Country diary: bustling activity signals start of wren breeding season

Allendale, Northumberland: A rustle in the undergrowth, a flicker between rocks – these tiny birds are hiding in plain sight

It was the small jerky movements that drew my notice. A wren, threading its way through the dry stone wall, was delicately pincering insects from under moss and among lichens.

It nipped in and out of gaps before suddenly reappearing. At times I could only spot movement through a slit between stones.

Wren perching

Then it rested, legs splayed across two coping stones, and stayed there for a full five minutes while I delighted in its detail through the lens of binoculars. A pale eye-stripe, barred wing-feathers, beak flushed apricot, backlit by evening light.

The wren blinked often, sometimes half closing its eyes, sun on its back, revelling in the warmth.

As it is our commonest bird, it’s not surprising that I’ve had several close ...... continue reading the full article on the Guardian

Related content: