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The Complete and Only Bird Watching Checklist You’ll Ever Need

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Bird Watching

There are more than 45 million bird-watchers in the US, joining millions more general wildlife enthusiasts.

Bird watching is a pastime that offers so many benefits. It gets you outdoors, forces you to slow down and relax, and teaches you new things about the environment.

If you are new to bird watching, you might not know what gear and equipment you need to embrace this new passion. You can read all the birder books in the world but still not feel prepared for doing it in real life. 

But never fear. This simple checklist has all the essentials you need for a successful bird-watching expedition. 

Binoculars or Spotting Scope

If you remember to take only one item on this bird-watching checklist, make it a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope.

Binoculars are essential to identify birds. You need to get a close enough look to study their beak shapes, feather patterns, and feather colors. Misidentifying birds is far more likely when you are relying on your regular eyesight.

Buy a powerful yet compact pair you can wear around your neck and are light enough to hold for long periods of time.

Or, you could invest in a spotting scope which is rather like a telescope for landscapes.

DSLR Camera and Tripod

So, when you spot these amazing birds through your telescope or spotting scope, what do you often want to do next? Take a photo of the bird, of course! If you are lucky enough to catch it. 

Opt for a high-powered DSLR camera with a tripod and a telescopic lens of at least 200mm. You may need a lens hood or UV filter if you are going bird-watching on a sunny day.

Camouflage Tent

For the lucky birders who do not need to stray too far from home, you can bird-watch from your cozy backyard shed or even in your house! And if this is how you like to bird-watch, there are plenty of attractive bird baths you can buy from places like Nature Niche and Wild Bird Store Online.

But for the rest of you, who bird-watch out in the open, you will need to make more of an effort to look inconspicuous.

Many birders can (and do) hide in or behind bushes. But if this is not an option for you, grab a small camouflage tent (or bird watching hide) for your next trip. They are lightweight and easy to set up. 

Expedition Notebook (And Pen!)

How are you going to brag to all your birder friends if you do not remember all the types of birds you saw on your field trip?!

If you live in a wet climate, a weather-proof field notebook is essential. Opt for one with a wipe-clean hardback cover and paper with a high cotton content so it will not rip. 

Don’t forget to bring a pen and a spare. Better yet, find a notebook with an elastic pen holder attached so you will always remember to bring one.

Bird Identification Book

You likely spend all your free time (when not bird watching) flipping through local wildlife books and studying the types of bird found near you. 

But it is still important to bring those books when you are out bird watching so you can reference them while the birds are fresh in your mind. Or, if you are lucky, right in front of you!

Try and find books as specific to the local area you are bird-watching in as possible. And choose one with a clear list of bird identifiers so you can be 100% sure of the types of birds you are spotting.

Appropriate Outdoor Clothing

Bird watching is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to wear clothing that is suitable for your climate and so you can sit outside for hours on end.

Consider investing in the following gear:

  • Warm and waterproof outdoor coat
  • Waterproof over-pants
  • Zip-off hiking pants
  • Strong and waterproof hiking shoes
  • Sweat-wicking shirts, underwear, and socks

Birder clothing is likely not much different than what you would wear camping or hiking. 

Safety Equipment

Also, do not forget safety when you are bird watching. It is not a contact or extreme sport, but there are still some (mild) dangers involved! Consider packing the following for your bird watching trips:

  • Sunblock and lip balm with SPF
  • Wool beanie or cap
  • Sunglasses with UV protection

Sunblock is essential if you are sitting outside all day. Insect repellent and a small first aid kit couldn’t hurt, either.

Food and Water

Once you find a great bird-watching spot, you will not want to leave it to go and grab lunch. So, don’t forget to bring ample sustenance (and more for safety) for the duration of your trip.

Consider a flask of tea or coffee to keep you warm. Trekking snack bars and beef jerky will get you through those pangs of hunger, too. Investing in a two or three-liter water bladder means you can quench your thirst while not taking your eyes from your binoculars.

Useful Birding Apps

How are those authentic bird calls coming? Yeah, the blue jay is a tough one. If you are struggling to mimic all the different calls, download a birding app instead which will do it for you. Check these out:

  • eBird
  • Merlin Bird ID
  • Audubon Bird Guide

If you are quick enough, you can also take a photo of the bird with these apps and they will identify it for you. If not, you can answer some simple questions and they will help, too.

Backpack or Trekking Bag

And the last thing you need on your bird-watching checklist is an intrepid, long-lasting bag to carry all your gear in. Whether you want a backpack or a messenger bag, make sure it holds everything.

Get a waterproof rain cover, too.

If you have a lot of photography equipment, consider opting for a camera bag instead to keep your equipment safe.

Don’t Leave These Bird Watching Essentials at Home

Bird watching is far more exciting and fulfilling than most people give it credit for. And having all the essential birder equipment and gear will make your spotting trips more successful and enjoyable.

Want to read more articles that will help you explore the outdoors? Check out other articles on our site for tons of travel and lifestyle tips!

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Lifestyle

Essential Considerations Before You Leave On Your Expedition

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Essential Considerations Before You Leave On Your Expedition

It can be difficult to wait the days and weeks until your journey begins. All you want to do now is jump aboard, set sail, and start exploring your destination’s charms. You don’t have to stay at home and stare at the calendar with bated breath! No, there are several simple things you can do to ensure that your vacation goes smoothly. Here is your pre-departure checklist for Compass Expeditions.

Visas and Passports

You’ll need to make sure your passport and visas are up to date as part of pre-departure checklist. Certain countries require a specific visitor’s visa, while others require passports to be valid for at least six months when they arrive. If you have any worries regarding your passport or visa issue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the appropriate bookings specialists. They will be able to assist you in ensuring that everything goes correctly.

Travel Insurance

All passengers must have adequate travel insurance with emergency evacuation coverage before embarking on a cruise. As a result, it will cover you in the event of sickness, accident, loss of bags and personal possessions, last-minute changes to travel plans, travel disruption, or other unforeseen circumstances. Before departure, all travel insurance policy details must be finalized on your information form. It’s crucial to remember that hazardous pursuits, such as rock climbing may necessitate supplementary insurance.

Exercise and Fitness

Do a few walks or exercises in the months and weeks leading up to your adventure to improve your fitness. It is a pleasant idea to wear your shoes while on vacation to avoid blisters.

Create A Plan for Your Home.

There’s no doubt that you’ll want to make sure everything is taken care of while you’re away from home. Perhaps the cat needs to be fed, the lawns need to be mowed, or the mail needs to be collected or redirected. While you’re having fun, give yourself peace of mind by managing all the minor details in your life that need to be taken care of. It’s also a good idea to circulate and update your emergency contact information during this time. It’s critical that we can notify the appropriate individuals promptly if something goes wrong on your cruise or at home.

Make Adjustments to Your Address Book.

It’s always lovely to get a small piece of ‘snail mail’ from overseas, especially in an age when technology dominates our communications. Make a more personal gift by sending a postcard to your friends and family instead of another post about your vacation.

Install New Apps

There are a variety of apps that you can download ahead of your departure to make your trip more enjoyable. Currency converters, language translators, free vacation guides, and photo applications are just a few examples.

Get in touch with the Compass Expeditions team immediately if you have any questions about organizing your expedition. Planning before the tour helps save time on the actual day of the trip since you won’t need to jump up and down looking for something you’ll need on the field. To guarantee that you pack everything, avoid the last-minute hurry.

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Lifestyle

Fishkeeping for Beginners: How to Start an Aquarium

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Start an Aquarium

Fishkeeping can be a fun, rewarding, and therapeutic hobby – but don’t just take my word for it. 

Research shows that keeping a home aquarium is associated with relaxation and has the potential to benefit your well-being.

So if you’re ready to take the plunge but don’t know how to start an aquarium, I don’t blame you. There can be a sea of information out there.

That is why I’ve outlined some key steps you’ll need to know to build a fish tank you’ll love!

Dive in below for important fishtank tips.

How to Start an Aquarium

First things first, you’ll need a fish tank. Starting small is a good idea as you navigate the waters of the fishkeeping world.

You’ll also need to fill it with essential equipment necessary to maintain the health of your tank’s ecosystem, including:

  • Water filter
  • Lights
  • Thermometer
  • Heater (for tropical breeds)
  • Decorations

To streamline this process, buy a tank that comes fully equipped with everything you’ll need to get started!

Decorating Your Aquarium

Decorating your tank can be a fun way to help your fish feel at home! 

It’s a good idea to research what type of habitat your fish prefer beforehand. While some like open spaces, others prefer to lay low.

Standard aquarium accessories include substrates (things like rocks or gravel), ornaments, and aquatic plants.

While fake plants are easier to maintain, adding live plants is a simple way to improve the overall quality of your tank’s water.

Some plant species can be high maintenance. That’s why beginners should opt for a plant such as the Temple Compacta, which is known to endure a wide variety of conditions and even common beginner mistakes.

Whatever you choose, be sure to rinse your items thoroughly in warm water before placing them into the tank to avoid unwanted debris.

How to Set Up a Fish Tank

Now that you’ve got the right equipment, you’re ready to begin setting up. 

Before you add water, be sure the tank is placed in the location it will remain. Somewhere safe, quiet, and away from direct sunlight or heat is ideal, as this can deregulate the tank’s temperature.

Once filled, the process of cycling your water begins. This requires patience and consistent monitoring to ensure the proper levels essential to your fish’s survival; things like PH balance, ammonia, and beneficial bacteria!

You can begin to introduce your fish to their new home over the coming weeks. But be sure to test your water with a test kit beforehand!

Aquarium Maintenance

While fish are low-maintenance pets, they require some level of care to keep them thriving in their new ecosystem.

For best results, you should schedule regular maintenance. Cleaning an aquarium includes tasks like vacuuming gravel, cleaning filters, and periodically testing and changing out the water. 

It’s best to learn about common fish diseases and research fish compatibility before introducing new fish into your growing community.

And don’t forget to feed your friends twice a day!

Congratulations!

Now that you know how to start an aquarium, get started on building a healthy, beautiful fish tank so you can reap the benefits that come along with it.

Don’t wait; dive into this fun and relaxing hobby to become your most zen self. 

For great tips like this and more, check out the rest of our blog today! 

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Lifestyle

December Global Holidays 2021: Have A Look At It Before Planning A Trip

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December Global Holidays

When the month of December comes, it instills a sense of joy and celebration in our minds. Whenever we talk of festivities, people start planning how they will spend them and search online to know about the December global holidays 2021 & 2022. 

Today, we will provide you with a brief overview of the festivities and holidays of December month. So let’s check it out!

What Are The Global Holidays For December In 2021?

So as you know, December will be knocking at our doorstep within just a few months. In fact, right from the beginning itself, the events start one after another. For instance, 1st December is the National Day of the UAE. So needless to say, it is an important day for the people of that country.

At the same time, 10th December is also known worldwide as the day for the Hanukkah festival for the Jews. Furthermore, 25th December needs no separate mention. People all over the world celebrate Christmas on this day with their loved ones. 

In fact, 26th December is also an important day for the people of Africa because of the event Kwanzaa. On this day, the Africans appreciate their heritage and culture.

Here is Complete List of All December Holidays 2021 & 2022

Date Of December Global Festivities Name Of December Global Holidays 2021
1-Dec-21 National Day (United Arab Emirates)
4-Dec-21 Farmer’s Day (Ghana )
6-Dec-21 Independence Day (Finland)
6-Dec-21 Constitution Day, (Spain)
7-Dec-21 King Bhumibol’s Birthday, (Thailand)
10-Dec-21 Constitution Day, (Thailand)
12 December 2021 The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, (Mexico)
13 December 2021 Republic Day, (Malta)
16 December 2021 Victory Day, (Bangladesh)
16 December 2021 Day of Reconciliation, (South Africa)
18 December 2021 National Day, (Qatar)
24 December 2021 Independence Day, (Christmas Eve, Libya)
25 December 2021 Christmas Day, Pakistan (Birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
26 December 2021 Boxing Day, (Various Countries)
26 December 2021 Independence and Unity Day, (Slovenia)
29 December 2021 Unduvap Full Moon Poya, (Sri Lanka )
30 December 2021 Rizal Day, (Philippines)
31 December 2021 New Year’s Eve, (Various Countries)

Ending Note

Therefore, the above article will provide you with a brief idea about the December global holidays 2021. In fact, having an idea about the holidays will help you plan your vacation with your family. So take a look at the holidays before you plan a trip!

Must Read : Noah Shannon Green

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