Gardeners are asked to record which garden berries and fruits are being eaten by wild birds. The survey lasts until the end of March 2013 and it “seeks to establish berry availability, which birds are feeding on what berries, and how quickly berries are removed from plants”.
I know from the view outside my kitchen window that the blackbirds love the berries on my Silver Holly (Ilex aquifolium Argentea Marginata) – I can see the branches twitching up and down as the birds jump along them towards the outside edges where the berries are most plentiful. Pigeons love them too but their weight is too great for most of the branches but it doesn’t stop them trying –it’s quite comical at times when they can see bunches of berries but can’t get to them – there’s usually a great deal of flapping which can’t be easy when a bird is in the middle of the Holly tree!
I’ve also got a great love for Pyracantha, here’s the orange berried variety which is being trained to cover all the stonework around my kitchen window (can you see the lovely Field Maple trees across the road reflected in the window – gorgeous buttery yellow colour at this time of year). The berries on Pyracantha seem to mature later than the Silver Holly so often it is still covered in berries at Christmas.
We also have red berried Pyracantha. We bought tall red Pyracantha for friends as their wedding present because their anniversary is in late December and hopefully it will always be looking really good at that time of year.
And then there’s the less used but wonderful yellow berried Pyracantha – we don’t sell anything like as much of this as we do the red and orange but I don’t really know why – it’s very bright which is what you want in winter.
Anyway, back to the berry survey – here’s the link to take part http://www.bto.org/news-events/news/get-ready-garden-berry
Thank you to those who decide to participate in this survey – it will provide important information which will help wildlife conscious gardeners in the future.
The website also has a useful list of garden plants which produce berries which you can access here.