Birder's Guide

DEC 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 28 of 51

Fig. 4. Here are a few different sketchbooks, all of which I have used. Potentially losing pages is the biggest drawback to spiralbound notebooks with thin paper. Fig. 5a Fig. 5b An assortment of pens (5a) and pencils (5b). introduced to Rite in the Rain notebooks. On the Farallon Islands, all the biologists still carry these. The paper in these notebooks has a coating that prevents it from becoming soggy when wet, thus allowing you to write in them with a pencil in any weather. But this is also a downside: these notebooks really don't work well with anything but a graphite pencil or one of those incredibly expensive "space pens". Felt-tipped markers, even the good indelible sort, smudge readily, and ballpoint pens work only sporadically. Rite in the Rain notebooks may average less in cost than Moleskines. As the years have gone by, I have modifed what I bring into the feld, often depending on space and the type of trip. When I frst started traveling extensively after college, I had one notebook in which I both sketched and kept my journal. Now, even though it requires more space, I have separated the two. Strathmore and other brands make decent, affordable, recycled-paper notebooks that are suitable for feld sketching. A 6" x 9" notebook, about the size of a feld guide, can ft into most day packs, and Fig. 6. Watercolor pencils are versatile, offering both a colored pencil and the ability to make a wash. A knife—which is a wise thing to pack in your checked luggage, anyway— can be used as a pencil sharpener. Fig. 7a Fig. 7b Two types of watercolor boxes. Fig. 7b, made by Da Vinci, comes with a small water bottle and two water cups that fold up into one box. I prefer my small Winsor & Newton set of half pans (Fig. 7a). December 2013 | Birder's Guide to Gear 27

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