The accommodation is sorted: you have chosen a holiday cottage from Bridlington Holiday Cottages, and why not? They are set in stunning locations in East Yorkshire, some of the most beautiful areas in the United Kingdom and a regular migratory path for bird life of all sorts. Nearby Flamborough Head – perfect for watching migrating flocks in winter and autumn – offers stunning scenery over the ever-changing ocean, meaning that you can take photograph after photograph, even if there is not a bird in sight!
Speaking of taking photos, your camera is possibly the most important piece of equipment you will take with you. Now that modern mobile phones come with ever more sophisticated cameras, you may be able to get away with using only your high-end phone. But having a dedicated camera and knowing how to use it properly will take your photography to a whole new level.
Spend a lot of time learning the controls on your camera, and practise taking pictures of passing cars and bicycles, pigeons and crows flying overhead and anything that moves. Birds, especially those in migration, are often moving quite fast, and it is horrifyingly easy to miss out on good shots if you are not fully comfortable in the workings of your camera. Make sure that you take some good shots of the family out watching birds, and enjoying the comfortable amenities at the cottage, as well as of the birds in flight.
Binoculars are another important piece of equipment, enabling you to see the birds up close and in great detail. They make it easier to confirm sightings and spot nests – nests obviously being good places to watch for bird activity. Disclaimer: do be aware that this is the bird’s home, and make sure you are completely hidden from their view and as still as possible while waiting for the confirmation or the photograph. Certainly never approach a nest, even if it is empty.
Bird books or field guides are important, too. It is quite surprising how readily the details of the bird you are hoping to collect will elude you in the excitement of the moment! Keep your guide handy (pocket-sized is the way to go) and read through the details of the birds you are hoping to ‘collect’ in quiet moments. Leave the bigger versions in the holiday cottage for a little bit of light reading before bed!
There you have it – some important pieces of equipment that will help your birdwatching holiday in Bridlington be the best holiday ever!