Troglodytes are moving in!

Today started like many of our others here at Ash Lock, packing up vehicles for our volunteers, moving trucks and trailers around. Stu was getting ready to head out to Chalk Farm with our volunteers to do more fencing.  Another Stuart (yes that makes 3 in the office all at once!), an old student from 5 years ago, was also in, borrowing some equipment when Emily heard some peeping from her feet.

Looking down she discovered a baby Wren, and then another, then another. 5 were discovered in total, spread under our trucks and round the nearest skip, but we couldn’t figure out where they were from until Stuart No. 3 slid under a truck to rescue baby No. 4.

Here’s the truck…

Any ideas where Mum is yet? She’s still on the nest…

There she is!  An Eurasian wren (Troglodytes troglodytes).

She, and the chicks, have been under our truck, travelling all over the valley with us, and we never knew they were there!  How they had stayed put, tucked away in the smallest space we have no idea, but now the chicks were out and we knew she was there, we couldn’t put them back again.  What to do?

Bobbie suddenly remembered our Donation Box for events is an old bird box!  It might not be designed for wrens, but neither is the underside of a Ford Ranger.  It’s a bit cleaner and quieter for a start. Bobbie carefully extracted Mum from the next and then the nest itself as the chicks were put in a cardboard box.  In the dark and safety of our locker room chicks, Mum and nest were reunited in their new home….

…and then relocated in our yard to somewhere a little more Wren-friendly! Emily and I are keeping an eye on them from our office window. Mum seems to have taken to the new spot as we’ve seen her feeding the chicks who haven’t stopped calling for attention yet.  I think they have about a week left before they fledge as they have nearly lost all their fluff and are as big as Mum.

The fun never stops here!

Ranger Laura


About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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