A close encounter with a Wren’s nest

The Clematis might have seen its best this year but its become the ideal spot for nesting birds. A tangled web of branches means that any nest building can be well-hidden from potential predators and they’ll get a great vantage point too.

Underneath the Clematis is a bench. Its a nice place for some quiet contemplation or perhaps to immerse yourself in a good book. However – look up and you can just make out the entrance to a birds nest. The entrance is too small to get a sense of whether any birds are at home so it is a question of playing the waiting game to see what happens.

Regular sightings of a Wren dashing in and out of this sheltered spot creates a sense of hope. Despite sitting perfectly still to see if I could hear any noise from the nest there was total silence and I feared that I was becoming an obstacle to the Wren reaching its destination.

And then I sensed movement behind me. It felt like something was nervously darting between perching spots eyeing up whether it could make a dash for the entrance to the nest.

To any bird I was a potential foe ready to pounce. I slowly moved my head and to my right I could see a Wren. It looked like it had mapped out its route to the nest – would it be brave enough to go for it? This small fragile bird flitted between the ground and branches with its catch of the day ready for its young.

And then came the game-changing moment. I could sense a growing confidence as it became braver testing my motives, getting that little bit nearer. Finally it made its move for a perch branch just a few centimetres from the nest. A worm visible in its beak the young started to cheap in anticipation of lunch.

This felt like a magical moment frozen in time, to be witness to this scene that happens countless times every day till they fledge from the nest. Such a common occurrence still has the power to bring a sense of wonder.

It was all over so quickly. The young fed and the Wren out looking for food again. Re-tracing its steps to its feeding ground and returning slowly and cautiously back to the nest.


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