I was super excited when Brother Alf reported that a wren was building a nest in the corner of the cloister. We assumed that the female would eschew it because there’s too much human activity including the sweet song of the concrete mixer as work begins on the Roman gatehouse…but no! She clearly thought it a des res and for several weeks we’ve been seeing little wrens flying in and out of the cloister, bearing food for the chicks whose cries at feeding time have become louder and louder.

Wrented accommodation (sorry!)
Look carefully…there’s a wren watching you

For the last couple of days however it’s been completely silent. I hope this means the chicks have fledged and moved on; I read up on it, and apparently it’s dangerous for chicks to hang around the nest, because the longer they stay, the more likely predators are to see or smell the nest. Smelly things apparently, chicks, and you can see why. So while the dead silence is alarming, it’s probably a good sign and we’ll keep our eyes open for fledgelings around the place. I saw a few earlier in the year so I’m guessing this is a second brood. Yay wrens. I never saw one before we moved to Rumwoldstow and now we have them breeding in our cloister! The next question is whether we should remove the nest and clean the area to make it nice for them next year? Or do they ever reuse nests? Time for a little research…