Birding-re­lated good­ies this month in­clude binoc­u­lars, bird feed and a nest­box

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents - WORDS: DAVID CHAN­DLER & KATIE WILKIN­SON

RO­HAN £65 WOMEN’S MERINO UNION 150 HOODED TOP This fit­ted top is made from a blend of breath­able polyester and nat­u­ral merino wool, pro­vid­ing warmth but keep­ing it light­weight. It comes in char­coal or white. I liked the hood on the base­layer for keep­ing the chill off my neck and the thumb loops on the sleeves en­sured that the sleeves were pulled com­fort­ably down into my gloves, keep­ing my wrists warm while hold­ing a pair of binoc­u­lars! ro­han.co.uk IVEL VAL­LEY MY FINCHES AND ME MIX £4.85 FOR 2KG The Ivel Val­ley busi­ness grows seeds in Bed­ford­shire, to the LEAF (Link­ing En­vi­ron­ment and Farm­ing) stan­dard, which pro­motes en­vi­ron­men­tally-re­spon­si­ble farm­ing. No other grow­ers make all of their seed mixes and suet prod­ucts – and its fac­tory is so­lar-pow­ered. This mix is for finches and is de­signed for a niger feeder. It con­tains niger, red and white mil­let, sun­flower and black sun­flower seeds, sun­flower hearts, quinoa and saf­flower seeds. Larger bags avail­able. ivel­val­ley­bird­food.co.uk PÁRAMO MEN’S BENTU FLEECE £115 Made of Nik­wax fleece fab­ric, the Bentu will keep mist and driz­zle out, is wind-re­sis­tant, has a map-sized chest pocket and two hand­warm­ing pock­ets. With light stretch and great ar­tic­u­la­tion, this fleece al­lows easy move­ment and has a curved rear hem to pro­tect your lower back. Com­bine it with the Bentu Wind­proof jacket (£100) for a warm and wa­ter­proof win­ter combo. Pfc-free, re­cy­clable and made eth­i­cally at the Miquelina foun­da­tion in Colom­bia. In moss, cobalt and marl grey. http://bit. ly/2gn0mlp (WITHOUTHAGLÖFS’ ESSENS HOOD), MIMIC £180 JACKET,(WITH HOOD)£160 The Mimic uses syn­thetic down to pro­vide its in­su­la­tion – it acts like down and looks like down, but is polyester and, un­like down, still per­forms if it gets damp. The in­su­la­tion takes the form of small balls, which trap air both in their fibres and in the gaps between the balls. This in­su­la­tion makes larger and longer com­part­ments in­su­lat­ing pos­si­ble­keep you – even which helps warmer.Mimic has The toasty fluoro­car­bon-free­durable wa­ter re­pel­len­cyA range of treat­ment.colours. ha­glofs.com NIKON MONARCH HG 8X42 £799.99 At 665g, this is a light­weight 8x42, with a very im­pres­sive field of view (145m @ 1000m), 17.8mm of eye-relief (good for glasses wear­ers) and a two me­tre close-fo­cus. The Monarch HGS have ED glass, a field flat­tener sys­tem, di­elec­tric prism coat­ing, a mag­ne­sium chas­sis and scratch-re­sis­tant lens coat­ing, and are wa­ter­proof and fog­proof. europe-nikon.com/en_gb/ ALPKIT QARK 300 LU­MEN LED HEADTORCH £36 In ‘man­ual’ mode the Qark’s main light has 300 (that’s a lot!), 100 and 10 lu­mens op­tions, or can be set to flash. Al­ter­na­tively, two ad­di­tional LED side­lamps pro­vide 15 lu­mens of light. In ‘sen­sor’ mode you can turn it on just by wav­ing your hand in front of it, or set it up so that it ad­justs out­put to suit your needs au­to­mat­i­cally! 130g in­clud­ing bat­tery. Alpkit.com SNUGPAK BASECAMP EX­PLORER SLEEP­ING BAG £29.95 A child’s sleep­ing bag – for the RSPB’S Big Wild Sleep­out this sum­mer, per­haps? It only weighs a kilo, packs down small and is ma­chine wash­able. Suit­able for late spring to sum­mer use, this bag has a square toe, which gives more room for squirm­ing and means it can be un­zipped into a quilt. Two-way anti-snag zip, hang­ing tabs, and sup­plied with a stuff-sack. Avail­able in petrol blue, vivid vi­o­let or ‘ter­rain’. 165cm x 65cm when opened. http://bit.ly/2hoox8h CJ WILDLIFE HONDURAS NEST­BOX £10.99 Get your nest­boxes up be­fore the mid­dle of Fe­bru­ary, but if you buy this one, don’t ex­pect any Cen­tral Amer­i­can oc­cu­pants! The hole on the Honduras is oval-shaped, which, ap­par­ently, is the shape of choice for dis­cern­ing House Spar­rows, who will loi­ter in the open­ing to de­fend their box. Red­starts pre­fer an oval over a round hole, too, and this box could also do the job for a home­less Nuthatch. It’s 28cm high and 15cm wide. Bird­food.co.uk ROYAL ROB­BINS FIELD GUIDE VEST – KHAKI £80 If you’re head­ing off some­where a bit warmer, you might want one of these. It’s light­weight, dries quickly and has a to­tal of 17 pock­ets! 13 are on the out­side and four on the in­side, so you’ll never find your keys again! Ex­cept the chest pocket has a key lan­yard so maybe you will. The back is ven­ti­lated and the neck and shoul­ders are padded for com­fort. Ny­lon with a UPF of 30+ and a two-way zip down the front. roy­al­rob­bins.co.uk

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