Friday, 15 March 2013

Sound birds

I had noticed how 'scarce' Wrens are with us through recent winters and was keen to make sure we weren't coming to a hasty conclusion without reflecting on circumstances:  They are not really bird feeder regulars anyway.. much less so than other insectivorous species such as Robin and Dunnock, which pitch in to avail of scraps, peanuts, fat balls and seed, especially Robins.  However, the perception and proof after a few hard winters and indifferent springs, is that they suffered.

Wren in the flower pots (c.OOS)

I only recorded a single Wren on last winters Garden Bird Survey on three separate weeks out of a possible 13.. So, how pleased I was to meet with one, first thing this morning, shuffling around the plant pots, not three feet from where I sipped an early morning coffee. No doubt the attraction was the fall off from the peanut feeder mounted on the patio door directly above the pots.. Sometimes it pays to be a little untidy and let nature take care of the scraps!

No sooner than I grabbed a hasty pic than I heard a second Wren give a blast of that fast, loud, arresting song, no mistaking that!

Wren in song (c. John Fox)

Wrens are recorded as one of our most widespread species on the Countryside Bird Survey, which monitors the fortunes of our breeding birds.. Present in over 95% of  the 1km. survey squares and at a reasonably high density averaging 15 birds per square. My best count on the CBS was of 33  birds, no doubt all singing ( I probably didn't see more than one or two), recorded on my Avoca 1 km square which has lots of lush village gardens and woodland. 

So what appears to be a shy and retiring, small brown bird really comes to the fore once that song blasts out.. a most effective communication tool , and don't dare write Wrens off until you listen for them!  In another month  I will be recording Wrens on my Avoca CBS square.. it will be interesting to compare counts from previous years.

(c. John Fox)

1 comment:

  1. Can't say I've checked in any scientific way but from the songs and irregular sightngs I think our wrens have done OK. Certainly the Winters have got worse though.

    Nice blog, thanks.