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The travel kit list: birdwatching for beginners

Birding requires kit that's versatile, travel-friendly and — most importantly — inconspicuous. Discover kit that'll help you get the best from your adventure.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 13:01 BST, Updated 31 Mar 2021, 10:04 BST
Millican Bowden The Camera Messenger Bag; Nikon Coolpix P1000; RHS Birdwatching Journal.

Millican Bowden The Camera Messenger Bag; Nikon Coolpix P1000; RHS Birdwatching Journal.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

1. Millican Bowden The Camera Messenger Bag

This lightweight, 20-litre field bag has the space to carry all your essentials along with camera equipment and a laptop. It has an easy-access roll-top, plenty of compartments (including one for a water bottle) and a stabilising strap to secure it to your body while on the move. Plus, it’s made from 65% recycled weatherproof canvas and has aluminium fastenings — not a hint of plastic in sight. RRP: £135. homeofmillican.com

2. Nikon Coolpix P1000

With a 125x optical zoom and 250x digital zoom, you’ll be poised to get the most from your bird photography, wherever your subject might swoop. Action shots retain sharpness and clarity with Nikon’s own vibration reduction and image stabilisation technology. Plus, it has built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth for quick uploading and sharing. RRP: £899. jessops.com

3. RHS Birdwatching Journal

Jot down field notes and record sightings with the help of this new birdwatching companion. With beautiful illustrations along with reference information on identification and habitats, the journal helps you organise the details of your birding trip and learn what to look out for. RRP: £9.99 (pre-order). waterstones.com

Celestron Hummingbird 9-27X56 Ed Scope; RSPB Pocket Guide to British Birds; Country Innovation Avocet Jacket.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

4. Swarovski Optik DG

These state-of-the-art binoculars can be used with the companion app to help you identify, document and share your sightings. RRP: £1,649. swarovskioptik.com

5. RSPB Pocket Guide to British Birds

Around 950 illustrations and 215 distribution maps make this new edition of the bestselling field guide a must-have for beginner birders. It’s compact — ideal for travel — and has descriptions that cover identification, calls and song. RRP: £6.99. rspb.org.uk

6. Country Innovation Avocet Jacket

A great all-rounder, this jacket is made from a top-quality waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric that also happens to be quiet, with minimal rustle, so you won’t scare away the wildlife. It’s roomy, with plenty of space in the hood and the body for extra layers. RRP: £195. countryinnovation.com

RSPB Puffin Compact Binoculars; Contigo Autoseal Luxe Travel Mug; Celestron Hummingbird 9-27X56 Ed Scope.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

7. RSPB Puffin Compact Binoculars

Lightweight, compact and excellent value, these binoculars are ideal for beginners. RRP: £80. rspb.org.uk

8. Contigo Autoseal Luxe Travel Mug

This sleek travel mug keeps drinks hot for up to five hours, and cold for up to 12. It’s designed for one-handed drinking, is spill-proof and has a lockable lid and button-push mechanism for easy sipping. It’s BPA-free and is fully dishwasher safe. RRP: £29. mycontigo.com

9. Celestron Hummingbird 9-27X56 Ed Scope

This travel-friendly wildlife-spotting scope is an excellent mid-range option. RRP: £199. celestron.com

Published in the April 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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