Top tools for birdwatching this spring

Peter McNish

Whether you are out and about this spring on a lovely walk, or simply enjoying the birds in your garden, it’s always handy to have the right equipment. From bird seeds and nest boxes to binoculars and bird watching apps. At Kennedy, we have all the advice you need to spring straight into birdwatching this year!

Outdoor spring birdwatching equipment tips

With the evenings becoming a little lighter and the weather becoming a little warmer, Spring birdwatching is all the rage. As birdwatching in spring is such an enjoyable outdoor activity, we thought we would share top tips to make it extra special.

Binoculars  

Unfortunately for us, a human presence scares birds. As a result, you will need a trusty pair of binoculars. Any experienced twitcher will tell you that a decent pair of binoculars will help you appreciate the birds up close, even if you are hundreds of metres away.

Identification book & logging app

Wondering what species you have just witnessed? Many wild bird species look similar and can only be identified from the tiniest of details. Unless you are an expert birdwatcher or ornithologist, it’s a good idea to purchase a bird identification book. This will help you determine what species you are gazing at.

Additionally, as we are very much in a digital age, there is a great app you can download on iTunes. The Birdlog App is £2.99 and you can download it for your IPhone and Ipad. This app is wonderful for a place to record your bird sightings. It has some extremely useful features too:

  • Allows you to record the species of bird
  • The time and date you saw the bird
  • Where you saw it
  • You can add photos and additional comments
This app is particularly handy when you are out and about and you spot an unexpected bird.

Clothing

Believe it or not, your choice of clothing attire can be a factor in how successful you are on a birdwatching trip. Arriving at the right location, spotting the birds that interest you and getting close enough can certainly be a lengthy process. This is why the correct clothing is a must. Make sure you avoid bright colours as the birds will spot you a mile off. Instead, opt for something that will help you blend in with the natural environment.

Sometimes, despite the correct clothes, birds can still be extremely shy, becoming nervous at even the slightest movement. This is why many birdwatchers invest in hides, so they can go unnoticed to birds without having to hide in bushes!

Camera

Combining both your love for birds with a new hobby such as photography can make for a challenging and joyful experience, especially when you capture a bird in that perfect moment. Upload it to Facebook for all your friends to marvel at. You never know, some of the big birding publications might come knocking and want to use your picture!

Portable voice recorder

More often than not, bird species are more easily identified on their call rather than their appearance. Voice recorders are great to bring along incase you are struggling to identify the birds. Take your recordings home and compare them on YouTube or Soundcloud if you think you have found a match.

Garden spring birdwatching equipment tips

Bird Food

With spring being such an important time for breeding birds, there are certain bird foods that will keep your wild garden birds coming back for more. Remember, the more you do now, the more you will be rewarded later on in the year.

During the breeding season, adult birds will be feeding their young. High protein food such as our mini mealworms and waxworms are perfect. They are simple to digest, whilst also providing plenty of protein for the offspring to grow up fast and strong.

Peanuts can be used during the spring breeding period. But at Kennedy, we recommend that you do so in a suitable peanut bird feeder. The peanut bird feeder will only allow appropriately sized peanut or part peanut to become available, which reduces the risk of smaller birds choking.

Remember, in spring, adults will feed their young before themselves. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, food in spring is still scarce as berries have yet to fully return and the arrival of insects can be sporadic due to weather.

It’s important you keep your inventory well stocked as food becomes more and more precious for adult birds. Sunflower hearts, as usual, are an incredibly popular choice with most birds all year round and contain plenty of protein and beneficial oils.

Nest Boxes

In our blog a couple of weeks ago, we talked about National Nest Box Week and the importance of putting up nest boxes in your garden. This is due to a decline of certain species such as House Sparrows, who for years have been struggling to find natural habitats such as trees and buildings to breed in.



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