The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will the blogger do then, poor thing...
Today the weather relented. Not only was it dry but the temperature rose to a dizzying nine degrees centigrade! I celebrated by strolling over to our local pocket park. Stefen Hill Pocket Park is not the place to visit for spectacular wildlife and the blogger/naturalist needs to be eagle-eyed and imaginative.
Plenty of berries were in evidence. Woody Nightshade and blackberries were still available for hungry birds but they are not yet desperate enough. The availability of these berries is a major reason why flocks of redwings and fieldfares make Britain the place to be for a winter holiday. With luck they will be joined by waxwings.
Cotoneasters are frequent in parts of the pocket park and are currently bearing their bright red berries. They may be Cotoneaster lacteus but these shrubs form a tricky and diverse group with hybrids complicating matters. In the third edition of Clive Stace's flora (reference below) 85 species are listed as having been found in the wild in the U.K. Of these only one, Cotoneaster integerrimus, is native (on the Great Orme, Llandudno). Whatever the species is, the berries appears to be rather unpalatable, often lingering into spring.
Cotoneaster lacteus? Perhaps, and when it is in flower I may
have a crack at naming it. 3 December, 2019
Polietes meridionalis on a fence in Stefen Hill Pocket Park.
3 December, 2019
Smooth Sow-thistle is abundant right across Britain. Here it is in
flower, Stefen Hill Pocket Park, Daventry. 3 December, 2019