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Top 10 Best Monoculars for Bird Watching

  1. Gosky 12 x 55 High-Definition (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Gosky Angled Telescope (Luxury Choice)
  3. Aurosports 10-30×40 (Best Value)
  4. Landove Scope (Best Waterproof)
  5. Gosky Newest 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope (Best Angled)
  6. DFlamepower 10×42 HD (Best Basic)
  7. SIMAKARA High Power Prism (Best for Low-Light Level Vision)
  8. ZIOMAX 12×50 High Power (Best Compact)
  9. Gosky Titan 12X50 High Power Prism (Best Shockproof)
  10. Jinhuaxin Telescope (Best with Tripod)

Do you love to explore nature and bird watching but don’t fancy the bulk and inconvenience of binoculars? Unlike binoculars, monoculars allow you to clearly see your distant subject while still being present in your environment with the other eye.

There are many monoculars for bird watching to consider, and, in this article, we have an abundance of the top models for you. 

With these honest and insightful monocular reviews, we aim to help you discover the best monocular for bird watching in the UK while also taking into consideration magnification settings, materials, design, ease of use and more.

Find a good birding monocular that fits your needs with our selection of 10 of the best picks.

How We Compared Monoculars for Bird Watching

To find the right monoculars for bird watching we considered multiple factors, including:

  • Optical quality
  • Weight and size
  • Design
  • Magnification
  • Accessories
  • Comfort

Our experienced team created the following list after spending countless hours researching products and fact-checking customer reviews. We carefully chose a range of products suitable for every nature lover out there, analysing and assessing the comparison points above.

To know more about our review process, have a look here.

Monocular for Bird Watching Reviews

Gosky 12 x 55 High-Definition (Editor’s Choice)

For many reasons, the Gosky 12×55 monocular can be considered the best monocular for bird watching in the UK. Firstly, this model features high power magnification, allowing you to enjoy the best view in your outdoor adventures. You can see up to 12 times closer to your birds with a clear and bright image. All the while, the light-gathering 55 mm objective wide lens improves the clarity.

Moreover, these monoculars feature a twist-up eyecup that provides long-lasting eye-relief while you’re watching birds for a long time. Plus, with half the weight of the average birding monocular, you won’t feel any pressure on your face.

To improve the image quality, this bird watching monocular boasts a large BAK-4 Prism within and a multi-coated green objective lens coating to deliver crisp, clear images, no matter how far away you are from your subject. Additionally, enjoy bird watching any time of the year thanks to the solid framework and rubber casing, which can withstand some of the toughest weather conditions.

On the other hand, some people might prefer an automatic focus setting rather than a manual focus ring. In addition, the image quality might not be as sharp as other monoculars on this list.

Pros:

  • See birds up to 12 times closer
  • Twist-up eyecup provides eye relief from bird watching
  • The green objective lens and BAK-4 Prism provide high-quality, clear images
  • Solid framework to withstand tough weather conditions
  • Rubber armour makes it comfortable to hold without slipping out of your hand

Cons:

  • Some people might prefer an automatic focus setting to a manual focus ring
  • Image quality might not be as sharp as other monoculars

Gosky Angled Telescope (Luxury Choice)

Enjoy your outdoor trips with this luxurious monocular for bird watching, always courtesy of Gosky. It features a variable 20–60 times magnification power, allowing you to zoom in on your target without being too close. Above all, the 80 mm green film objective lens provides a clear field of view at 82.9 feet while the quality increases light transmission to enhance the image quality and deliver crisp results.

Furthermore, this bird watching monocular features a waterproof and fog-proof design, enabling it to withstand the toughest environments. Also, the durable framework and rubber casing offer a non-slip, secure grip for lasting protection.

Most impressively, this monocular allows you to capture your special moments by taking photos and videos of what you observed. With the smartphone digiscoping adapter, you’ll feel closer to nature. All the while, the tripod provides a stable surface from any angle. You’ll also receive all the essentials you need to transport this monocular and keep it clean and dust-free.

With that being said, this monocular for bird watching might be heavier than others on this list. Plus, the eyepiece that you look into might be too small for some people.

Pros:

  • 20–60 times magnification power for a bright and clear image
  • The light transmission provides a clear view up to nearly 83 feet for clear results
  • Waterproof and fog-proof design
  • Smartphone adapter lets you capture photos and videos
  • Includes a carry case eyepiece, a lens cleaning cloth and lens protection cover

Cons:

  • This model might be bulkier than other monoculars on this list
  • The eyepiece might be too small for some people’s eye

Aurosports 10-30×40 (Best Value)

This set makes an excellent purchase if you are looking for a birding monocular with great value. It boasts an upgraded 10–30 magnification to offer excellent spotting scope without getting too close to birds and scaring them away. Best of all, it’s easy and convenient to adjust the magnification at any time.

Moreover, this monocular magnifies birds excellently and delivers crisp images thanks to the BAK-4 Prism and a green film and HD blue film. All the while, the 20 mm ocular lens and 40 mm objective lens broaden your horizons, providing limitless vision.

It’s constructed of lightweight aluminium and a rubber coating, helping to make it super compact, durable and practical. Plus, it’s fog-proof and waterproof, making this monocular perfect for all environments and weather conditions.

Above all, you’ll experience great image quality with bright, high-contrast images before you. You can also twist the eyecup to deeply focus the view yourself and adjust the focus and zoom adjustment until the images are clear to build quality.

However, this cheap monocular might not offer a higher magnification power like other monoculars on this list. Plus, it might require some patience to get the images into full focus.

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to adjust the magnification power
  • Offers 10–30 times magnification range to see up close when you’re far away
  • 20 mm ocular lens and 40 mm objective lens broaden your vision horizons
  • Aluminium and rubber materials make it practical and suitable for all environments
  • Adjustable settings to adjust the quality for sharp images

Cons:

  • Magnification might not be as powerful as others on this list
  • It might require some patience to get the images in full focus

Landove Scope (Best Waterproof)

This waterproof monocular is 100 per cent waterproof and fog-resistant, providing a durable design that’s suitable for all-weather occasions.

It features a fully multicoating 80 mm green film objective lens, an eyepiece and a quality prism inside to make distant objects appear closer and of high quality. Plus, the dynamic lens focusing system makes it effortless to zoom in on your target while providing 20–60 times magnification.

To keep your discoveries and memories alive, this monocular includes digiscoping adaptor, so you can capture videos and images from afar and keep them forever.

This monocular includes a dynamic lens and fully multi-coated optics to let in more light and enhance the overall quality, which offers exceptional brightness and clarity for optimal viewing. Also, the BAK-4 Prism transmits bright contrast-rich images, no matter the zoom range you use.

Unfortunately, it’s not apparent whether this monocular is suitable to use in low-light conditions. Additionally, the clarity might become worse with subjects farther away.

Pros:

  • 100 per cent waterproof and fog-proof
  • Provides up to 60 times powerful magnification
  • Smartphone adaptor lets you take images and videos
  • Lightweight design that’s great for on the go and won’t add any pressure to your face
  • Dynamic lens and fully multi-coated optics provide exceptional brightness and image clarity

Cons:

  • It might not be suitable to use in low-light conditions
  • Clarity might worsen with subjects farther away

Gosky Newest 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope (Best Angled)

This is a great monocular for so many reasons. Thanks to the included tripod, it provides a stable surface and more observation from any angle. For further improved bird watching, the 45-degree angled eyepiece provides a comfortable viewing experience, and you can even use it if you wear glasses.

Additionally, this high-quality monocular boasts 20–60 magnification and even makes it super simple to zoom in on your subject at the moment. Above all, the multi-coated 80 mm green film objective lens provides a field of view at 1,000 years. Plus, the BAK-4 Prism optics increase light transmission and improve image capture.

Best of all, capture brighter images to keep forever thanks to the smartphone digiscoping adapter that lets you take photos and videos of everything you observe. So you can bring nature closer to you while standing at a distance.

However, the smartphone adapter might be slightly fiddly to attach. Additionally, the focus wheel might be sensitive to touch, and you could accidentally knock it.

Pros:

  • Includes a tripod to observe birds from all angles
  • 20–60 magnification, and you can easily zoom in on your subject
  • Includes a carry case, eyepiece, cleaning cloth and lens cover
  • Digiscoping adapter lets you take photos and videos of your observations
  • The 45-degree angled eyepiece provides clear observations of distant objects

Cons:

  • Smartphone attachment might be a little fiddly and require some patience
  • The focus wheel might be too sensitive and result in accidental knocks

DFlamepower 10×42 HD (Best Basic)

Consider this best monocular with basic/simple features. It offers up to 42 magnification, allowing you to observe distant objects as if they’re in front of you. In fact, it allows you to see your target up to 10 times closer and clearer. All the while, the 42 mm, large objective lens enhances the field of view.

This birding monocular provides excellent eye relief in low-lit conditions, making it perfect to use at night. This monocular has dual focus capabilities and an adjustable eyecup to put you in control of what you see, which is perfect for glasses wearers. Simply twist it up or down for the optimal viewing experience and maximum comfort.

Moreover, this birding monocular features a solid framework and rubber material with strips for tight-fitting protection that can withstand tough weather conditions. In particular, the rubber armour improves your grip to prevent it from slipping out of your hand.

Additionally, this inexpensive monocular features an all-optical, multi-coated green film with Bak-5 Prisms to make images appear brighter and clear. This durable monocular also offers high light transmittance that reaches up to 99.5 per cent.

It’s worth noticing that this particular monocular might not allow you to adjust the angle as you can with other monoculars on this list. Plus, it might be quite difficult to stabilise the images for the smoothest quality.

Pros:

  • Enhances image quality in dark environments
  • Has a generous field of view to improve general observations
  • The eyecup enhances the comfort for those wearing glasses
  • The rubber armour improves your grip to prevent it from slipping out of your hand
  • It is lightweight and compact, perfect for taking on the go

Cons:

  • It might not let you adjust the angle like you can with other monoculars
  • It might be difficult to stabilise the images

SIMAKARA High Power Prism (Best for Low-Light Level Vision)

Ideal to use in low light environments, this bird watching monocular uses optical glass with a multi-coated BAK-4 Prism all-glass lens to guarantee better light transmission for improved night vision at an affordable price.

It has a roof prism and provides up to 30 times magnification allowing you to experience crisp images without getting too close to the target. Best of all, it won’t add too much weight to your face and prevents your eyes from feeling tired.

Furthermore, this SIMAKARA monocular for bird watching has a pocket-size design ideal for taking on the go without the bulk. Plus, it comes with a carry case and a hand strap, so you needn’t worry about damaging or misplacing this monocular.

On the other hand, the included tripod might not be as stable and durable as others on this list. This monocular might also offer a reduced field of view than others on this list.

Pros:

  • Ideal to use in low-light conditions
  • Provides up to 30 times magnification for high-quality image results
  • Pocket-size design is great for taking on the go
  • Includes a carry case and a hand strap to keep it protected and within sight
  • Focuses quickly to new zoom adjustments

Cons:

  • Tripod might not be super stable for the best results
  • It might offer a limited field of view

ZIOMAX 12×50 High Power (Best Compact)

This is the best compact monocular for bird watching on this list, which is important if you want to take yours on the go without a large, bulky form. It’s designed with 12×50 magnification with a wide-angle lens to provide bright and clear images.

Additionally, this compact monocular uses durable materials with a rubber finish and a built-in lens dust cap for a comfortable and firm grip. In fact, its design makes it shockproof and easy to hold without it slipping out of your hand. 

For high-quality results at all times, it includes built-in, low-light night vision to allow you to see your target clearer. All the while, the fully multi-coated optics guarantee excellent light transmission and brightness (with up to 99.5 per cent visibility). So even far-away targets appear clear.

Unfortunately, this compact monocular might not be as water-resistant as others on this list. In addition, stains might be difficult to remove and wipe away.

Pros:

  • Up to 12×5 magnification
  • Durable materials with a rubber finish and a built-in lens cap for dust protection
  • Lightweight design makes it perfect for taking on the go
  • Low-light night vision improves clarity when it’s dark
  • Guarantees excellent light transmission and up to 99.5 per cent visibility 

Cons:

  • It might not be as water-resistant as other monoculars on this list
  • Stubborn stains might be difficult to remove

Gosky Titan 12X50 High Power Prism (Best Shockproof)

This shockproof monocular is also waterproof and dustproof, while its sealing property ensures exceptional durability for outdoor use. Plus, its solid framework and rubber armour with stripes provide tight-fitting protection and make it suitable to use in all weather conditions without it slipping out of your hand.

It features up to 50 times high-power magnification to provide the best viewing experience for your outdoor adventures. You can see up to 12 times closer with a clear and bright image with the 50 mm objective wide lens.

Keep your memories alive with the phone adapter that lets you capture images and videos from your device. Moreover, this durable monocular includes a BAK-4 Prism inside and a fully multi-coated lens coating to provide excellent light transmission and brightness. This results in brighter, clearer images that are sharp without any blurs. 

On the other hand, this gadget’s lens cap might not be as tight-fitting as others on this list. Plus, it might not be suitable for those who wear glasses.  

Pros:

  • Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof
  • Provides up to 50 times magnification
  • Suitable for all weather conditions as the rubber casing prevents it from slipping out of your hand
  • It lets you see your target up to 12 times closer
  • The phone adapter captures images and videos that you can keep forever 

Cons:

  • Lens cap might not be as tight-fitting as others on this list
  • It might not be the best option for those who wear glasses

Jinhuaxin Telescope (Best with Tripod)

The Jinhuaxin 12×50 Telescope is one of the best monoculars for bird watching because it comes with a sturdy tripod and a phone clip that enables you to conveniently record HD pictures and/or videos. Suitable for various smartphones, including iPhones, Samsungs, and more, it’s also highly versatile.

Furthermore, this monocular features excellent magnification power of 12 x 50 for high-performance results. All the while, the 50 mm lens diameter ensures a clear and bright image, so you can experience the best visibility on your outdoor ventures.

It also includes a multi-coated lens coating and internal BAK-4 Prism for high light transmission and brightness. In fact, the prism system boasts a perfectly round exit pupil to obtain high-quality images. 

Enjoy using this monocular telescope without any inconvenience or discomfort. Its rubber finish is shock-resistant while also providing a sturdy grip that’s comfortable to hold and prevents it from slipping. Best of all, the wrist cord keeps it connected to you.

Alternatively, this monocular might not be as durable as other monoculars on this list. Plus, it might also only capture small pictures on your smartphone. 

Pros:

  • Tripod provides a sturdy surface for capturing images
  • Powerful 12 x 50 magnification 
  • BAK-4 Prism provides high light transmission and brightness
  • Rubber finish prevents it from slipping out of your hand
  • Low night vision performance improves the quality in the dark

Cons:

  • It might not be as durable as others on this list 
  • It might only capture small pictures on your smartphone

Monocular for Bird Watching: A Buyer’s Guide

Magnification

The whole purchase behind using a monocular is to see far and wide. Each monocular comes with a unique figure, so you can determine the distance you’ll be able to see.

Generally speaking, a higher magnification number is best if you plan to look at birds from really afar. Some of the best monoculars provide up to 70 times optical magnification.

A view from a spotting scope attached to a moble phone

With that being said, a high-powered monocular can be difficult to aim and focus on a particular bird you want to see, especially since it requires a completely stable hand to remain in crystal-clear quality. Just the slightest hand movement can impact the quality by a mile.

Field of View

Additionally, the field of view impacts the monocular’s functionality. Unlike traditional binoculars, where you can see much wider, monoculars provide a stricter vision to the sides. 

If you plan to follow a bird’s movement and scan it, you’ll want to consider a larger field of view to not miss anything. In particular, consider a field of view over 300 feet so that it’s large enough to provide a decent image.

Glasses Wearers

If you wear glasses, you’ll need to pay close attention to the monocular’s design. While most monoculars’ optics accommodate people who wear glasses, you’ll also need to look into one that provides good eye relief

This means that you can see the full image without losing any field of view (which would otherwise be restricted by your glasses). So you should consider a monocular with good eye relief for the distance between the eyepiece and your eye. A shorter eye relief won’t provide much room for those who wear glasses, which means that you’ll miss out on some of the views.

Instead, look for an eye relief of 14 mm or more. It might take a little bit of time to adjust to using a monocular with your glasses on, so remain patient with the process.

Durability

You want your birding monocular to last a long time and be compatible with all weather conditions, especially in the UK! Therefore, consider one with waterproof, fog-proof, and even dustproof and shockproof materials.

To prevent the monocular from slipping out of your hand, opt for one with a rubber coating and a textured surface to make it easy to hold.

Lightweight

Cumbersome monoculars for bird watching are a no-no. Look into the materials used (consider lighter ones like aluminium) to reduce the total weight. A lighter monocular is easier and more comfortable to control on your outdoor trips. 

A slimmer design also feels more comfortable against the face. This also fits easier into your pocket. 

Anything below 5 pounds is usually an ideal weight for transporting, and you might want to consider if you’ll be walking far with your monocular. The last thing you want is to cart around a heavy product. 

Light Transmission

Another factor to look into is the amount of light that the monocular lets you. Since you might be outside looking for birds in all weather conditions and even at night, you’ll want to reply on the light transmittance of your monocular to assist with bird watching.

Research the lenses and the coating that they come with. Consider a lens with fully multi-coated optics for the best image clarity. While the price might be higher for this feature, it’s completely worth it in the long run. 

These coatings help to eliminate any glares from the sun and provide a bright, high-quality image. The prism also determines the picture quality.

Accessories

To keep your monocular in tip-top condition, you’ll need some accessories. Fortunately, many brands include these with the purchase.

A carry bag is a great way to store birding monoculars during storage and transportation. Many come with a convenient strap for moving it around while also preventing it from dropping since it’ll be added to you.

Moreover, make cleaning the lens easier with a soft polishing cloth. Without keeping the lens clean, images can appear unclear and even slightly blurry.

Since your monocular must remain steady, especially when capturing images or videos on your phone, a tripod is a great helping hand. Even if you’re able to hold a monocular relatively still, you can’t predict weather conditions from blowing it from side to side slightly. 

stargazing spotting scope on a tripod

Finally, a smartphone adapter allows you to take images and videos of what you see to keep the memories forever. 

Price

Set yourself a budget during the buying process to narrow down your search. You typically won’t receive any of the aforementioned accessories for an affordable price. 

But if you’re willing to increase your budget, a higher purchase price usually results in more durable materials, a lighter weight, compatibility with glasses wearers, and much more. 

To determine your budget keep in mind how seriously you take bird watching and how often you’ll use your monoculars. It’s not worth spending a fortune on something you’ll only use a few times a year.

Should You Consider Monoculars Over Binoculars?

So why did we choose to only focus on monoculars and not include binoculars in this list? While there are many advantages to binoculars, monoculars are lighter and contribute to improved portability. Additionally, you’re more likely to get a larger objective lens with a monocular compared to the same weight as binoculars. 

Focusing Your Monocular

One of the biggest inconveniences people have with monoculars is learning how to focus the image.

To do so, simply raise the monocular to your eye and grip the barrel next to the lens near your eye. You should place it as close to your eye as possible and close the other eye to keep your focus. Steady the monocular using a tripod or by resting your forefinger against your brow. 

Then, adjust the focus by rotating the ridged dial with one finger (although, sometimes, you might need to use two fingers). If your vision still appears blurry, rotate the dial in the alternate direction.

Caring For Your Monocular 

Once you’ve gone through all of the trouble of finding the best monocular for you, it’s time to keep it in good condition to not only improve the image quality but its longevity, too.

Clean the lens with a dry and clean microfibre cloth to remove any fingerprints. If there’s any dust on the lens, use a lens brush to remove any fine hairs. You might want to keep a microfibre cloth with you on your adventures so that you can wipe away any moisture straightaway while you’re bird watching. You might also want to purchase a professional lens cleaner if any mud gets onto the lens.

The Winning Monocular

Overall, we crafted this buying guide with diversity to allow each and everyone to find the best monocular for bird watching in the UK according to their needs. 

However, if we could only recommend one monocular to you, it’d be the Gosky 12 x 55 High-Definition Monocular. This monocular promises bright, crystal-clear views and also provides long-lasting eye relief thanks to the twist-up eyecup.

And since you’ll be bird watching outdoors, this monocular is fog proof, waterproof and shockproof. In fact, it’s filled with 100 per cent nitrogen to prevent moisture, dust and debris from building up inside.

What do you think of our options? Let us know your choice from our above selections in the comments!

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