Friday, 18 September 2015

For the Birds

Since the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust took over the running of much of Shipley Park, there have been some great improvements made to the countryside. Great strides have been made in providing for our feathered friends, not least of which has been the planting of several meadows of plants which provide wild bird seed. Close to the visitors' centre on Shipley Parks, the bird seed meadows have been spectacularly beautiful.
There must be dozens of different plants here, all grown for their prolific seed production and to provide food for the birds during the lean times of winter. Just in this small patch there are flax, chicory, corn marigold, wheat and any number of others.
Of course, the seed production is its main purpose, but you can't help but be impressed by the floral display too.  In other parts of the country park, displays of a different kind are in evidence. Just as colourful, but not in this case because of the flowers, the Pyracantha bushes are in full fruit with some f the brightest orange and red fruits to be found.
Not so numerous, but possibly taking the prize for 'reddest berries', one much more diminutive plant is doing its best to be seen among the hedgerows. These delightfully shiny fruits belong to the Bittersweet or Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).
A relative of potatoes and tomatoes, this fruit is poisonous to humans, but can be tolerated by a few birds, who distribute the seeds widely. Thrushes seem particularly fond of them apparently.
Post a Comment