Nikon Monarch, 8X42. About half of the super-serious expert birders I interviewed own a pair. At $250-$300, they're a great value, easy to use, a perfect size and durable.
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America has perfect illustrations for identifying birds in central and eastern Kansas for about $20. Also get The Guide To Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots. The informative text on exactly when and where to bird in Kansas is worth far more than the $20 price.
Join the Wichita Audubon Society and sign up for as many field trips as possible.
Chisholm Creek Park is hard to beat for local birding. Quivira National Wildlife Refuge can be an amazing place if you don't mind the drive.