What does a birder or birdwatcher do on a rainy day? I have been known to go birding, anyway, in the rain (or snow), when attending or leading a scheduled event, such as a Christmas Bird Count or a Birding Marathon, but mostly I stay indoors like everyone else when it rains. That doesn’t mean I have to stop birdwatching, though. Just calls for a little change in focus.
You could, of course, pull out a lens pen or lens cloth and clean your birding binoculars or your spotting scope, but that only eats up a few minutes for me, since my binoculars rarely get too dirty, given that I am very careful with them out in the field. No, there are better things to do on a rainy day if you are a birder.
If the rain is gentle and you have bird feeders to watch, the rain won’t slow the action much and you can spend as much time as you like watching the birds. In fact, there have been times when it seems that bird activity has actually increased at my feeders in a gentle rain or, especially, drizzle. A full blown downpour, of course, is another matter. Song birds take cover, just like we do, in a heavy rain.
If there is no action at the bird feeders, I grab one of my many field guides and just thumb through the pages. Brings back memories of a lifetime of birding and, after forty plus years of birding, that is a lot of memories. Now and then, I will come across some notes I made in the margins for even ore memories. I have many other birding, books, too and I will use a rainy day to catch up on my reading on various birding topics.
Last but not least, is the internet. A premiere birding website like the Cornell Lab and it’s All About Birds is a goldmine of interesting material for any birder or birdwatcher. In fact, there is more than you can probably see in a day, so next time it rains, try visiting this great bird watching resource.