Photo Blog

I love observing nature and the changing seasons during my Norfolk countryside dog walks accompanied by my ever-faithful canine companion Starrydog. I especially enjoy taking photos of Norfolk butterflies, wildflowers and other flora and fauna that I happen across while exploring local nature reserves. Visit my Norfolk nature photo blog to keep up to date with my photographic adventures and enjoy my butterfly photos.

You can  follow me at "Norfolk Nature Blog" on the UK & Eire Natural History Bloggers Network

A Berryless Holly This Christmas

Berryless holly leaf with melting frost There was a specific image I'd had in mind to post for this month ever since my move to Norfolk in February, which was of a frosty holly packed full of beautiful red berries taken in the plantation where I often walk my dog which is a copse full of holly as well as oak and beech.

Well it seems both frosty days and, more worryingly, berries are in short supply. When I first started to notice the absence of any bright berries I put it down to the unusually mild Autumn we've had with lots of rain but little in the way of true wintry weather and assumed the harvest would just be a little late.

But it is now only 4 days away from Christmas and still only one or two bushes in the whole copse have berries, and even then it is very often just a sad, small, lone anaemic-looking berry.

This year Norfolk again had very high numbers of seasonal migrants and waxwings due, it is believed, to a berry/fruit harvest failure in Scandinavia. If my fears are realised and our berries have indeed failed too, then it may well be a tough Christmas for many of our over wintering birds and they will need all the help they can get.