You mentioned 10x25 binoculars, Cosmo. You want to careful with that second number....the lower it is, the less light is allowed in. The higher the magnification, the more light you need to be able to see, so on overcast days or at dusk you may find the image monotone and dim.
8x25 is good, 10x50 is good. 10x25...not so good.
A feature I found to be dandy, and I don't remember the maker, was a red coating on the lenses. It didn't really affect the colour, but worked much like a polarizing filter to cut through haze.
You also might also want to consider spotting scopes. They aren't as powerful as telescopes, but give you better magnification than binoculars. They also tend to be pretty fairly weather-proof, so if you forget it on the balcony overnight, it's generally okay. Some also have a zoom feature. A tripod is a good idea for them as well.
If you go to a good photo retailer or hunting supply store, there should be somebody there who can give you a quick course on optics, what will suit your needs, and what's available on the market. If you go to a bad photo retailer or hunting supply store, they'll sell you whatever the salesperson gets the best spifs on.