Sunday, 3 May 2009

Wrens and Rats

I explained in my post A Happy Event that we had wrens making a nest in one of these pouches that were really only ever bought as night time retreats for birds to roost in during cold weather. As far as I know, no bird has ever been even slightly interested in them until this year, that is. Although I felt very honoured that wrens had chosen my garden to nest in, I was very disappointed as we were about to alter our kitchen roof and birds nesting would well and truly hold up our plans.
The wrens came back and forth with nesting material for a while and then disappeared for a week or so. Then they returned.
What is going on? Are they nesting or not?
I looked up details of nesting wrens on the Internet and noticed that the poor male bird builds three nests and the female chooses only one of them to lay her eggs in. The male must have made an effort to impress his missus with this nest, but she must have turned it down, as there has been no activity whatsoever for a good while.

You will be expecting an update on my rat problem. Do you remember (here) I said I wouldn't mention it until May Day! This is in honour of our name as all important decisions are made on that day in this household! May Day is also an international distress signal and I have been feeling very distressed about the rat problem, so it seemed appropriate to wait until that day.

May Day was also the day for Morris Dancing and son, Sam got up at 4 am to dance some where or other, more fool him I say! But I looked after the grandchildren while he did it. May Day is also traditionally, a day for dancing round the Maypole. Good old English traditions that are in danger of dying out, so Sam is doing his bit for the country, helping to keep these traditions going. I will be blogging about some of these things, separately, very soon.

Well May Day has arrived and gone and it has been decided that although the rat problem has calmed down since the underpinning, there have been some noises still, occasionally in the ceiling space but not like before. That indicates that there were several ways in. The underpinning solved the rat highway, but there is a little lane still to be blocked off.
So what are we going to do?
We have arranged to start work on the kitchen roof very soon. Scaffolders have been sending quotes and later this week, the May household will be in absolute turmoil yet again as work progresses. All this commotion for a rat, or two, or three!


Kitty said...

Oooh, a Morris Dancer in the family? How fabulous. I love watching them - we have quite an active group where I live in Oxfordshire.

Good luck with the scaffolding and sorting out the rodent problem, I must admit I'd have to get that sorted too.


Eddie Bluelights said...

If you've got any rats you don't want send them to Robynn at Robynn's Ravings. She has a ravenous snake who loves them, except one rat which made it sick for some reason (all on a recent post). You could ask her if you could borrow her snake just in case the underpinning hasn't worked. It seems worked though -lets hope so. Good look with the roof alterations.
Finally, I'm glad I'm not a male wren - difficult enough being a male human! Ouch!

The Gossamer Woman said...

Maggie, I would hate to be in your shoes and have the roof raised, but at least you can be sure that your problem will be solved. If I were you, I would go up there myself and make sure it was solved! Leave it to men to overlook another way in and out for whatever creature you've got up there.


lailani said...

How interestin about the wren's and their nesting ritual!

Hope the rat lane is soon solved, I am sure you are disappointed in the scampering of furry foes.


Granny on the Web said...

Nothing worse than having kitchen upheaval. We not long ago had a refit... so it was kettle in the lounge, washing up in the bath, take-away meals, and couldn't find things for weeks afterwards. It does all end thank goodness, now it is just a distant memory. Hope they find the rat or other rodent problem, and shoo them off forever.
Love that about the wrens! isn't it fantastic what you can Google up and learn about?
Look forward to some progress snaps.

Love Granny

Anonymous said...

Rats, yuk. I got a dead one out of the hens' water pale the other day, haven't a clue how it got in there.

Amy mentioned morris dancing the other day and gave me a demonstration of it, or clog dancing.

CJ xx

Rose said...

The Morris dancing sounds like fun, but not at 4 AM:) When I was a girl we used to do sort of a maypole dance on May Day; I would imagine kids today would have idea what that is!

I think the new roof should solve your problem, Maggie May. At least you've closed the highway, so a single lane road shouldn't be as difficult to deal with.

Akelamalu said...

I remember dancing round the maypole when I was a child - I haven't seen this done for years!

I love watching Morris Dancers, though I haven't seen any for a while.

I hope the kitchen renovation gets rid of the rats once and for all.

MarmiteToasty said...

I always wanted to do Morris Dancing :) for real..... honestly lol

Dam bloody rats still...... just be done with it and move LOL

Love the little wren wicker nests.... how cute.... hope they really do get to use them.... except think of all that poo everywhere you will get lol


Hilary said...

I'd be so heartsick by now about the rats. You must have nerves of steel to deal with this issue. I feel for you.

The nesting ritual is so interesting. I'd never have guessed that they'd put their efforts into building more than one.

Robynn's Ravings said...

I do think a snake IS the answer to your problems. Buy a couple of constrictors and let them at it! :)

Thanks for coming by my blog and being so kind to take time for a comment. It is much appreciated!

Here's hoping the rats move on and maybe your wrens were just being considerate. Perhaps they got wind of the remodel! :)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, I am so sorry about your ratty problem...what nuisances they are!!! Hope you survive all the work! Dreadful having the house torn up...hard enough to keep things in order without workman about...but perhaps, they will serve as a wonderful excuse: sorry, dear...can't fix the dinner...must go out to the pub...sorry, dear...can't do laundry...too much debris on the washer...sorry, must go on holiday...the house is a danger back soon...LOL...I love all your May day items! Very fun post! As ALWAYS!!! ~Janine

aims said...

My offer for free room and board still stands Maggie. You just need to get yourself over here.

Of course I'd want to be there to organize everything and give orders - but the thought of rats runnning around makes me want to run the other way.

lakeviewer said...

Rats! Get bat houses or kitties.

Syren said...

Commiserations on the rat problem - the weather is cooling down here so the rats are looking for somewhere warmer to live and our roof space apparently is just the ticket. It's amazing how much noise a little creature like that can make - it sounds big enough to be a possum. Hate to think what a possum would sound like!!! :)
Interesting about the the nesting habits of wrens - had no idea.
It's sad that Australia doesn't have any kind to traditions such as Morris dancing or may poles. The only time I saw Morris dancing for real was at Ely Folk Festival the last time I visited UK - lots of fun.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Oh dear Maggie May, why won't the rats leave you alone?
Oh send the wrens over to my garden! (well I wish I had one).
I think they are very pretty...and if I'm not mistaken, they help you with the garden pests..

Thumbelina said...

Yes but if you don't deal with the problem, the rat, or two or three will become ten, or twenty or thirty! Hope it works out for you and you are rid of them for good.

Shame about the wrens. I wonder where the other nest is?

Way past my bedtime. Night night!

Indrani said...

Thankfully I am in the third floor of my apartment, I am saved from these rats.

Anonymous said...

A Rat or a Cockroach? No contest I'll take the rat least he can be 'got at'. Good luck. Wrens are so small, and so fast...they dart down to my window boxes, pluck up an insect and are gone before I can say, 'JP,Look!'

Veri word is Bless. Ah!!!!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Are the rats attracted by the bird fodder? I'm often find myself wondering about your rats...I worry about these things! :-)

Bina said...

I guess mommas know best, right? And wow. He has to build THREE nests? Poor guy.

Still rats, huh? Hopefully, one day, you'll get that problem solved once and for all. Good luck on getting all that stuff solved.

Teresa said...

ewe rats! Just stopped by, hope you don't mind. I sure hope you get the rat problem taken care of. : )

Gail said...

Respect to the female wrens! Wouldn't it be great if our other halves had to provide 3 homes and we made our choice!

Sandy said...

Oh I feel for you, we have undergone so much renovation here and there at the house, always turmoil for a couple years.

Thanks for your visit Maggie...Nice to meet you.

Jeni said...

Boy, imagine building three homes (nests) for one female and letting her have her pick! That poor bird is truly hen-pecked then isn't he? So the wren news is good and bad -too bad they apparently won't be nesting but good that they won't be nesting there as now it won't delay your kitchen and roof work any more. But those rats -OMB! I so don't envy you even trying to get rid of one of those suckers!

SandyCarlson said...

I hope those rats scram for you.

Your May Day celebration sounds lovely. I have seen Morris dancers from afar and enjoyed them.

Nessa said...

I hope the rats dessert your ship real soon.

OvaGirl said...

Maggie I feel a little sad for Mr Wren! Thanks for your lovely supportive comment at my profanity scattered blog, I can report that I am back online and seemed to have fixed one of the things I hated about my new computer. Happiness!

CailinMarie said...

well that is good information indeed! the next time my dear man sighs in exasperation I shall enlighten him as to the habits of wrens!!!

Maggie May said...

Many thanks for all your kind comments!

Most of you feel sorry for the male wren and all the MALE commenters have great sympathy towards him! The FEMALES seem a bit envious of the feathered female who has the choice of 3 homes. However the downside is that the female has to sit on the eggs for 2/3 weeks and never goes out! The male comes in with the food and feeds her with whatever he can lay his beak on..... now that wouldn't be nice!

I dare say I will blog about the disruption of the roof alteration (I am used to *raising the roof* when things go wrong!) I am both excited at the prospect of a rat free life, but also dread the work & mess.
Oh well, you can't make an omlette without cracking eggs, as my husband keeps telling me!

Granny Smith said...

When I was in third grade the girls in my class were chosen to dance around the maypole in a city-wide May Day celebration in a city park. We managed to get thoroughly entangled in the ribbons.

I hope the last little scamper of tiny feet will soon disappear from your ceiling.

Lavinia said...

Maggie, what an ordeal. Yes I was interested to hear the rat update. Hoping it is indeed only one and that little bugger will soon be gone. I *know* that this will all be over one day...hold tight to that thought!

Anonymous said...