So you’ve planned an awesome day out, looked at the weather forecast for a sunny day ahead; but lo and behold, looking out the window confronts you not with clear skies but: clouds!

Is your birding day ruined? Absolutely not. In fact, a cloudy or overcast day can make a day of bird photography even better.

One of the big reasons for that is that you’ll be able to take photos all day, and not be restricted to just the early and late light as is often the case with bright sunny days (not that you can’t continue shooting when the sun is high in the sky, but results will never be spectacular).

An overcast sky is like having a giant diffuser in front of the sun. That harsh midday sun is never going to do your photos any favors; but if you have some light to medium cloud covering the sun, your birds will be much more evenly lit so you won’t be dealing with those awful high contrast images where the brights are blown out and the shadows are unrecoverable.

Most serious bird photographers completely forego middle of the day altogether, unless the clouds are about.