Birds, seeds and berries

Here in Ireland we’re having a lovely start to autumn, with warm sunshine and those foggy, cool mornings full of cobwebs.

Spider's web

Spider’s web

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.

Autumn olive berries

Autumn olive berries

Autumn olive - Flower

Autumn olive – Flowering last May


6 thoughts on “Birds, seeds and berries

    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Me too – I love it in the winter when the birds are all gathered around the bird feeders and you can really get to see them close up.


  1. Eliza Waters

    You’ve captured that web beautifully – I love dewdrops outlining spiderwebs, each drop a sunlit crystal. A word of warning about the autumn olive – it is horribly invasive as the birds spread the seeds. The flowers are so lovely and fragrant, the bees love them, the birds devour the berries, even we can make tea or jam from the berries. What is not to love? Thorns! Once established, this plant is are hard to eliminate. Ask me how I know! 😉


    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Thanks for word of warning Eliza. I did read that in parts of the USA it is a real problem. So definitely one to keep in check!



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