Birding Paraphernalia – My 5

I’ve recently upgraded the Birding Paraphernalia I carry in the field. Not anything different or special from what others use, but new to me.

Ideally I’d like everything to be in one piece of equipment. Something like a pair of binoculars with a camera, voice recorder, LOUD speaker, phone, and field guide. But since it isn’t here yet I’ll do what I can.


BinocsI still use and carry the 10×42 Eagle Optics binoculars I purchased when I started birding. I’ve seen other people who only carry a camera but to me a photo is only secondary to getting good looks at birds.

Bridge Camera

Coolpix Birding Paraphernalia
Nikon Coolpix P900

I purchased a bridge camera years ago to document any rarities or things I find interesting. For a definition of a bridge camera check here. I have recently upgraded to the Nikon Coolpix P900 with 83X zoom. I carry it side-saddle and don’t have a problem with its weight.




Yes, I carry a cell phone. An iPhone 5 company issued if you need to know. I use it for playing bird calls, a portable field guide (book form is in the car), eBird app, and voice recordings.

Aud Mini and iPhone 5



I recently purchased an Aud Mini by iLuv (Ultra Slim Pocket-Sized Portable Bluetooth Speaker) to replace my aging Speaker and Nano 3 combo. On the occasion I want to play a bird call the phone just isn’t loud enough. The $13 speaker is the same size as the phone and has good volume. And at $13 when I lose it, and I will, I won’t feel so bad.

Small Notebook

I still carry a pocket-size notebook to record species, take notes, or sketch something interesting. A Piccadilly 3″ x 5″ lined notebook from Half Price Books. After birding a location I use The Phone to record the data from the notebook on the eBird app. I don’t use the eBird app in the field since I find it distracts from birding. The same can be said for cameras since people seem spend more time looking at the photo they just took than birds.

Extra – Spotting Scope in Car

Now I don’t carry a spotting scope with me very often, especially since I have the High Zoom bridge camera. But it is never far away in the car.

So there you have the 5 pieces of paraphernalia I carry while birding. Not counting the backpack which is a different story altogether. But it usually stays in the car.

So what do you carry?

2 Replies to “Birding Paraphernalia – My 5”

  1. Interesting topic for discussion, and it certainly makes me feel better to hear about others who forego the super fancy equipment. I carry some embarassingly cheap Bushnell 8×42 binoculars, a Nikon P600 bridge canera, and a tiny spiral notebook with a pencil (I got in the habit after having pens freeze during winter birding.) On the bike, I use a Bontrager trunk bag/pannier combo to carry all of the above plus wallet, phone, keys, lunch, bug spray, etc. I don’t own a scope, but it’s on the wish list!

    1. I usually try to go the best middle ground road figuring I’m going to either lose it or beat it up pretty good. And there comes a point of dimensions returns when spending money. Now if this was my profession that would make it a different topic.

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