Let us just be honest for a moment – birders can be a strange crowd of people. We wake up early to chase after birds, we spend money to travel to places just to add another bird to our list, we look for every opportunity to speak about birds, and well, the list can just go on with other things that make us a special group of people.
Christmas is just around the corner and people are looking for that special gift for the loved ones in their lives, thankfully we have put together the ultimate birders Christmas guide to gifts! This list has been put together with this 'strange crowd of people' in mind. We have looked as far and wide as possible for gifts that almost any birder would love to have under their Christmas tree. The Birding Life team have been deliberate in their search for gifts with a variety of prices to try cater for every budget. This has been a difficult year and Christmas is a great opportunity to spread some much-needed joy in the lives of the people close to us. We will be posting four lists over the next four weeks so you will have lots of great ideas by the time December 25th arrives.
So without further ado let’s look at the first seven gift suggestions on The Birding Life’s Christmas wish-list.
1) Zartek ZA-477 Rechargeable Spot Light - Calvin Harris
Nocturnal birding is solved with this fantastic piece of Kit. The Zartek ZA-477 rechargeable spot light is the perfect companion for those Owling expeditions or at dusk for Nightjars. The fact that this spotlight is rechargeable and not reliant on batteries makes it highly practical as you are able to charge it using a wall socket or plug and play directly from a standard vehicle charging outlet. It is light enough to carry around in the hand with the accompanied lanyard and most of all its powerful enough to lock you onto your target species (750 lumens). Thankfully the Zartek ZA-477 is supplied with a red filter which protects nocturnal animal eyes should you mistakenly shine the beam into their eyes. This proudly South African product is a must for any Birder or Naturalist!
2) A Silver Ridge II Long Sleeve Shirt from Columbia Sportswear - Adam Cruickshank
Birders spend many hours under the sun looking for birds and as many of us have learnt the African sun can be very unforgiving! The Silver Ridge II shirt not only looks great - stylish enough for everyday wear yet rugged enough for any bushwhacking session - but it also has Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection. This protection means that UVA and UVB rays are blocked - protecting one from not only sun burn, but also from long term skin damage. 'All Omni-Shade fabric carries The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation, given to sun-protective fabrics that have a minimum UPF of 30'. Not only do they offer sun protection, but the Omni-Wick technology ensures that you stay dry even in the most trying circumstances. The sleeves can also be rolled up if needed, and there are two handy breast pockets to carry smaller items such as lens cleaners. The Silver Ridge II shirts allow birders to have clothing that is both functional and stylish.
For more information please visit https://columbiasportswear.co.za/
3) Fumé Blanc and Jikken Barrels Wine from The Fledge & Co Wines - Tyron Dall
The Fumé Blanc is a hand crafted, small batch and very subtly barrel fermented and aged cool climate Sauvignon Blanc. Birders will instantly recognise the iconic Bokmakierie that adorns the label. The Bokmakierie is a master songster and can also mimic other bird calls, just as the Sauvignon Blanc varietal can be influenced by its unique terroir.
The Jikken Barrels are more everyday wines, and their label features the “Sunshine” Robins. Birders are of course very environmentally conscious, and will be pleased to know that The Fledge and Co Wines are offsetting their carbon footprint by having 3500 Ha of Spekbome planted, and are planning to plant 1 million more. Also a big Congratulations goes out to them on winning their first 5 star rating from John Platter.
For more information please visit https://thefledge.co.za/
4) A 2021 Birdlife South Africa Calendar along with a gift Membership to Birdlife South Africa - Adam Cruickshank
This is an opportunity to give a gift that lasts a whole year! A gift membership to BirdLife South Africa is the perfect green gift to give your loved ones and friends this festive season. The gift includes a subscription to African Birdlife magazine, a membership card, two bird call cellphone ringtones and a monthly E-newsletter.
With all the amazing work that Birdlife South Africa is doing for conservation in South Africa, this gift will not only allow the person to enjoy the African Birdlife Magazine throughout the year (probably the world's finest bird magazine), it all also makes a difference in the conservation of the birds that we so love.
Along with the gift membership, why not fill the stocking with a 2020 Birdlife South Africa Calendar. In this calendar each month-to-view page is accompanied by a stunning full colour image of Southern Africa's most eye-catching species. The photos are of the highest quality and have been sourced from some of South Africa's leading photographers.
For more information, please contact Shireen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) Tea from Sunbird Rooibos - Tyron Dall
Sunbird Rooibos is the perfect drink to take on your birding trips. Enjoy a warming drink of Spiced Orange or Chai Rooibos on a cold Winters day, or be refreshed by making iced tea from the Buchu and Rooibos blend which has notes of mint and blackcurrant during the hot Summer.
Sunbird Rooibos is still the only company in the world to offer organically grown Rooibos tea from single-origin sources. They also strongly promote the reusability, recyclability and compostability of their products. Sunbird Rooibos also encourage the consumer to buy and use loose leaf tea, thereby further reducing packaging.
For more information please visit https://sunbirdrooibos.com/
6) Roberts Birds of KwaZulu-Natal and Their Zulu Names - Adam Cruickshank
This is a great gift for the birder that has a collection of all the best Southern African field guides. This book provides a different angle to the South African field guide market by giving the Zulu names for the birds that are found in KwaZulu Natal. It has been fascinating to get home after seeing a bird in the field and being able to open the guide and not only learn the Zulu name, but also get a short overview of what the name means. The book is the result of a 6 year Zulu Bird Name Project which was facilitated by the authors along with eighteen Zulu speaking bird experts. The book gives an overview of the process, as well as some great background information with regard to birds in the Zulu culture. This book will be a great addition to any birders book shelf!
For more information or to order the book https://bit.ly/wildbookszulunames
7) Matthew Bell Artwork - Adam Cruickshank
Cape Town based artist Matthew Bell, has to be one of South Africa’s finest wildlife artists – his pencil drawings not only fall into the category of stunning artistic pieces, but importantly for the birders who might purchase his art, that he also accurately captures the finer plumage details of birds that he draws. His art is drawn with a plain white background which means that the illustrations are clean and void of elements that would distract from the subject that has been drawn. There is a collection of original animal, bird, and tree drawings available on the site, as well as prints for those with a tighter budget. The framed drawings would look great either in a home or even in the corporate setting. A Matthew Bell original drawing or print will be a joy for the birder or nature lover in general.
For more information https://matthewbellart.co.za/
So there you have it, seven great gifts for the birder in your life (or to spoil yourself a little bit). We are looking forward to showing you next weeks seven gift ideas!