Before I start bird watching…

shallow focus photo of black and brown birdYes, I am actually doing it, I am taking to the streets, forests, rivers wherever my feet will take me and I am giving bird watching a go. However, before I even step out of the door there are a few things that I need to know first. So I went off in search for answers to my burning questions…

The first time I even encountered anything to do with bird watching was at work when the RSPB came in to visit. I listened intently to what they had to say and then I took a volunteer to the side to ask them a few of these questions. They were very helpful and directed me to the RSPB website where most of this information is coming from.

Here’s the link—>>>

What do I need to bring with me?

From my research you need a bird guide (I chose the Collins Complete British Birds photo guide) a notebook that can survive the rain, a pencil  and you can either use binoculars, a telescope or chose to go without, all depending on where you are going. Then off you go down the road to see what you can find.


How long does it take?

As long as you want, this is all for your enjoyment so you can take your time or spend a few minutes of your lunch break doing it. It is completely up to you.


Do I need to read anything before I get started?

If you really feel like you want to. There are a few books available and there are many websites, forums, reddit pages where you can find likeminded people to talk about any of your issues, successes or worries you may have. It is better to know the basics such as how to use the binoculars before you get started though so it might be worth a look.

I will link a few of the places I have found helpful.

RSPB Guide to Birdwatching 


Birdwatchers Digest

Bird Spot

Do I need to know the different species of birds before I bird watch?

No, there is no need to have any knowledge on birds. This is what bird watching is for, you will learn as you go along, just make notes and have a check with a book or an app.  You can look at the bird, memorise some of its key features, and flick through until you find it. You will be an expert in no time.

blue and yellow bird perched on brown tree branch
Photo by Erik Karits on

Where do I go?

Anywhere, birds are everywhere from your back garden to the park down the road, all you have to do is step out of your front door. Although please do not walk whilst using your binoculars or you might end up in a bit of trouble.


How do I keep track?

Any way you want, if you are looking to keep track there are wonderful apps and books with tick boxes and lists. You could also get creative and make your own!

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 09.09.26Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 09.10.22Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 09.10.38Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 09.11.21Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 09.11.31

Bird watching is a very freeing past time there really are no rules other than respect the wildlife and its surroundings. As long as you follow those rules you will have a great time!


Let me know in the comments below if you have any bird watching tips!

Until next time.


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