The pale stripe above the eye (supercilium), light barring on the wings, and stocky tail are a dead give away.
The fact you felt it was too large for a wren provides me with the suggestion that: 1. it was fluffing up because of cold, or 2. most likely the shear effort wrens put into their call. They seem to expand as they fill their airsacs to bursting to be able to send out that loud melodious call which seems far to loud for such a small bird but needs to penetrate thick scrub that they frequent.
Wrens have very large air sacs and syrinx (bird larynx) in relation to their size which may have given the impression of it being larger than it is.
So there we are! I am amazed! I thought it was at least the size of a robin redbreast, but yes, it was singing with great gusto – giein’ it laldy, as we’d say in Scotland – so its airsacs must have been well full. I thought too that wrens’ tails were always upright, as in this photo by Stephen Round.
Anyway, it certainly does have the spotted bar along its wing and the eye flash, so I’ll accept that it was a wren we saw!
So, let me continue into the house which is not really open to the public as a rule, as it is used as offices for the National Trust for Scotland, but two rooms at least are set out in the style of the period, and we were allowed to go in and have a look. Both rooms that we saw were at the back of the house with views of the garden. This is the staircase from the main hall with a mezzanine room in the sunshine, and the doorway down to the kitchen and servants rooms no doubt.
The dining room was painted in typical Georgian fashion and had its share of portraits on the walls. You could see Mr and Mrs Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) in the two looking down from their positions over the buffet table. The china cupboard would once have had doors, but its ornate interior was on view with its beautiful Georgian crockery. The group were looking at something on a small side table – a beautiful raspberries and cream flan under a glass dome. So? Well, if you click the photo to enlarge it, you might see that it is knitted! Yes, really! Knitting needles, yarn, etc. Knitted!
Next we saw the room on the left of the stairs, which might have been the original drawing room – it’s not a large house - laid out for afternoon tea, but with a twist! The dish of sandwiches on the right of the photo, the scones and cakes on the cake stand, even the sugar lumps in the silver bowl to the right of the teapot, were all knitted!
Then there was the bowl of fruit!
Just how can anyone work things as fiddly as sugar lumps and grapes?
It would have been great to see some more of the house but that wasn’t possible, and the other rooms probably haven’t been done up and furnished anyway.
Our tour over, we thanked Graham, our guide, and made our way back to the tearoom for another cup of tea and a bite to eat before we set off for home. It was lovely to be able to sit outside for about the first time this spring. (The fine weather didn’t last long!) Some purchases were made and both Sheena’s and my car (cars?~) were full of pots of primulas and shrubs for the drive home.
What a lovely way to spend a birthday!
Talk again soon.