a shoulder pod is like lightning Andy
I do use a normal tripod from time to time but never in a forest
with a shoulder pod you are straight onto the bird. Best with smaller scopes like a Kowa 613 or a Nikon ED III. There is always something to lean against in a forest for extra stability. Although be careful if you go somewhere tropical - i have found myself eye-to-eye with Mantises, Snakes and some rather nasty 'bullet' ants...