Country Boy

WrenI had another bird trauma on Thursday evening. Jen and I were eating our dinner, when a wren flew straight through the open patio door and into the kitchen. While I made a strategic withdrawal (allegedly to close the dining room door to prevent the bird from escaping into the rest of the house), Jen went to help the wren. Sadly, it was already dead, having broken its neck colliding with the kitchen window.

Don't believe any nonsense you might hear on The Archers about country folk knowing their nuthatches from their treecreepers, and their pigeons from their wigeons: when it comes to bird identification, they haven't a clue. It's only shruburbanites like me who seem to take an interest in that sort of thing—which is why, whenever I identify a bird to her, our farmer friend refers to me ironically as Country Boy.

Jen told the farmer about the dead wren yesterday, and came out with a good one:

"So how did you know it was a wren, then?"
"I didn't. Richard told me."
"Aren't they the ones with the turned up tails?"
"Everything was bloody turned up by the time I got to it."

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. You must have known it was a wren coz it had 'farthing' written underneath it, and a young queen's head on the other side.On second thoughts, that makes no sense to anyone who isn't in their fifties!

  2. Well, I'm only 41, but I must be in my fifties at heart, because I know exactly what you're talking about.

    I have a bit of a soft spot for wrens, what with my good woman being named Jen(ny) and one of my other women having the surname Farthing.

  3. Wasn't there a countryside thing about killing wrens on Boxing day? Bashing all the hedges to rouse them and then, uh, kill them?

    That presupposes the hunters knew a wren when they saw one... maybe it was in the Olden Days when country people did have bird identification skills?

  4. Blimey, it turns out I wasn't making that up...

    Hunting the Cutty Wren

    And more if you search Google for wren hunt.

    Mad. Mind you, if you saw the carnage that you get if one of those cutty wrens gets into the chickens, well-- uh, no that's not wrens, is it?

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