A Wren in the garden – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

Forty years ago I was 12 years old and had just started my nature notebooks. I drew what I saw on holiday or on walks on my own at home, took black and white photographs using my manual film camera and made detailed notes, measurements and observations. I’m still just as keen on observing the wildlife as I was then and am acutely aware that many aspects of this blog are identical to what I did as a young boy in those nature notebooks. I think people do change massively over the course of their lives but there are certain aspects of their personalities which simply don’t change at all. At heart I’m still that 12 year old boy, standing in wonder at the natural world.

Wrens love the garden at Einar as they’re able to skulk. Here are my notes on seeing a Wren 40 years ago today on 18 August 1976:

Wren - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

I’m amused to see that I still know that the Wren’s scientific name is Troglodytes troglodytes. I remember looking it up and finding that a troglodyte is a cave-dweller. It’s even more amusing that I obviously looked up the subspecies of the Wren and found that the one I’d seen was Troglodytes troglodytes troglodytes. I even remember that there’s a different subspecies of the Wren on St Kilda, called, unsurprisingly, the St Kilda Wren.

I walked to the library every week to get natural history books out and visited the local museum to get a close look at the stuffed exhibits. I even got to know the staff so well that they’d get exhibits out and put them on the table for me to sketch in my Daler art pad. Here’s one of my sketches from when I was 12.

Wren - Nature Notebooks from 1976 - drawing (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

For some reason it hasn’t got an upwards pointing tail.

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