I like to sit on the patio with my morning coffee on the weekends and I had got used to hearing a soft thump as she landed back on the rim of the container the nest is in. For the first time, I started hearing the babies peeping every time she came back to the nest, clamoring for attention.
I took a peek at them. There were four (I had previously thought there were three of them) and they all looked fully alert and were starting to stretch their wings.
So yesterday I had scheduled a day off work, to use up some vacation time, and was sitting with my morning coffee when I was startled by a whir and a thud behind me, over in the corner where the nest is.
I turned around to see what was happening and ... Lo and Behold... the first baby had ventured from the nest!
So of course I spent the next couple of hours crazily snapping pics and taking video till my camera batteries gave out!
It was quite nerve wracking watching them trying out their wings. The nest is on the top shelf and of course, they all launched themselves into space and then fluttered to the ground.
But they gradually got the hang of it and fluttered back up again, one shelf at a time.
Throughout all this activity, the Momma Wren was giving encouragement, as well as nourishment. In fact, even when they were all out of the nest, she went back to it several times with a juicy insect, just to make sure no one was left behind.
After a couple of hours (maybe more, I'm not sure, I completely lost track of the time) one by one, they launched themselves across the lawn to the shrubs at the back of the garden.
That seemed to wear them out a bit and for a while two of them sat in the crepe myrtle and two sat in the butterfly bush, resting. Momma Wren didn't like me poking around the shrubs trying to get a photo, so I went back to the patio and left them to it. I could still hear them peeping though.
But eventually they moved on. I went over to check on them one last time and they were nowhere to be seen or heard. Momma Wren wasn't hanging about either, so I assume she took them over the fence to the thicket next door.
I wish them the best and hope to see them again. Who knows, maybe one of them will choose to raise their own family on our patio.
But for now, I kind of feel like a mother whose kid has gone off to college.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.