Troglodytes troglodytes

[Eurasian Wren] (pp.172–173)

Selected new records


Impact of cold winters on breeding numbers

Numbers were very low prior to the breeding season, following the third consecutive harsh winter, but had recovered strongly by the autumn. It is interesting to compare the peak Oct counts for 2008–2011, which were derived from broadly similar methods by the same observers; suggested explanations for the variations in numbers are given in brackets:

  • 2008: 75   (high population after a long run of mild winters)

  • 2009: 51   (decrease after the cold snap of Feb 2009)

  • 2010: 21   (further decrease after the severe weather of Jan/Feb 2010)

  • 2011: 47   (partial recovery after a successful breeding season, in spite of the prolonged cold spell in Nov/Dec 2010)

27/28 Oct – “We caught five unringed Wrens in Millcombe. Till then most had been retraps, so presumed residents. It's possible they [the five unringed birds] suddenly moved into Millcombe from elsewhere on the island, but we got the impression there might have been an influx onto the island.” (Tony Taylor)


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 50 on 21 Sep.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 52 on 26 Nov.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 58 on 1 Oct, but only the island south of Halfway Wall was covered.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 47 on 13 Oct.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 47 on 10 Nov.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 37 on 9 Oct. This is unusually low in comparison with recent years; poor summer weather may have reduced breeding success.


Winter count

30 Jan – A total of 37 individuals counted during a walk of the entire island perimeter (Tim Davis & Tim Jones).

Effects of severe cold in early spring

The severe cold spell during Mar (the 'Beast from the East') appears to have depleted the breeding population significantly, particularly along the East Side, where just 12 singing males were found from the north end of the quarries southward, including Millcombe/St John’s, on 3 Jun. This area usually supports a much higher density of Wren territories and BTO BirdTrack data show that Wrens are much more easily detected in Jun than in Jan. Circumstantially, it appeared that birds with West Side territories might have fared better than those on the East Side (which would have been exposed to the full strength of the glacial gales and blizzards); the number of singing Wrens along the West Side was not noticeably lower than normal (Tim Jones).

Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 30 on 24 Oct.


Autumn maximum

The highest autumn count was 25 on 23 Oct.



Ringing recovery

A Wren ringed as a first-year bird on Lundy on 23 Sep 2014 (ring no. HBP948) was found dead at Bothenhampton, Bridport, Dorset on 21 Oct 2014 (28 days, 144 km, ESE 111º). This is the first known movement of a Wren either to or from the island (from more than 1,200 ringed). That it should relate to a distance as great as 144 km is quite remarkable!


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