Yes, I have interests other than photography. I also love to go Birding. My current list is 412 different species of birds. Not a large list by any means but even though my count is not that high I make up with enthusiasm. Birding can be a lonely adventure but is more fun with other enthusiasts. I have met some great people over the years when taking a break from staring up into trees.
I started Birding in my early teens with a pair of Bushnell 7 x 35 binoculars. They were kinda in focus in the center and the sharpness fell off quite a bit on the edges. They did the job and got me started on a path that I enjoy to this day. One thing that I have never done is take photos of the birds. I have always keep photography separate. Birds are so fascinating, I can watch their behavior for hours. Wherever I travel to for my photography I try to make some time to go Birding.
I purchased a pair of Leica Trinovid 7 x 35 BA binoculars in the mid 80's as new old stock. They were great binoculars. The rubber armored finish makes them rugged but they are small and light so that they are easy to carry everywhere. I'm a big owl fan and it is with these that I have seen all of the owls on my life list. I have taken them to the beach, to marshes, country fields, deserts, and high up in the mountains.
Being an optical connoisseur the choice of Leica binoculars was an easy choice. Leica has been making binoculars since 1907, long before the introduction of their line of cameras. I have tried other peoples binoculars over the years, and yes some are very good, I have chosen to stay with my Leicas.
About 10 years ago I decided to treat myself with a new pair of binoculars. I tried the big 3 and was happy with all of them but I decided to stay with Leica's. Something about their glass that just speaks to me. I also like the finish on the new models. My old Trinovids were getting slick from years of wear. I chose the Leica 8 x 42 Ultravid model. Leica binoculars are an investment that lasts a lifetime and I plan on passing mine on down to my daughter.
Maybe someday I will teach a birding workshop. I love talking about Birding and with my photography background there would be some great possibilities for an educational and fun time.