The Best Places to Find Birds on a Rainy Day

Here in Britain, we’re well accustomed to the rain and wet weather; and sometimes it takes a  little bit of extra work to find wildlife on a drizzly day. Despite this, with a keen eye and a touch of willpower, you’ll be able to spot some of the fantastic wildlife our country has to offer!

If you’re keen to spot a few birds on your next winter walk, the bird enthusiasts over at Kennedy Wild Bird Food are here to help! They’ve generously offered their top tips on where to find birds on a rainy day, to help you make the most of your next wildlife adventure. Read on to discover their helpful hints…

Take a look in nearby trees and bushes

Two birds sat in a tree full of red berries.

Birds are designed to withstand a range of different weather conditions, which is part of what makes them so brilliant! However, sometimes they need a helping hand to protect themselves from the cold temperatures when it rains.

In wet weather, you’re more likely to find smaller bird species nestled in the branches of trees. Small birds lose body heat more quickly, and therefore they have a higher risk of catching hypothermia. Staying tucked away in bushes and trees allows them to hold on to as much body heat as possible when it’s raining.

Check your bird feeder

A small bird next to a large hanging bird feeder.

When looking for birds in wet weather, they may be closer to home than you think! No matter what the conditions are like outdoors, birds need to eat regularly to give them enough energy to survive.

Unfortunately, this means that many birds will have to endure getting a little bit wet whilst feeding, but their bodies have some clever adaptations that make them highly water resistant!

Their feathers are made of a protein that makes them both flexible and resistant to water. As well as this, birds have an oil gland at the bottom of their tail. This is used to put a water resistant coating over their feathers, so the water glides right off in the rain – amazing, right!

Keep an eye on the sky

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see a few birds flying from branch to branch when it’s raining! This is more tricky because birds usually only fly very short distances when it’s raining.

In heavy rain, the downpour may make it more difficult for birds to fly, therefore it’s safer for them to stay sheltered in trees and bushes. However, should they need to fly from A to B, their oil-coated feathers can protect them from the wet weather conditions.

A picture of a bird on a thorny branch with the title 'The Best Places To Spot Birds On A Rainy Day' and blog address.

It’s important not to be deterred by Britain’s rainy weather, as you’ll miss out on some of the best wildlife! If you’re taking the time to do some bird spotting this winter, don’t forget to log your sightings in the Kennedy Wild Bird Food BirdSpotter map!

*This is a sponsored post.

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder: Protecting Birds in Winter

As it is starting to draw closer to winter and food for wildlife is becoming more scarce, I thought it would be a good time to share this simple, fun activity we did at home recently.

bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder

You Will Need…

  • Apple
  • Twigs – Thick enough to be a perch but thin enough to fit through an apple.
  • String or raffia
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    Core the apple.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 2

    Carefully push the sticks through the apple. You might need to use a knife to help make a hole first.

    Step 3

    Tie the string through the apple. Use it to also hold the sticks in place if possible.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 4

    Use the peanut butter as ‘glue’ to stick the seeds on.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 5

    Hang it onto a tree branch. Then just sit back and observe the birds enjoying their treat!

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Do you feed the birds in winter? What type of feeder do you have?

    Aylett Nurseries: Celebration Gardens and Butterfly Corner

    One of the free places we have visited a couple of times recently over summer is Aylett Nurseries in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is good for kids; sometimes they have activities and events specifically for children, and generally is family friendly. 

    At the moment, they currently have a butterfly corner but you will have to hurry – it closes on 17th September! It is very small but is still a lovely little experience that adds to the visit. It is interesting to watch the butterflies feeding on the fruit and having them fluttering around you. Here are some of my favourite photos taken in their butterfly corner last week…

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    According to the website, the Celebration Gardens are open all year round but the best time to visit is when the flowers are in bloom of course. We have only just discovered the Celebrations Gardens over the last month, which was perfect timing! Their multi award winning Dahlias are particularly beautiful, and we also love the wild flower section too. Here are a selection of photos from the Celebration Garden in August…

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, bug hotel, wildlife, insects, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, wild flowers, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    For more information about opening hours, news and events see Aylett Nurseries website.

    Highlights of 30 Days Wild

    So, it’s now July and therefore 30 Days Wild is officially over. It has been loads of fun! There have been so many wonderful adventures and activities that I could not possibly name them all, but here are some of the highlights:

    My Top 3 Random Acts of Wildness:

    Visit to Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire

    Rock hunting

    Seeing a hedgehog for the first time ever

    Other Peoples’ Highlights:

    Wildlife cocktails, mud masks, building wildlife hotels, nature picnics – can’t pick one! Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

    Litter picking jumps out. Spending time with someone I love in nature + art inspiration = idyllic. In fact, community would be joint first favourite thing. Really hoping lots of people #staywild. Going to miss everyone! ~ Grow Eat Gift 

    love nature, grow eat gift, get outside, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Loved doing 30 Days Wild for the first time this year. It has helped my daughter greatly; she has Autism and we have been out and about together with her camera. She is very happy to have been chosen as the first person to take part in a new project by wildlife.net She is thrilled to have a slide show on YouTube featuring her wildlife photos and they have given her her own page on their site. I am very proud of her and thanks to 30 Days Wild for helping her and giving her lots more confidence. She has even sold one of her owl paintings- awesome. ~ mum of Emilived 


    The kiddies really enjoyed making ice bird feeders.
    The World is Their Classroom

    This is my favourite, my son catching newts. Happy Handley 

    Being chased by a crazy chicken on Day 25 was the funniest moment but having a reason to get the family outside and spend time together has been the best part. croftie goes wild

    What were your highlights? Tell me in comments! 

    Don’t forget that just because 30 Days Wild is over now, it doesn’t mean your ‘wild’ adventures have to end! Carry on your wildness and share using hashtag #StayWild 

    For my first #StayWild act, I have signed up for family membership of our local Wildlife Trust. Have you joined yet? Find your local trust.

    The Wildlife Trusts, Hertfordshire, 30 Days Wild, #StayWild, #LivingLifeWild, membership, wildlife, nature

    And if you are looking for a new challenge, it is now Plastic Free July too! #PlasticFree 

    Our (Sub)Urban Nature Walk #30DaysWild 

    To mark the end of 30 Days Wild, Squiggle was given the choice of what nature activity to do. (Making it a totally random act of wildness for me!!!) She chose to go on a nature walk to the ‘burbs, so we set off on our ‘final’ adventure (of course it isn’t really – we will #StayWild and continue #LivingLifeWild as we always have!) 

    We took our time, stopping to take photos and study the beautiful plants, flowers, insects and other nature along our way. We then stopped for a quick play in the park, which we were delighted to find had been left overgrown and wild, before heading back.

    So I will leave you with a small selection of the photos we took…

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, bee, insect, wildlife, pollinator, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Nature Photography (Taken During Rock Hunting)

    We took a few nature photos during our rock hunting, and I just couldn’t resist posting them as I do love to share! Enjoy…

    30 Days Wild, soldier beetle, insect, wildlife, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild
    Soldier beetle
    30 Days Wild, fungi, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild
    Fungi on tree trunk

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    #30DaysWild  #StayWild  #LivingLifeWild 

    Rock Hunting: Nature’s Answer To Pokemon Go! #30DaysWild 

    Have you heard of the new craze? Painted rocks have been hidden all over our local area to encourage people to get outside and explore to find them. And to spread some love and positivity around; like a little act of kindness for the person who finds it. What an amazing way to put a smile on peoples’ faces! Of course, we could not wait to go out on a rock hunt to see what we could find!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    It turned out to be much harder than we thought! We knew very rough locations, and had vague picture clues, but looking for small rocks in a very large area is… well… abit like looking for a needle in a haystack! But that just encouraged us to look more closely, stay out longer, walk further and explore different areas – which is great!

    Just a little note to anyone considering doing this as a set activity (e.g. home educators or organised groups for example): it would be easier, and an awesome educational activity, if they were mapped out in advance. Great for developing old school map reading skills too! (I guess this would make it more of a geocaching style activity). Of course this would rely on people not removing, or relocating, any of them. (Hopefully no one will remove them anyway though obviously, as it is meant to be an activity for everyone to enjoy!)

    Also, if you were doing this, a handy suggestion might be to map them out with a small circle radius rather than a precise location, so that it still gives abit of freedom to rehide them elsewhere – as long as it is within close proximity to the original spot. I say this because Squiggle was really keen to move one to a new hiding place so we compromised and she hid it right by the next tree instead, less than a metre away!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Anyway, they are just little tips if anyone is thinking about doing it as a home ed activity or setting it up as an ‘organised’ event. But back to our fun of rock hunting…

    We were incredibly lucky to find not just one, but two painted rocks! Squiggle was delighted that she spotted them!!! The first was a beautiful heart rock…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    The second was a pretty colourful rainbow…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    We had so much fun! It is such a lovely activity and a brilliant, creative, inspired idea – love it!!! Thank you so much to the wonderful people who came up with this initiative and organised it in our area. We are so grateful! For more information, check out St Albans Rocks UK.

    We then also painted our own rocks when we returned home, so we will be hiding those in our local park soon too! Thanks again!!!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Happy rock hunting! 

    Fungi Facts – #30DaysWild

    I received an email from Grow Wild (Kew Gardens) recently all about fungi. There are free downloads on their website with lots of interesting information and even a fun(gi) quiz to do too! So I decided my challenge for today would be to do a mini project on fungi, then share with you some of the fascinating facts I learned!

    So here are 5 cool things you might not have known about fungi…

    • Fungi is closer to a creature than a plant.
    • Fungi can be found in space!
    • We depend on fungi to survive.
    • Fungi has been around for millions of years; it preceeds dinosaurs.
    • Chocolate, amongst other food and drink, contains fungus!

    Fungi, The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature, wildlife, home education, freedom to learn, natural environment, outdoors, get outside, go explore, Living Life Our Way

      Here is an ode to fungi too…

        Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire: A Magical Place To Explore

        Today we visited Gobions Wood in Hertfordshire for the first time, which we discovered from a useful list of local nature reserves on Herts Wildlife Trust website. 

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        The first section of our walk took us past beautiful meadows, where moths and butterflies fluttered around us as we walked. 

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        Moth, The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

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        We then reached the entrance to the wood…

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        Honestly, I have never felt quite so overwhelmed (and almost intimidated!) walking into a wood. I literally got tingles down my spine and a surge of excitement in my tummy. 

        Two huge ancient trees guard either side of the path as you enter, towering above everything, watching over the rest of the woodland…

        The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

        It looks like something out of a film; like walking into a Lord Of The Rings set or somewhere…

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        The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

        I love the colours and the way the lower leaves create a whispy appearance, almost motioning to the path…

        The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

        Squiggle found this and asked me to take a photo…

        She loved exploring…

        The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

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        It is a magical, enchanting place to explore and we hope to return soon! 

        How Your Garden Transforms Through The Seasons 

        The garden is meant to be enjoyed. With only a little attention here and there, your garden can flourish. Understanding the seasons, the challenges and the opportunities it brings to your garden is key to success throughout the gardening calendar.

        garden, seasons, our world, #livinglifewild, environment, gardening, Rattan Direct, infographic

        Darkness and Cold of Winter

        Protect your garden and wildlife from the worse of the winter by ensuring vulnerable plants are protected and give wildlife ample opportunity to make their homes.

        The Green of Spring

        As the days begin to warm, plants and wildlife awaken from their winter slumber. Night time can still be cold, but with mulch and fertilisers, your garden has everything that it needs. 

        The Golden Glow of Summer

        Long days with soaring temperatures bring colour back to the garden. But take care of the soil and maintain its moisture levels for your plants to bloom, and your vegetable plot to produce an abundant harvest.

        The Red Autumn

        Just before trees shed their leaves, the golden yellow colours and deep, dark reds are a joy to behold – enjoy every minute of the autumn garden, helping it to remain strong and lush for as long as possible.

        Do you know how to work with the seasons in your garden?

        *Disclosure: This post has been written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.