The Ultimate Birders Christmas Wish-list Part 4

Updated: Dec 29, 2020



We have been receiving very encouraging reactions from our readers, to our gift ideas for birders so far. Not only are the products high quality, practical and functional, but they are also sourced from companies or brands that we are proud to be associated with, and that have a strong conservation and sustainability drive. Here are the next lot of gift ideas to give that special birding someone in your life.


1) Zartek Two-Way Radios - Calvin Harris

Another fantastic addition to your birding adventures would be a pair of Zartek TX-8 two-way radios or as we all know them as, walkie talkies. If you've ever been birding with more than one vehicle or simply split up your group on foot, you know that communication between parties can be a challenge. This problem is solved with these rugged, long range radios. My first experience in using these were on a two vehicle journey up Sani Pass. The lead vehicle would call in any sightings for us in the second vehicle and vice versa. This added a completely new dimension to the trip as there wouldn't be any missed sightings amongst the party. They can prove vital in emergency situations and are just so fun to use (Roger, roger - over and out).


2) A pair of Hi-tec Altitude Infinity Hiking Boots - Christopher Flannery

If you are looking for a versatile pair of boots, you are definitely going to want to buy these boots. They have many great features:

- They are easy to put on. You do not have to struggle to get the boots on your feet

- They are comfortable. They are not simply built for hiking; they are also comfortable enough for day-to-day wear.

- They are neat enough to be worn when you are at work, but they are rugged enough that you can easily go birding straight after work without having to change them.

- They have amazing grip. You can walk in the bush with the confidence that you will not slip whilst climbing a slippery slope.

- They are breathable. They do not get oppressively hot – they allow your feet breathing room.

- They are waterproof. When you are walking outside and come across a puddle, you do not have to worry about getting your feet wet.

- They are tough enough to handle any amount of rough terrain. You don’t have to worry about them not being tough enough to handle your walk through the bush or hike up the mountain.

- They are light. Unlike other boots I have had, these are so light that they do not feel like bricks on your feet. This is a great plus if you are planning to go on a long hiking trip.

- They can be loose enough to allow you to tuck your pants legs in them. For those times when you are walking through high grass, this is ideal.


So, in conclusion, when are you buying your pair? I’m pretty sure that one of these points have convinced you that these are the boots you need for your next birding trip!


For more information please visit https://www.hi-tec.co.za/


3) A guided birding adventure with Expedition Birding - Adam Cruickshank

A day out with a bird guide must be one of the best gifts you can get a birder. On numerous occasions I have used guides and I have found that the days birding goes to a whole new level on enjoyment. Guides know the areas and the birds in the areas that they get to work in, which means that your chances of finding special species is increased. They also take care of a lot of the smaller details which means that you can just focus on seeing birds.


John Kinghorn and Toni Geddes are the founders of Expedition Birding – they are not only amazing birders, but their overall knowledge of nature is what adds to this great company. The Gauteng area has many great birding spots with some special birds, and a day out with Expedition Birding allows you to bird with people that are knowledgeable of the area. John and Toni overflow with passion not only for birds, but also for the clients that they will get to take out on a specific trip. They look to offer birding trips that won’t break your bank account, while at the same time not cutting back on offering their clients a special day out.


To book a trip with Expedition Birding either email expeditionbirding@gmail.com or WhatsApp 0835175471


4) Thunder Bird – Darling Brew – Tyron Dall

As the name suggests, this IPA is inspired by the Southern Ground Hornbill. Celebrate your latest lifer by sipping on this delicious brew which has aromas of citrus, supported by tropical flavours imparted by a well-defined dry-hop and a medium to full body. Whilst you are sipping you will also be pleased to know that you are dodging the glyphosate bullet, thanks to Darling Brew's use of the best quality, ethically sourced, organic or biodynamically farmed non-GMO grains.


Darling Brew is also Africa's first certified carbon neutral brewery. Darling Brew has been on their sustainability journey since opening in 2010, when they created their line of craft beers which drive awareness on animal conservation in Africa. The brewery has recently taken to openly and prominently displaying the month to month statistics on their water, waste, energy and carbon use in the hopes of including Darling Brew’s patrons in the journey and spreading awareness. The brewing and fermentation space is naturally lit wherever possible. They heat water with solar power. For the Tasteroom at the Darling site, the crates their machinery arrived in were turned into furniture and were used to build the bar. The mantra of ‘reuse, repurpose, recycle’ is the deafening drumbeat of their days.


For more information please visit https://darlingbrew.co.za/


5) Birds of the World Subscription - Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Calvin Harris

Have you ever found yourself wondering what species are to be found in the Galapogas Islands? Do you dream of trudging through the jungles of Borneo in search of forest skulkers, well, we think this gift which was developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology would help map out your birding dreams! A year long subscription to 'Birds of the World' gives you access to a constantly updated resource including images, text, distribution, audio and video clips. Aristotle's old saying is true for birding as it is for life - the more you learn, the more you realise how much you don't know. Here is the description of the product from the Curators:


Birds of the World is a powerful research database that brings together deep, scholarly content from four celebrated works of ornithology with millions of bird observations from eBird and multimedia from the Macaulay Library into a single platform where biologists and birders can explore comprehensive life history information on birds.

An in-depth overview of Birds of the World features can be found here. Below is a description-in-brief: 10,721 species accounts 249 bird family accounts 500 million+ eBird observations 100,000+ research citations 21,000 color illustrations of every species, and many subspecies Tens of thousands of media assets (photos, videos, and sound recordings) from the Macaulay Library Range maps, eBird abundance maps, and animated migration maps Avian taxonomy explorer Subscription access to individuals, institutions and nonprofits Ongoing updates


For more information visit www.birdsoftheworld.org


6) Biltong from Grobbies Butchery - Adam Cruickshank

I have previously spoken about how coffee and birding go together, but just as important is having tasty snacks to chew on throughout the day. What true South African does not like good biltong as a snack when doing all things that we call ‘lekker’?


Grobbies Butchery is a family run business in the Bluff on the South of Durban in KwaZulu Natal. They are the home of the famous ‘Kom-Terug’ boerewors, which is the stuff that legends are made of. They have many happy customers returning again and again from far and wide to get their quality meat (often traveling many kilometres).


On a recent trip to Zebra Hill’s Safari Lodge in Manyoni Private Game Reserve, while waiting for the fire to get ready for an evening braai, we had the chance to feast on biltong, cabanossi, and dry wors from Grobbies – and the only sad thing was how quickly it disappeared. This isn’t simply the mass-produced fare that you often end up getting at bigger shops, this quality biltong that will leave you longing for more once it’s finished!


If you have a birder in your life, a bag of Grobbies biltong will be a great stocking filler!


If you are in Durban visit this famous butchery, or if you are not as close, you can order biltong, dry wors, and cabanossi, and they will happily send it to you in the post.


Visit Grobbies Butchery on Facebook for more information https://www.facebook.com/GROBBIES-BUTCHERY-1422735131340538


7) A gift pack filled with Safari Suncreen - Adam Cruickshank

Birding is an outdoor hobby which means that much of it is done under the hot sun. I have been on quite a few birding (and nature) getaways where at the end of the day, much of the group have ‘tomato syndrome’ – they are red because of all the time that they spend in the sun on the day. This does not only make you feel ‘not so great’ at the end of the day, but there are also many dangerous long-term effects that can come as a result. Adequate protection in the sun is more important than many people realise. A good covering for your head and sunscreen is two essential items that should be in the kit bag of any birder.


The Safari sunscreen range is a dermatologically approved sunscreen that offers protection against but UVA and UVB rays. The SPF 40 Moisturising Sunscreen not only protects you against the sun, but it also moisturises your skin, with its matte, non-greasy cream. The SPF 50 Outdoor and Sport Sunscreen offers that added feature that it is water resistant. The Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm protects your lips against the harmful rays of the sun. This is a high quality range of sunscreen that will cover you no matter where your adventure may take you.


This may not be the 'coolest' looking Christmas gift for a birder, but it just may be the most important one under the tree.


For more information visit www.cremeclassique.co.za

So that's four lists down and only one to go!


Be sure to follow The Birding Life on Facebook and Instagram to stand in line to win daily prizes between the 16th November-15th December 2020 in our #TBLChristmas2020 giveaway. Everyone who enters any of the daily competitions also goes into the draw for the grand prize, which is a pair of Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Binoculars.


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