Monday, September 10, 2012


It looks like being a very poor year for brambles up here in Durham but it was a different story down in North East Lincolnshire at the weekend, where the blackberry bushes at the back of the sand dunes at Cleethorpes local nature reserve were laden with fast-ripening fruits.

The scrubby vegetation at the back of the dunes here is dominated by sea buckthorn, which also carried a fine crop of ripening berries, that look particularly attractive against the shrub's silver-grey foliage. Birds never seem very interested in these berries, which often are still untouched well into winter. The same can't be said for the elder berries here, which were being consumed rapidly by large, noisy flocks of starlings.

Many of the juvenile starlings were in their transitional plumage, still bearing traces of their first set of brown feathers but rapidly moulting into their smart spotty winter attire. 


  1. I'm off to do some more brambling today - the nearest I get to extreme sporting activity! Not a bad crop here in E. Cleveland. The past week has been sunny.

    Pete says all he remembers of Cleethorpes is cockles and damp trousers, and a grand view of the works - think it's a while since he was last there!

  2. Brambles are very late around here in SW Durham snippa, but there has been an amazing crop of yellow mirabelle plums in a hedge near us - they must have planted the trees by mistake when they restored the hedges, after the opencast was finished.

    Cleethorpes doesn't change much. Once you get beyond the seaside amusements the sand dunes and salt marsh are quite interesting - lots of sea lavender still out on the saltmarsh, and also a lot of little egrets now.

  3. Interesting hedge - I'm reliably told that mirabelle plums are delicious.

    Pete knows little egrets as cow birds - what the Bahamians call them. Climate change?

  4. Made jam with the plums snippa - delicious and an exquisite golden colour. A lot of mirabelle plum strees have been planted beside the Tyne at Newburn - last year they produced masses of fruit...