, you may be best off getting compact versions, whereas if you are planning to indulge in the activity in your own back garden, larger offerings might be suitable.
If you love birds, bird watching is a great hobby for you. Taking a long bird watching hike is a good way to spy many different types of birds in one outing. Some of the national parks and trails make good places to look for birds. Here are some tips to help you plan a bird watching hike.
First, make sure to bring your binoculars. Regular binoculars will do, of course, but you can get special bird watching binoculars. You’ll want these both for watching and identifying birds but also for enjoying the scenery. Bird watching binoculars are really the only equipment necessary for this hobby.
You may also want to bring a camera. Of course it’s not necessary, but if you like to make scrap books or journals, you may enjoy keeping a photographic record of all the birds that you see. It’s also good for identifying birds later on if you aren’t able to do so on the spot.
If you’re taking a hike, you should always bring some food and water, and even if the weather is warm when you set out you should also take a jumper or coat in case it gets cold later on.
When hiking in national parks or on mountains, be sure to find out the rules and regulations for that area before you take your hike. Always bring all your rubbish back out with you, and make sure that someone knows where you are so that if you get lost they will be able to alert the authorities when you don’t arrive home on time.
It is certainly true that in the UK we are uniquely blessed with a great diversity of magnificent garden birds, from robins to warblers to name but two. However, to observe some of our rarest and most glorious birdlife you’ll need a decent pair of bird watching binoculars and the appropriate location.
Britain’s Island nature means that it has over 11, 000 miles of coastline, making it the ideal home for a truly astonishing amount of shore and sea birds. Some of the most familiar include Puffins, viewable in places like Anglesey , and kittiwakes, observable on the cliffs of Northumberland, which means that some truly world class birdlife is never more than a few miles drive away. When observing coastal birds, a pair of binoculars really come into their own, as seabirds often nest on cliff edges a fair way out to sea making them difficult to spot with the naked eye.
As well as an enormous coast-line, the UK also possesses more than its fair share of inland water-masses, from lakes to canals systems (which is one of the reasons that it makes the perfect destination for migrating birds.) Some birds you can expect to see hanging around our marshes and waterways include bitterns and avocets, but be prepared to stake out waterways in strategically placed hides – and remember your binoculars.
As well as beautiful birdlife, the UK is also home to some truly dramatic birdlife, in fact some of the most iconic birds of prey call England home, for at least part of the year. Some notable examples include Ospreys (who migrate to and from Africa) and Golden Eagles, up in the highlands.
Bird watching (or twitching) is a truly egalitarian hobby, and all you need really is a pair of eyes. However, if you want to become a master of bird identification you’ll need a pair of bird watching binoculars. Luckily there is a wide range of binoculars available, to suit any level of experience or budget.
The first issue to consider, and the reason why binoculars are ideal for bird watching, is portability, and whilst it is a function of all binoculars that they are portable to an extent, some kinds of binoculars are clearly more portable than others. For beginning bird watchers or birdwatchers that want a truly portable viewing solution, compact bird watching binoculars are ideal, such as the “Nikon Sprint IV.”
If you want telescopic level magnification, however, you’ll need a larger pair of binoculars that will be able to gather a great volume of light. Whilst not as portable as compact binoculars, large binoculars are able to offer greater levels of details and are therefore ideal for stationary viewing activities, such as viewing from hides, a great pair of large binoculars are Minolta’s Classic II Binoculars, which benefit from great quality and a large field of view.
The is another alternative for bird watches other than binoculars, however, namely spotting scopes, which can offer greater magnification thus making them ideal for long distance bird watching, and tripod mounting; a great spotting scope is the “Opticron HR80 GA ED”.
It was Shakespeare who once described the UK as a fortress built by nature for herself, and in regards to birdlife this seems particularly pertinent. Britain enjoys a unique panoply of birds throughout the year, serving as an important stop-gap on their migrations, or as an idyllic home throughout the year. British birdlife, therefore, is unrivalled in terms of its diversity – and all you need to enjoy it is a pair of binoculars.
As Britain is an island, surrounded by large water masses like the Atlantic, it is the ideal stopping-point for many migrating birds. It is also seasonally temperate, meaning that it is suitable for birdlife migrating away from temperature extremes.
Swallows are perhaps the UK’s most familiar seasonal visitor and can be seen from around March to October. They are easily recognisable, preferably through a pair of binoculars, by their dark-blue backs, red throats and pale under-bellies.
Other notable migrating UK birds include geese, such as barnacle geese, who emigrate to escape extremes of cold, away from places like Greenland.
As well as migrating birds, there is also a wide variety of sedentary bids, visible throughout the year. Some common types include blue-tits and robins easily recognisable by their distinct colourings (pale-blue for blue-tits and red for robins,) and a particular favourite: starlings. These are recognisable throughout the year by the blue-green mottling on their under parts, easily observable through a pair of bird watching binoculars.
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