Serendipity…Upstairs one morning last week just about to get into the shower when the voice on the radio asks ‘Which is the UK’s most prolific native breed of bird?’ And I catch sight out of the window, flitting over the wooden sheep feeders edging the lawn, the answer – the wren. There it is, rapidly working invisible cracks for insects. With 8 million breeding pairs this supercharged loud voiced tiny bird appeals to us all. Oddly most people don’t really notice them, so quick and secretive their ways. (Hence the Latin name Troglodytes – Cave Dweller). Their lives may be short and populations catastrophically hit by hard winters but their powers of recovery are such that within a few breeding seasons their premier title is regained. Unlike most other native birds the cock is the nest builder and he’ll construct a number, leaving the inspecting female to decide which home suits best. We’ve also witnessed them convert a former swallow’s nest on our porch where they sometimes shelter for life preserving mutual warmth during the depths of winter. Our other garden seasonal residents – blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, blackbirds and robins – are also beginning to return, like the wrens, this back end. I suspect all these birds spend the summer in food rich territories down in the sheltered wooded valleys of the fast flowing burns that define the southern and northern flanks either side of our property. These species return to our sanctuary acre where supplementary food is always available by way of seeds and nuts. Whatever the reason, we’re always glad to welcome them back.

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