Here in Ireland we’re having a lovely start to autumn, with warm sunshine and those foggy, cool mornings full of cobwebs.
The birch tree outside my office window is laden with seeds and is proving very popular with the birds. In the space of 30 minutes, I saw a bullfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch, sisken, bluetit and goldcrest feeding on it.
Something, and I suspect it is a blackbird, has found the autumn olives (Elaeagnus umbellata). While it is a species that can be invasive in parts of America, it is little know here in Ireland. It is indigenous to eastern Asia. The berries are a wonderful colour and can get sweet. Ours still have a tartness to them, though the birds obviously don’t mind! The flowers, which appear in late spring, are a lovely dusty, lemon yellow. The red berries are spotted with tiny flakes of sliver.