There's nothing dull about dunnocks


Wenlock Edge With its riotous sex life and quick, edgy, movements, the hedge sparrow is like a little ticking bomb
Tseep! The hedge sparrow will not break loose from the gravity of the hedge. Hedge is home: a four-dimensional forest that travels through a landscape beset by dangerous space, and provides for a kind of dwelling that supports a very particular society. This tiny passerine is also called a dunnock – literally, little brown bird – an anonymous, blended-in, could-be-anything.
This one is prospecting for beetles, spiders and ants, as damp, mild, weather brings out early creatures. Its pencil-sharp beak shows that it is not adapted to seeds but it will take them when there’s nothing else. Drab and grey-headed is the usual description (as is mine), but there is a subtle vibrancy to its oak-polish brown flecked with darker encryptions, and its head, the colour of lichen on branches. Continue reading…