Once you have your set of binoculars sorted, it might be time to think about some binocular accessories, which can help to dramatically improve your bird watching experience.
The list of accessories really is endless, but narrowing that list down, here are 7 of the best birding binocular accessories that you may like to consider:
Tripods: If you are new to birding, or perhaps even a seasoned birding enthusiast, tripods are fantastic investments. They help to provide a more steady experience as they totally eliminate movement. Obviously, binocular tripods limit quick movements, so perhaps they are not an optimal investment for you if you happen to predominantly view birds in flight. However, for static viewing, they can certainly assist the overall experience.
Binocular cleaning supplies: You’d be surprised how easily binoculars, particularly the lenses, can get dirty. Those that wear eyeglasses will understand the ongoing battle of maintaining clean eyeglass lenses. From time to time you just wonder how on earth those smudge marks or that fingerprint got on you once perfectly clean lenses! Sometimes an inadvertent touch is all it takes to distort optimal bird watching through your binocular.
By virtue of the fact that birding is performed outside, dirt tends to build up after a while. Furthermore, fog and moisture can build up on the lenses in certain conditions so maintaining clean equipment is an ongoing process.
The rewards of a successful bird watching outing are certainly worth the minor inconvenience, and the right birding binocular cleaning accessories are a terrific addition to your kit.
Dirty lenses will result in poor viewing, and overall grit build-up can inhibit the function of your equipment. Regular and diligent cleaning will optimize the lifespan of your birding binoculars. Common cleaning equipment includes:
- Lens brush to gently brush debris away from the lenses (soft paint brushes can often suffice here)
- Microfiber cloths are another lens-cleaning device
- Compressed air can remove grit and debris without having to physically touch, particularly around the focus wheel. A word of warning, however, is be sure to only use minimal puffs of air as a prolonged air blast may result in moisture damage to your binoculars.
Compass: Whilst birding can be a very rewarding pastime, your safety (and that of those with you) is paramount. Sometimes in the ‘heat of the moment’ you can become disorientated, particularly if you are following a bird. A compass may be the perfect safety device to ensure a safe return.
Camera: You’re inevitably going to come across some astounding wildlife, and not just birds. A camera is a fantastic addition to your birding accessory kit as it allows you to catch some of those wonderful moments you encounter.
Binocular cases: There is a vast range of binocular cases, ranging from leather to hard cases, to vinyl. It is really up to your own personal taste as to which you will select, but hard cases obviously provide superior protection for your trusty birding binoculars.
Sun protection: It certainly pays to have an accessory kit that includes adequate sunscreen, a water bottle, sunglasses and a hat, preferably a wide-brimmed option. This will ensure that you’re protecting yourself from sun exposure. A word of caution with sunscreen, however, is to apply it well in advance of handling your binoculars, as it can easily come into contact with the lenses.
Insect repellent: The last thing you want when maintaining line of sight contact with a stunning bird species, is to have an insect detracting from the experience. A good quality insect repellent is a valuable addition to your birding binocular accessories kit.
Good luck with your birding!