Birding is a very cheap and relaxing hobby. You can pursue it almost anywhere . I once made a list of birds seen in church – through a nearby window – go figure. I’ve also made a list of birds heard while still in bed (while camping). I’ve even made lists of birds heard while sitting on the toilet.
You could say I’m a little obsessed.
As for being a cheap hobby, you don’t need any special equipment. Sure – you can buy expensive field guides and handbooks. The Handbook of Aussie birds (7 volumes) will set one back over $3000. Binoculars can cost from $125 to many thousands of dollars. Camera gear and travel can add considerably to costs – I spent over $6000 a few years ago to see and handful of species new to me on the slopes of Mt Everest (read about that on my travel blog).
But birding can be as cheap as looking out of the window to see a beautiful finch or wren hopping around the garden.
The hobby is whatever you want to make it.
If birding appeals to you can I suggest reading my series called How to be a Birder?