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The Big Garden Bird Watch - Equipment

With the Big Garden Bird Watch a few days away, I thought I’d write a blog post on birdwatching equipment. A friend recently asked me which binoculars were best for children, as her mum had gotten her little girl a pair of children’s plastic binoculars for her birthday and they were, and I quote “rubbish”.


I don’t think children need different binoculars to adults. As long as the child can hold them to their eyes there’s no problem, most binoculars are very adjustable, even to small faces! Modern “roof-prism” binoculars come in compact, light-weight designs that would be very suitable for young people. You don’t need huge magnifications for general birdwatching, 7x or 8x is ample. You also don’t need to spend lots of money. Well, you can if you want to of course! But check Ebay and Amazon and shop around for a good little pair of compact binoculars for under £20.



A top tip I learnt from reading Simon Barnes’ excellent book “Rewild Yourself”, is to not have the strings so long that the binoculars bounce against your tummy. If you see a bird, you wont be seeing it for long, so keep the neckstrap short so you can get them up to your eyes quickly!




Have you got your Garden Bird flashcards? They’re a great way to familiarize children with common garden birds before the Big Garden Bird Watch. I’ve also made a lovely activity pack in collaboration with two other small businesses. All available when you click here!