“Three years” I say! Three long years is the amount of time it took me to get this little one out into the open for a decent photograph. I’ve only observed them on occasion but have heard them and their sweet but powerful little tune on numerous outings. The Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) is the smallest of the species and perhaps the most secretive. Also known as the “Northern Wren”, it prefers deep coniferous forest and fallen logs for nesting. The Hanover watershed is lush with this habitat and a location that I have heard this bird’s song often. Like the Carolina Wren, its song is easy to distinguish. But the watershed was not the location for this session but another favorite location just south of the Mason Dixon line along the creek at the confluence of Saw Mill Road and the Kowomu Trail was where I would discover my tiny friend . I tried a little pishing and then the Screech Owl trill to see what I could locate, hoping for woodpeckers and Flickers.
I caught a glimpse of a small bird playing in the thick cover and after careful observation discovered it to be one of my nemesis birds, the winter wren. I continued with the owl trill for about another minute but the bird stayed well hidden in the brush and continued foraging and it’s playful roaming. I discontinued the trill and just sat and observed the wren’s behavior. I must have sat for about another 15 minutes as the little one would forage and play “Peek a Boo” with me allowing me to frame a shot but then vanish into the cover before I could hit the shutter.
The captures I did attempt were mostly obscured by the many branches in my path of focus. These games of hide and seek went on for another good 45 minutes until at long last he got curious and hopped onto a knob of a snag in the open. I fired away with a big grin and my heart pounding. It was like taking a sip of water after a long parching thirst and the feeling of relief was overwhelming.
This was the end of my dismay for the search of this species. What a wonderful and fulfilling end to all of the time spent exploring for this little one! Finally another species off my nemesis list!!!!!!!