Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Jenny Wren In The Garden, & Cath Kidston Eat Your Heart Out

I spent some time yesterday just before dusk fell watching one of our resident garden wrens.  She (I'm assuming because the only differential is wing size, the male being larger, and without another to compare with this is obviously hard), was very busily hopping about under a garden spade looking for insects.


Often mistakenly thought to be the UK's smallest bird (that prize goes to the Firecrest & Goldcrest), wrens are often hard to see because they spend so much of their time hopping about in the undergrowth. They don't really come to garden feeders and are more apparent by their voice- truly melodic and enormous for such a tiny person. They are one of my favourite birds and I can find myself easily entranced when watching them. 

Last summer we had a nestful cleverly hidden somewhere in the garden. Mummy wren brought three very noisy children to the patio in due course where they sat on the fence shouting at each other and at her. They looked like little round balls of cotton wool with sticks stuck in for tails :o)

Did you know that wrens often roost together at night, although they are solitary by day? The greatest number ever found roosting together in a bird box over winter was 63! I have only once witnessed this unlikely flocking behaviour when, very soon after dawn one morning, I watched 20 emerge from their sleeping place and fly off in different directions.

Isn't it amazing to think what goes on in nature right under our noses?

Incidentally, the nickname Jenny Wren is an ancient one that goes back at least to Medieval times, and therefore probably further still. She's mentioned by Shakespeare and later by Dickens.




In other news, I am beavering away with Phyllis creating lots of lovely new things with my ginormous stash of fabric :o)
Today's offerings include a tote shopping bag made from some half-price fabric I got at Cath Kidston. I've a green version of this that I bought in a sale years ago and I use it all the time, so I modeled this one on that. It's made from her strong, heavy-duty material so should work well as a bag. I'm Quite Chuffed with it, even if I do say so myself :o)

 

I also made a sewing machine cover for Phyllis and another smaller bag which I'm going to turn into a drawstring for bits and bobs out of the left over material....



I've got a third project on the go too, but I can't tell you about it because it's a surprise for M for Valentine's Day and I don't want him to see it before then, so: shhhhhh!

I'll leave you with Miss Poppy who has a shiny new orange and green collar because her old one was getting pretty grim. She has renewed her tendancy to work as an unpaid dentist for Ted, licking his teeth whenever the opportunity arises. This is despite his grumbles and our admonishments. JRs are completely unbothered about being told off on the whole I find. She'll squirm for a few seconds if M remonstrates with her over her misdemeanors, tucking her tail under her bottom and sliding along the ground with her tummy on the floor, then when she thinks she's done enough grovelling she just goes straight back to whatever it was she was doing before.

Incidentally, did you see the UK county by county map for the most popular dog breeds yesterday? Labs came top in our area and JRs were second. Teddy was most put-out that Westies were no where to be seen but L told him there was more value in scarcity, and then wrapped him up in some wolf fabric I bought him yesterday so Ted felt a lot better :o)


Hope everyone is well?

CT :o)

22 comments:

  1. Our wren has discovered that some very tasty things live under the moss on the tiled kitchen roof. Huge clods of it are getting disturbed and left to drop all over the path and clog the gutters. Mike not impressed.

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  2. Gorgeous wren photos, they are so hard to capture aren't they. I didn't know that they roost all together, that's really interesting, I shall look out for them together.

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    1. You have to be up at dawn and then quite lucky to see them leaving the roost together, I've only ever seen it once and it took me a while to work out what was going on!

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  3. I was watching a wren in our garden on Sunday but wasn't quick enough to capture it. We had some in our last garden too. Are they more common these days? We never had any in the garden when I was a child. We saw that map of dog breeds too! I was surprised Westies weren't featured we always see some everytime we go out. Sarah x

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    1. Apparently they can be hit hard by cold winters but are able to re-establish the population quite quickly, so I would imagine numbers fluctuate depending on winter conditions. I think they are often not seen because of their habit of being in the undergrowth so you may have had them in previous gardens and just not caught sight of any.
      We see Westies whenever we go out too so I was amazed they weren't on the list. We have three in this family alone so I think the list was wrong :o) xx

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  4. I had heard that wrens nested in groups, but had no idea so many crammed themselves together! I guess it is a good way to keep warm, but I don't think that I would like to sleep with so many bedfellows! Loving your sewing - of course! CK is definitely getting a run for her money from you, that is sure! Love the cupcake fabric, that is pretty isn't it. I think that Pops wants something made for her! xx

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    1. Can you imagine how sweet 63 wrens all snuggled up together would look? I would love to see that. They sometimes use old nest boxes to sleep in over winter.
      I love that cupcake fabric. I have threatened Poppy with a cupcake coat. I won't repeat what she said but the polite version was that rural dogs don't wear pink coats covered in cakes :o) xx

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  5. So cute...a tiny bundle of life

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  6. Boy you have been busy with Phyllis and everything is looking good so far and pretty. yes I did know about Wrens roosting together and it was wonderful for you to see 20 at a time.

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    1. Thanks Margaret :o) I thought you would know about the wrens, such marvellous little birds x

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  7. They look like they are made of porcelain. I love the Wrens and Robins. Such cheeky fellows!

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    1. Me too. Garden wouldn't be the same without them :o)

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  8. Gorgeous photo of that little wren. They are one of my most favourite birds so petite yet such a sturdy little expression. I think they are quite rare here - on the east coast of Ireland but - occasionally I think I catch a glimpse of one, before she flits back into the hedgerow. Your bags are great. I don't know who you manage to fit so much into your day! xx

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    1. Me too- I love them.

      Am really enjoying all the sewing and the hunting for fabrics. I'm sticking with fairly simple projects at the moment, working up to something more complex later! x

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  9. Lovely wren photos - we had about 7 or 8 here roosting one winter in an old hanging basket and I thought we were doing well until (I think it was Bovey Belle?) mentioned she had had dozens and dozens roosting in her roof! They nest most years in the ivy but are very secretive so you have to keep a real look-out to see them feeding the young.

    Love the bag - my daughter would be very jealous she just adores Cath Kidston stuff. I bought her a bag recently in the sale from their shop to give her for her birthday - bet it cost a lot more than yours though!!

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    1. I never know where the nests are unless we happen on an old one, even when they sometimes make them in quite obvious places! Such super little birds :o)

      I reckon the bag cost £2.50 :o) But the fabric was half price, so normally would be around a fiver. x

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  10. I spot the odd wren in the garden which I am always thrilled about as I think they are my very favourite bird. I hope I spot one at the weekend!

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    1. Are you doing the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch? I will be too x

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  11. We have 'a' wren that likes to hop about among the plants pots outside the kitchen window. May be more than one but I only ever see solitary specimens, He/she is very sweet and very busy. I tried putting a few dried meal-worms among the pots for him/her/them but they did not get eaten...

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    1. Possibly there is enough live food about with all this mild weather. Smashing little birds :o)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x