We all love the outdoors, that’s why you’re reading the this blog, right? Have you ever thought about adding another dimension to your camping or hiking experience? Why not get into Bird Watching, it can be a simple and rewarding activity to undertake on your weekend hikes, or even just while relaxing in the campsite with a cool drink. It goes without saying that you can go bird watching just about anywhere.
Read on for a few basic tips that will help you get into the world of bird watching or “twitching”.
The distinctive Rainbow Lorikeet. Image: Bea Myers.
Pick a Birding location
Look for a natural bush corridor, a nature reserve along the coast or a wetland, some suggestions around Snowys home town of Adelaide are:
- Morialta Conservation Park
- Black Hill
- Ansteys Hill
- Brown Hill Creek
- Belair National park
- Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens
- Hallet Cove Conservation Park
- Aldinga Scrub
- Barker Inlet Wetland
Venturing further afield:
- Gluepot Reserve SA
- Coffin Bay National Park SA
- Dandenong Ranges VIC
- Grampians VIC
- Kakadu National Park NT
- Daintree Rainforest QLD
- Atherton Tablelands QLD
- Broome Bird Observatory WA
I love en-route bush camping when I am travelling not only for the peace and quiet, but often there is no one else to disturb the wildlife. Some of my best birding experiences happen while relaxing at the end of a big day or while having breakfast.
A Comb Crested Jacana. Image: Bea Myers.
Pack your daypack
A good daypack is essential for keeping all your birding equipment organised, allow enough room for some food and extra clothes. Here is a list of things you may need.
- Binoculars, maps and a compass
- Bird Field Guide
- Note book and pencil (make notes to identify the bird)
- Camera – spare battery and card
- Mobile Phone
- Water bottle or hydration pack
Optional depending on location, weather, how long you intend to be out:
- Hiking poles as you may want them to get to the location
- Wet weather gear, warm jacket or vest
- Dry bags if kayaking or going through water
- Non-greasyy sunscreen
- Mosquito repellant
- Camp stool can be a good option as patience is required to be a birdwatcher
A New Holland Honey Eater in its natural environment. Image: Bea Myers.
- Avoid bright colours, the idea is to blend into the environment and cause as little disturbance as possible
- Wearing a lightweight long sleeve collared shirt helps avoid getting sunburnt and prevents chafing from the binocular strap.
- Take something warm, I usually carry a vest to keep warm, weather dependent.
- Avoid using greasy type sunblocks, this may get on the binocular lenses.
- A good pair of sturdy shoes is recommended as you may find you wander off into very different terrain than where you started.
- Gaiters or long pants may be required depending on the location
- Sun hat or beanie
So what do you think? Would you add bird watching to your next hiking or camping adventure?
About the writer...
As a keen traveller, bushwalker and birder I have a passion for the Australian bush, particularly the outback.