The attractive orange berries of this spiny, coastal shrub develop in autumn, but are often still on the branches well into December. They’re highly acidic, so birds tend to eat them as a last resort when other fruits – such as hips, haws and sloes – have been gobbled up. In particularly cold spells though, they provide an important food source for wintering fieldfares and redwings. The first frosts can cause the berries to ferment so birds that gorge on them become ‘drunk’.
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