This year a pair of Wrens made a nest in a dead Juniper in the front garden... which was kind of nice, but kind of a pain too as we wanted to cut it down before whatever killed it affected any of the other nearby trees and shrubs. Of course, with tennants, this was no longer possible. Ironic really as 2 years ago I'd stuffed an old terracotta pot into the then living Juniper to encourage just this - nesting. I was quite keen therefore to take a peak. What did I find? Well, the POT was there, but there was no nest in it! Perhaps they weren't nesting in the bush after all? As it turned out they were... cunningly given away by their eventual frequent visits to the bush with beaks full of small insects and later exits from the bush with faecal sacs. We never found the nest and never saw the young fledge, but there was at least one young Wren in the side garden about the time things went quiet in the Juniper. That was about 3-4 weeks ago.
Lovely weather today and the front garden, my missus decides, needs a good weed... and while we're at it we may as well get rid of the Juniper. Not seen anything near it since the Wrens left so didn't think much of it. Watching the Germans thrash the Argentinians when there's a knock on the window and my daughter is beckoning me out into the front garden. She and my other half have managed to chop down 2 of the main Juniper trunks but, I assumed, were struggling with the last one and so needed my help. Not so! There was a different problem. There on the lawn by the felled Juniper boughs (well, I say 'lawn' it's all spongey moss really... which may have helped... read on) were 4 Wrens eggs! Doh! Had no idea they were on a second brood. Oh dear. Not much to do really, despite my daughter asking if we couldn't incubate them ourselves. It's not hatching em that's the problem I told her (not that we could have realistically done this), it's feeding the babies! I don't know how the parents manage it tbh. We reared House Martin broods by hand on flies when we live in Scotland and it was utterly exhausting. We had to take it in turns... in shifts round the clock. No - I'm afraid we were guilty of Wrenslaughter and there was not a whole lot we could do about it :-(
Or so we thought... I took the eggs into the house to check on the score and moments later got another knock on the window. My daughter had found another egg AND the nest in the bit of the Juniper her and the missus had cut down. I broke it open a bit to check for more eggs and found none. Shame. It was a cracking nest too, a bit bigger than a large Grapefruit and lined with a cozy layer of Wren down. SO then I had an idea. Let's put the eggs BACK in the nest and the nest BACK in what remains of the Juniper and see what happens. Well. within 10 minutes a Wren was back NEAR the Juniper... then it hopped INTO the bush. Had it gone in the nest though??? I snook up to see the Wren creep quietly out of the nest! It had found its eggs! What a tenacious little Troglodyte!!!
That was about about an hour ago since when it has popped back a couple of times. Now I just wonder...
Watch this space!