Top End Birdwatching by Mike Reed may be only 24 pages long but this little book is worth its weight in gold! I stumbled upon a copy at the Katherine Museum about halfway into our trip after we had already been to Pine Creek, Edith Falls, Victoria River Crossing and Humbles Creek. I had been using eBird research so I knew what birds to look for and approximately where; but eBird links up with Google maps which aren’t much help in these remote locations. Mike’s book has detailed maps showing exactly where the main target birds can be found and once I started using it, I was able to hone in on places like Donkey Camp Weir and the Edith Falls Road watering hole where Gouldian Finches can be seen. We actually ran into Mike Reed at the Edith Falls Road spot which was pretty cool, he’s a great guy and knows heaps about birds!
I highly recommend ordering this book before your trip so you don’t miss out on some of the best birding hotspots in the Northern Territory. I just wish he would do a book like this for each Australian state!
Click on the image to go to the ordering page.
Scottevest has some huge bargains on some of their most popular products. You can save 40% through 6 Feb by using coupon code SEV16.
For tropical birding, I recommend the Featherweight vest (Shown below) or the Hunting vest which comes in a nice olive shade.
They have some nice women’s styles for city traveling on sale this time as well. See my more detailed review on Scottevest. With more and more airlines restricting carry on bags, I find them invaluable to get those heavy birding field guides, laptop, camera lens past the boarding gates.
It’s also a good idea to keep your valuables like your passport, credit cards, SD cards, cash in the inner pocket and keep it on during the flight. If there is an emergency evacuation, you will be wearing your valuables and can disembark safely without losing anything essential!
One of the biggest challenges for ecotourists is keeping your devices such as smart phones, tablets and cameras charged when you are off in the bush and the electricity supply isn’t reliable. Enter the Powerseed!
This is the one I have and I love it! It works with my iPhone and Nikon Coolpix P900 (but not the MS Surface Pro I was traveling with until it broke down.
● Extra Large capacity battery, 4800mAh, this unit provides the extra power to charge multiple units on a single charge
● After 500 charge cycles(drained and recharged): the power is still up to 85%
● Output: DC 5V/1A
● Size: 96 x 42 x 23.5 mm (3.8 x 1.65 x 0.92 inches) compact easy to store or carry
● Supports a variety of universal mobile phone charging interface quick and easy. Comes with the following adapters:
● Mini USB tip
● Micro USB tip
● Tip for Apple iPhone4/S, iPad
● Tip for Samsung Galaxy Tab series & Galaxy Note series
● Tip for Nokia cell phone series
● Tip for Sony Ericsson cell phone series
● Tips for other devices like PSP and GPS
● You can charge this unit from your computer with included cable or use an optional wall plug charger
The first trip I actually used it on was the Northern Territory which I am about to start blogging about but I got it when I visited a friend in the USA after the South America & Caribbean trip.
WHERE TO BUY ONE
USA – Orlando
The biggest problem I was having is that the Nikon eats batteries like no one’s business. It’s no good to find an awesome bird when you are out in the bush and your camera is dead! The Powerseed gives a full charge to my camera which I thought was pretty amazing!
Whether he did or didn’t, here’s a few cool ideas to spend a gift certificate or just a credit card on.
I wish I had one of these in the Caribbean!
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (LOL)!
Just to remind you that I do get a small commission if you use my Amazon.com link whether for the items above or anything you choose. It helps pay the hosting charges and I do appreciate it!
Pretty much ALL Scottevest products are on sale through 28 November with promo code Cyber16 and it’s already started! I use the vests and jackets all the time to carry my tablet/laptop and any heavy books that would otherwise put me over the 7kg cabin bag allowance. I also keep my docs, credit cards, USB drives, etc in the jacket so if there is ever a need for emergency evacuation, I am already wearing my valuables.
If you aren’t familiar with Scottevest’s pockets, please see my review here.
This is the lowest I have ever seen this product! Scottevests are a huge part of my being able to travel carry-on only and avoid checking bags as I can put some heavier items like a small laptop/tablet and some reading material in the vest pockets. I also keep all my documents, cash and credit cards in the pockets and wear the vest on the plane which would allow me to make a rapid and safe exit in case of emergency with all my important items secured within my clothing.
The clip below shows how to use the pockets if you aren’t familiar with Scottevest products. Please use the link in the graphic or HERE as I will get a small commission at no cost to yourself which helps pay the site expenses. Be sure to use the promo code RAINCHECK to get the discount. Hurry as the sale ends 14 November!
It’s nice to see more and more field guides being made available in both paperback and Kindle versions. I used to want a paper book with me in the field but as I get older and less willing to carry around excess weight, I am leaning towards Kindle versions. If my recent series on Brazil has piqued your interest, maybe one of these guides would suit you.
Have you noticed how airlines are cracking down on oversized (and in some countries) overweight carry-on bags & backpacks? In Australia, you can only carry on bags up to 7 kgs. Birders will usually be pushing these limits with camera gear, lenses, binoculars and guidebooks. If you don’t want a nasty surprise when you check in and be forced to check your bag – and pay extra for it – you need to know the weight before you go. This cute gadget also has a measuring tape built in!
You can also hide some extra weight in a Scottevest but they still don’t have a product that holds DSLRs and zoom lenses!
If you are a Survivor fan, you will be familiar with the Buff. “Drop your buffs, we’re switching tribes”. Well you don’t have to be a contestant to have one, you can order your own in a wide variety of colours (but stick to the muted nature shade for birding). I got one and it comes in handy for keeping my long hair out of the way and keeping bugs off my forehead and neck.
This is how to wear it.
We’ve all been there. You have your camera gear at hand and on your way to a birding hotspot when all of a sudden a bird unexpectedly flies overhead. You scramble for your camera, rip off the lens cap and set it down somewhere and frantically try to get your shot. Then you get so busy looking through the shots to see if any of them are good you forget to put the lens cap back.
Long after you’ve moved on, you realize the lens cap is gone and you aren’t sure where it went. How annoying!
These nifty gadgets could solve that problem and at $5.99 for a pack of 5 are not expensive.
Even better, get a pack with spare lens caps – once you click on the link there are more sizes on the page.