bird feeding guide

All Year Round Bird Feeding Guide

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This winter has been a really harsh one for the poor little garden birds that frequent our garden.  We’ve been feeding them throughout the winter, and have seen all sorts of surprise visitors lately.  During the Beast from the East we even saw a group of long-tailed tits, at our feeder – something we’ve never seen in our garden before.

What I’ve found is that feeding the birds is such a rewarding feeling.  Knowing that you are doing something positive for wildlife who are so threatened by a double whammy of both habit loss and climate change gives you a huge feel-good factor.

That being said, feeding the birds isn’t quite as straightforward as putting kitchen scraps on a bird table or putting a load of peanuts in a birdfeeder.  Certain foods can be harmful at certain times of the year, so it’s good to do a bit of research before you start feeding the birds.  Even if you’ve been feeding the birds for years, it’s also never too late to learn something new and make a positive difference.

Luckily, the experts at Kennedy Wild Bird Foods have put together a handy 12-month bird feeding guide to help you know what the best foods are to feed garden birds and when:

all year round bird feeding guide

Pretty handy stuff!

It’s also really important to regularly clean your garden bird feeder, to help minimise the spread of disease among wild birds.  Scientists say garden bird feeders are contributing to the spread of serious diseases among wild birds, causing previously rare illnesses to become epidemics in some populations.

The RSPB have offered useful advice on how to keep your bird feeders clean and healthy – from cleaning and washing your bird table and hanging feeders regularly using a 5% disinfectant solution, to moving feeding stations to a new area every month to prevent droppings accumulating underneath – there is a lot of solid advice that’s well worth a read.

hydro flask review uk

After the best reusable coffee cup? I’ve found it!

hydro flask review uk

I have been on the hunt for the very best reusable coffee cup, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found the one.

You see, I have quite a prolific tea habit.  Coffee, less so, but tea, gosh, give me all the tea.  I never like to be too far from a hot beverage, and my bog standard reusable coffee cup wasn’t quite cutting the mustard for me.

My issues with the standard reusable cups were twofold.  Firstly, when I’m out and about I’m normally pushing a buggy, which means I can’t carry a reusable coffee cup.  I have tried to balance it in the buggy basket but that only resulted in spilt tea.  And while you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, you should definitely cry over spilt tea.

The other times I want to use my reusable coffee cup are for the bus commute to and from work.  I don’t have time for a cup of tea before I leave the house, so I like to use my commute to drink tea and read the news on my phone.  The problem is I’m normally fumbling in my purse to find change for the bus, or trying to find my ticket, and having one hand out of action whilst holding the cup wasn’t ideal either.

What I wanted was something like a flask, that could be sealed up and chucked in my bag without fear of spillage, but was easy to drink on the bus.  Drinking tea out of a flask cup on the bus isn’t ideal and prone to spillage if the bus starts or stops suddenly.

After intense internet searching, I didn’t think such an invention existed.  Then, randomly one day, I came across the Hydro Flask – a reusable coffee cup that promised to not leak when sealed up.  After reading a little about it I bought one as a treat to myself in the hope that it would solve all of my tea based problems.

best reusable coffee cup uk

I have been using my Hydro Flask for a month now and I’m ready to say hand on heart that it is the best reusable coffee cup out there, by a mile.

I have tossed it around my bag for a month on all kinds of adventures and have had zero leaks! Bus trip to make?  I pop it in my bag and have two hands-free to get on the bus with ease.  Off to the park with my little ones?  I pop it in my bag and off we go with the buggy.  Car journey to make?  I pop it in my bag and don’t have to worry about it spilling when we hit a bumpy road.

It keeps drinks piping hot for hours.  So hot, in fact, that I have to make my tea or coffee and leave it to cool for 5 minutes or so before decanting it into the Hydro Flask otherwise it’s scalding hot and undrinkable for a good couple of hours, which, yes, I did learn the hard way.

The Hydro Flask is also great at keeping cold drinks cold.  This means I don’t have to carry about a separate reusable coffee cup and water bottle – saving my back and freeing up precious space in my already bulging mum bag.

What I love most about the Hydro Flask is that when you screw the cap back on it doesn’t cause the liquid to displace if you’ve been a bit overzealous and happened to fill it up a bit too much.

It’s also easier to clean than a traditional flask – no fiddly components – just a solid lid – so it’s not prone to fusty odours that flasks can be prone to.  As I say, best reusable coffee cup ever!

My only criticism is that the body of the cup does not get hot, so you don’t get that comforting warm feeling you get when holding a cup of hot tea, but then if it did then it wouldn’t keep the tea or coffee warm, so I guess you can’t have it all.

You can buy the Hydro Flask in varying sizes – from a small 12 oz, a medium 16 oz, to the large 20 oz, which rather handily are the standard coffee shop sizes.  I plumped for the medium – the large felt a little too large, even for my liking.

Even with the medium, it’s got a nice wide mouth and so far I’ve found that coffee shops are happy to fill it, so I’ve been making sure to get my reusable cup discount!  With my tea habit, my cup will pay for itself in no time!

If you’re also after the best reusable coffee cup too, then I’ve found the Hydro Flask online on Amazon or Cotswold Outdoor if you’d prefer to avoid Amazon.

In case you’re curious, I paid full price for my Hydro Flask and am just sharing the love of this rather fortuitous find that has vastly improved my tea drinking on the go!