Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

What No Wrens?


If I don’t fire out a few blog posts before Sunday Spud will be writing  this blog more than I do. Mind you it seems to work for ‘Joker the Lurcher’ he runs a very good blog all by himself.

There has been little time (or light) to be out and about with the camera and whilst I’ve plenty of stuff in waiting, I just need the time at the keyboard.

The weather has turned mild, if grey and damp but at least the garden birds seem to have a bit better time of it than in the frozen weeks around Christmas. There are plenty of visitors to the feeder and bird table, but its not as frenzied as it was. And it seems I’ve managed to seduce a woodpecker away from a neighbours garden.


I’ve not seen a wren for weeks and weeks, this little butter ball of a bird is one of my favourites and they usually dart in and out of the drystone walls all day long, I never managed to photograph them though unlike NiC who has taken some stunners. I fear they have taken heavy casualties in the cold weather, I sprinkled suet  amongst the coping stones, in hope it might help feed them. (Spud spent a happy time Hovering it up.) We used to have three or four wrens, roosting behind the barge boards, but where are they now?

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve soup* and sandwiches to prepare for 14 and a text book to read before tomorrow. The camera will have to stay in the bag ‘till Sunday.

*carrot and coriander, because no one believes  me that sprout and potato soup is delicious, especially with a bacon buttie.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “What No Wrens?

  1. Sprout and potato? What a great idea! I’m going to try that one as soon as poss. Definitely WITH the bacon buttie too. Sounds very warming.

  2. Unfortunately, it’s always the little birds that fare worst in the bad weather.
    Hopefully you’ll have them again. I love the image of them in the drystone. Wrens are among my favorites, too, although I very rarely see any here.

  3. I’ve seen a wren out front a couple of times but being small and the same colour as the background was very hard to keep an eye on once spotted! Sadly, and as WOL says, small birds suffer badly in really cold weather. Lucky you with the woodpecker as I often hear, but very rarely see, them. xx

  4. mrs uhdd, i am so honoured to have a mention in your wonderful blog! and if young spud would like a few tips on how to write for his public, he only has to ask…

  5. Just caught up on your blog after a couple weeks of having no time for such pleasures. Now sat early evening with a glass in one hand and iPad in the other, thoroughly enjoying your writing. Beautifully observed, and fabulous pictures. A lovely reminder of England now that I live in California.

  6. Here’s a theory. That very handsome woodpecker has come over and made as much noise as a teenaged Garage Band. The wrens have taken a vacation to find a little peace. They’re over at the neighbors waiting patiently until the woodpecker moves on. Both soups sound wonderful. I am of the pro-sprout faction, although I’ve had mixed results making butties. I’ll just crumble the bacon on top!

  7. Both soups sound delish.

    Lovely woodpecker. 🙂

  8. sprout soup? I LOVE sprouts – do you have the recipe?

    • Nigel Slater just mentioned in an article, that a flask of sprout and potato soup had been one of his favourite meals of the year. So I put what sprouts I had, a couple of spuds and an onion with water cooked it, whizzed it in the food processor and ate it: job done. And that is an answer, that is as annoyingly short on detail as my mothers recipes

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