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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Accessorize For Birding with Less Than Rs. 10,000/-

Birdwatching is an adventure and takes us to little known places where weather and infrastructure can be a challenge. Moving around with the right accessories can make the difference between struggling with the conditions and enjoying a peek at a rarity. With winter fast approaching, this is the right time to start tooling up. And with online stores like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Jabong etc. offering a staggering choice, you can do all the shopping right from your mobile.
The list below contains products that I have personally used and am satisfied with. There are better and cheaper alternatives around, but these are the one's that met my need on a budget. I have, of course, no connection with the manufacturers or sellers. I wish I had – maybe that would have led to a substantial discount. But somehow I doubt it :). All prices are approximate and were those that I paid when I bought them. There is a disclaimer at the end of this article. Please do read it before buying anything listed here.

An adventure seeking birdwatcher needs more than just a showy wristwatch. This one does most things that you may want a wristwatch to do, and more. The great thing about it is that the barometer gives you some time to seek cover in threatening weather.

Casio Men''s SGW400H-1B Sport Multi-Function black Dial Watch
From Grabmore and Shopclues Rs. 4,200/-

Head Lamp
An indispensable tool to find your way to the lightless toilet or that rocky climb after dark. Everyone should have one, especially in India.

Energizer LED Headlight HDL33A1 Torch
From Snapdeal Rs. 600/-

Outdoor Shoes
Those who hit hard rocks with their toe nail would know the difference between walking shoes and shoes made by people who know how to make them. This one is the cheapest of the line but good enough for most birders.

Merrell Phoenix Ventilator Brown Outdoor Shoes
From Jabong and Myntra Rs. 3,200/- (after discounts)

Rain Cover
Rain or drizzle is just around the corner in some seasons in most parts of India. A rain jacket that keeps water away and can be tucked into your camera bag is a no-brainer. A must have, especially if it looks smart.

Quechua Raincut Hiking Jacket 8207362
From: Snapdeal and others Rs. 500/-

Bucket Cap
Long lens photographers will love this one. Baseball hats are an obstacle to photography – this one does the job in style with mesh-openings allowing flow of air.

Wildcraft Unisex Khaki Bucket Cap
From Myntra and Infibeam Rs.600/-

Solar Light
An easy to carry and water-resistant solar light is godsend when you are under a tent or having dinner under a flickering candle. This durable piece is inexpensive and easy to carry.

D.Light S2 Solar Lights
From Flipkart Rs 450/-

Portable Mobile Charger
Don't leave home without one. I got mine as a bundle with a car charger that I needed. But I like the product and its size. Choices here are by the gallons, choose what you like. The tip is to buy one with mAh higher than the rating of your mobile battery.

Callmate PB2600SL-MI 2600 mAh Portable Battery
From Flipkart Rs. 550/-

Mobile Rain Cover
Indispensable when birding out in inclement weather. You can even strap this to your arm.

WP-320 Universal Waterproof Bag
From Rediff Rs 300/-

DSLR Camera Rain Cover
Make one yourself, or better still buy an inexpensive pair and keep one handy in your camera bag. Nothing like shooting out in the open and in the rain to attract envy :)

DSLR Rain Sleeve
From Photo Vatika Rs 300/- for a pair.

Portable Stool
An asset for tired legs, especially old ones! Plus a great way to sit motionless to observe and photograph shy wildlife. This one is easy to carry too! One caveat – not for those who weigh more than 100 kilos!

Quechua Tripod Stool
From Snapdeal and Decathlon Rs 500/-

Free Android Apps (All available at the Play Store)
1. Bird Checklist India by Eric Fransson : Easy to use and fairly good. Works offline.
2. GPS Status & Toolbox by MobiWIA – EclipSim : Great for Lat/Lon info. Includes altimeter and compass
3. Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder by Yuku : Has gain control, and allows you to record bird calls for identification. Mobiles are not great for recording bird calls, but this app is impressive.
4. Droidlight LED Flashlight by Motorola Mobility LLC. : Most free flashlights need needless permissions. This one is very clean.

I hope you enjoyed the write-up and found something that will interest you. Almost all the items can be found by Googling the full name description. This whole lot cost me about Rs11,000/-
Disclaimer: I am sorry that I will not be able to give any additional information and am certainly not responsible for any item that you purchase based on these tips. The tips are offered by an amateur user based on his experience – your mileage may vary.

Happy Shopping!


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