Birding is a hobby you can enjoy for virtually no cost - £50 will buy you a perfectly reasonable pair of binoculars, £10 a field guide, and perhaps £2 for a notebook.
Unfortunately, there are also many many ways in which you can spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds, and I, like so many birders of my acquaintance, am weak.
So the latest bit of kit is an Opticron Mighty Midget 2 ED travelscope, a small scope designed to fit into a pocket or shoulder bag as I walk around the patch (my main scope, plus tripod, weight about 4kg and so don't tend to get brought out on longish patch walks).
I use an hdf zoom eyepiece on it and together they provide a very impressive optical set up. Bright and distortion-free up to 30x or so, getting darker after that but still perfectly usable up to 36x. A Cullman shoulder pod is almost an essential accessory, making the MM2 an absolute pleasure to use (no more panicking to pull down tripod legs).
I have used the MM2 for some handheld digiscoping - the best so far is this Chaffinch, taken at Draycote Reservoir. With adaptor, shutter release and so on I am sure I could get better pictures, but that is not the point - this is a lightweight take anywhere bit of kit, so handheld is the way to go - record shots and stuff for The Hornet's Nest mainly.
The only problem I have is with cases and lens covers. The eyepiece cover was abysmal - cheap plastic, loose fitting, and I lost it this morning as I knew I soon would. There is also no stay on case available, just a 'grippa' case which doesn't cover the lens hood or eyepiece. My only solution for now is to employ the grippa case with a baby's sock pressed into service as an eyepiece cover.
It might be a great bit of kit, but I don't half look a 'nana now!