When I get time to go out birding, I don't want to waste a whole bunch of it gathering stuff up and thinking about what I should bring, so I have a back pack ready to go. It isn't anything big and full of stuff, but something I can just grab and pick up and know everything I need is already in there.
My good old leather backpack! I've had that backpack for about 18 years, but even that one was a manufacturer replacement for another one (which was suede and far less durable) that I had for 4 years (which was a gift from my brother one year in high school). I love that backpack so much that even when I had to use carry my laptop around in my other specialized backpack in grad school, I still carried this one around too. Yes, I carried two backpacks.
Inside I stash some pencils, a sharpie (for marking up my field guide), my Sibley guide to bird (by far my favorite of the field guides, even if it isn't very portable as a 'field' guide), a spiral notebook to write ideas for posts and general brainstorming, my field notebook for writing down the birds I see. I have my field hat, though I usually am already wearing a baseball cap (field hats are fine in birder areas, but wandering around residential areas with it on will seem a bit...uhhh....strange), and I will often grab a heavy knitted cap when it is cold (highs in the 50s lately though). Finally there are these:
his picture in the About Us section and you will see him holding his glasses while looking through binoculars), though I see people who keep their glasses on while using them. How is that possible? Maybe I can't because mine are so small?
However, while I was there I ran into some other birders who asked if I had seen the crested caracara. Holy crap, here in Cape May? Yes, it was true, and they told me where it was, and how a whole bunch of birders would be there. So I asked if it was easy to see and the reply was:
"You can probably see it easily with binoculars. Well, maybe not your binoculars."
I just got zinged by birders!