Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mission Marsh Wren!

Marsh Wrens returned to Pheasant Branch Conservancy in numbers far surpassing the half dozen I kept track of last year along the North Fork trail. Though I haven't done a complete count of their numbers at the cattail marsh just yet, I would estimate around twenty singing wrens. I've never seen and heard so many in one spot!

Not having had much luck digiscoping Marsh Wrens over the years at other locations, this astonishing development presented an opportunity I was finally able to take advantage of today. With good lighting and virtually no wind, the typically shy wrens were perched atop cattail stalks singing their little hearts out all morning and afternoon.

Only problem was one "bully" male Red-winged Blackbird kept chasing the more accommodating wrens whenever they sang for more than a minute or so. Well, he was guarding a nearby nest from intruders and I could hear its young when being fed by his mate. I don't think the wrens could cause any harm, though. For my part, I was crouched behind the tall grass along the trail, so the blackbird didn't seem to mind my presence, though he certainly prolonged my wren mission. Eventually, though, I was able to leave the field with some satisfying Marsh Wren portraits!

All images © 2012 Mike McDowell