The Ultimate Packing List for Ireland & the British Isles

Stephen C Quinn|May 2, 2012|Blog Post

Stephen C. Quinn, of the American Museum of Natural History, will be joining our Ireland and the British Isles expedition this May. Being of Irish descent, Stephen is particularly excited about the journey and shared with us his must-have items on a trip that incorporates both incredible wildlife viewing and magnificent scenery.

There is a very good little field guide to the region’s birdlife, A Pocket Guide to Common Birds of Ireland by Eric Dempsey and Michael O’Clery, that is small and easy to carry and pack. A slightly larger and more comprehensive bird guide is Birds of Europe by Lars Jonsson which is especially good due to Jonsson’s superb illustrations. Also, if you are interested in botany—we will see lots of spring flowers—a nice little guide is Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe by Richard Fitter, Alastair Fitter, and Marjorie Blamey.

Regarding binoculars, I recommend a pair of 7x35 or 8x40 power for viewing wildlife or general scenery.

I am also an artist and Ireland and the surrounding British Isles, with their sweeping vistas, magnificent rugged coastlines, and colorful flora and fauna, hold great potential for the artistically inclined. When not in pursuit of birds, I will be sketching and urge all participants so inclined to join me. A handy, compact, and lightweight sketch kit might be composed of drawing, charcoal, and colored pencils; pencil sharpener; eraser; felt tip marking pens of various line thicknesses and color (make sure they contain permanent ink); and a few small (5x7 or 8x10) sketch pads of white or toned paper. If you are interested in painting, a small compact sketch box containing a simple palette of watercolors or acrylics which dry quickly and require only water as a thinner would be best. Small 5x7 or 6x8 pads of watercolor paper held in one’s hand, lap, or in a sketch box lid work well. All of these art supplies can be carried in a small shoulder bag.

This tour has the potential of being one of the best. Our itinerary includes areas known for their scenic beauty and wildlife, such as Dartmoor National Park, Great Saltee Island, the Skellig Rocks, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, and the Aran Islands. I can’t wait and look forward to meeting you and traveling together on Ireland & the British Isles aboard the Clipper Odyssey.


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