New stuff to spend your hard-earned cash on this month
Birding-related goodies this month include calendars, water bottles and shoes!
LUMIX G80, MIRRORLESS MICRO 4/3 CAMERA, £699 (BODY ONLY)
The G80 has 5-axis dual image stabilisation – two axes in the lens and five in the body, a 16Mp sensor with no low pass filter for improved resolution, and fast focusing. It does some very clever stuff – extracting 8Mp stills from 4k video, focus stacking for more depth of field. Weather sealed and with a magnesium front panel. Panasonic.com
NHBS 2017 CALENDARS, FROM £10
It’s that time of year. Buy one for yourself maybe, or as a Christmas present for the hard to buy for. The NHBS range of wall calendars includes Christopher Marley’s wonderful ‘Insect Art’, the ‘minimal realist’ work of Charley Harper and a calendar of Inuit print-making. nhbs.com.
HYDRO FLASK 16OZ WIDE MOUTH COFFEE WITH FLIP LID, £21.95
When winter sets in a hot drink makes birding better! This flask comes in nine colours including mango, plum and kiwi, is made of pro-grade stainless steel and keeps coffee properly hot for up to six hours, or an icy beverage icy for up to 24 hours. It’s BPA free, non-toxic, scratch resistant and doesn’t ‘swap flavours’, so today’s drink won’t taste like yesterday’s. Unless it’s the same thing. It’s guaranteed for 100 years or a lifetime! hydroflask.com / tiso.com
WIGWAM MERINO COMFORT HIKER LITE SOCKS, £15
This Wisconsin based sock-maker has a heritage dating back to 1905, when the family firm was working hard to keep hunters’ and trappers’ feet warm. Their sock range is extensive – and this one sounds good for birdwatchers. Described as ‘the perfect all season hiker’ – no itch, no shrink and hard-wearing. These 54% merino wool, 37% stretch nylon socks have lightly cushioned soles and elasticised arches. Wigwam. com
VESTERGAARD LIFESTRAW GO £45.95
A great water bottle for if you are out for a long day in remote areas as you can fill it up from almost anywhere. I tested it using water from a stream! It uses a two stage filtration process that gets rid of 99.9% of bacteria and reduces chlorine, organic chemical matter and bad taste. It is lightweight with a flip-top valve for easy drinking and comes in five colours. lifestraw.com
WILDLIFE WORLD DEWDROP RANGE, £17.49
There are four Dewdrop products – a nestbox, a bird feeder, a butterfly, moth and insect box and a ‘bee & bug’ home. They are all made with FSC timber and water-based paints and sealants, and have bamboo rattan exteriors and an aqua-blue finish on the front. The nestbox has a stainless steel protector to keep woodpeckers out, there’s a perch on the feeder, and the bee & bug home is loaded with nesting tubes for solitary bees, which are good insects to have in the garden! wildlifeworld.co.uk.
ALPKIT KAROO TROUSERS, £40
These are for women – tough, lightweight and roll-up – the trousers that is. The Karoos are made for travel and adventure. They wick moisture away fast, dry quickly and have space to move. You can roll them up to three-quarters length and keep them there with poppers, and store very important stuff in a zipped security pocket tucked inside a front pocket. There’s a cargo pocket on the thigh plus other pockets, and where it matters, the seams are double stitched. Sun protection is good, too – with a UPF rating of 50+. The hem is plain so it’s easy to alter the length. alpkit.com.
PENGUIN SALT AND PEPPER POT, £8.99
This is not your typical salt and pepper pot. It works like this. Load the salt pot with salt and the pepper pot with pepper. Put them on the table, but probably not for a posh dinner-party. When someone asks for the salt or pepper don’t pass the pot to them. Just wind it up, point it in the right direction and let the penguin do the work! rspb.org.uk
HAGLÖFS MISTRAL GT SHOES, £125
These shoes are a combination of oiled nubuck leather and Gore-tex for waterproofing that can breathe. Grip is excellent and there’s high abrasion resistance rubber where the sole really needs it. They’re made for comfort, with a midsole that improves cushioning and ‘bounce back’ and rear foot cushioning too. Available in men’s sizes 6.5-12.5. haglofs.com.