SUPERB FAIRY-WREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Female

Silence is Golden 🙂

I don’t know who said that, but after the taxi dropped me home at 9.30am this morning, (after an overnight stay away), I couldn’t help but be struck by the silence.

It’s Saturday here in Melbourne and the usual weekend shoppers, zooming up my short steep road in their cars, were completely absent.

No walkers, joggers, cyclists or runners.

No mothers pushing prams or pushers up the steep footpath.

The unique sound of what I thought might be Currawongs filled the background.  (I have yet to share a photo of an Australian Currawong – I have a couple, but they’re not very good).

The wind had dropped and the forecast showers were absent.  It was sooooooo quiet, almost like the end of the earth, and I couldn’t help but be overjoyed at the absence of human sound.  If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I caught the lift upstairs to my apartment and after dropping my overnight bag on the floor, flung the sliding door open on to the balcony to let air into the stuffy room.

I heard tweets, chattering, birdsong and then a gentle whisper as a slight breeze sprung up.

The Fairy Wrens were back.

The birdsong was reminiscent of the lovely country sounds I first heard when I moved to the area in October, 2016.

SORRY ABOUT THE LOUSY SHOT, BUT I COULDN’T WAIT for a better one at that moment (in case the bird flew away quickly as they are want to do when I don’t have a camera handy)

Then one female Superb Fairy-wren dropped from the balcony fence down to the potted herbs and jumped from pot to pot and over to the bird/pest control netted hutch looking for seeds or some other tasty morsel.  She walked over the fine netting and I frantically looked for the camera case as I’d put all the cameras away yesterday and stored them in a different place (other than under my desk or beside my desk chair).

Then I spotted a male Superb Fairy-Wren scrambling around the pots under the bird control netted hutch.

So much for bird control 😀

I went out to lift the netting so it could get away as it seemed to have forgotten its entry point, then grabbed the plastic watering jug to give some of the potted plants a drink.  I hadn’t watered them before I left home late yesterday morning as it was supposed to rain this morning.

When I came back outdoors with the full watering pot, I heard frantic cheeping and a very frightened little wren.

It had jumped off the Marigold pot and got caught between the line of plastic pots and the glass fence.  It could obviously see the male wren on the Japanese Maple enjoying the sunshine through the glass, but couldn’t work out how to get through this clear (aka dirty) glass fence barrier.

I think this might have been the first time I had seen a distressed Fairy-wren outdoors at my current home.  I pulled all the plastic pots out so there was more room, but for some reason the tiny bird couldn’t work out what to do.

You hopeless little thing I thought to myself and very slowly bent down and tried to carefully catch it in my cupped hands.  This frightened it all the more.

I stood right back and silently waited.

Nope, it just could not work out why it couldn’t  ‘walk through glass’ 😀

Human intervention was obviously needed before the frantic little bird keeled over in exhaustion.

Finally,  I managed to catch the distressed little wren and slowly bring it up to the fence rail and release it.

It quickly flew to the male on the Maple tree and then the couple flew off to the other side of the road where they could rest in the thick hedge in the warm Autumn sunshine.

I feel like I’m in Heaven with the absence of construction workers and machinery noise.

Photo of a Male SUPERB FAIRY-WREN from the 26th March.

The gentle warmth of the sun was so pleasant after the long hot Summer, that I couldn’t help but think…..Thank God for Silence.

………..and the distant caw-caw of the local Ravens and the chatter of the nearby House Sparrows spread the beautiful sound of Autumn.

It’s only after incessant jarring noise (of the construction workers all week) that you truly appreciate the Silence in this unique apartment location.

I was back to my positive happy self and all was well with the world…..or at least my world.


……and so I asked Mr Google who had first said this phrase.

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘Silence is golden’?

As with many proverbs, the origin of this phrase is obscured by the mists of time. There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence:

That fuller version – ‘speech is silver; silence is golden’, is still sometimes used, although the shorter form is now more common.

25 thoughts on “SUPERB FAIRY-WREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Female

    1. I am so glad I was home to help the Fairy-wren ‘escape’, Terry. I can’t imagine how distressed and exhausted it might have got if I’d arrived home later in the morning.

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  1. There’s nothing more distressing than a bird that’s “trapped” and confused. I sometimes get them here, because of netting put over opening in the buildings. Given their tendency to fly up, even providing an opening on the “down side” doesn’t always help. I’m glad your little friend was able to escape, with your help.

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    1. I’ve helped the Spotted Turtle-doves in my previous apartment ‘escape’ because they got trapped on my balcony, but this is the first time I’ve actually held one of these tiny Fairy-wrens in my hands, Linda. Gosh, they’re so small.

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    1. Today (Sunday) I was woken by lots of bird noise, Eliza. I’d put out lots of bird seed last night and left the pest control netted hutch off the plants and there were 3 Fairy-wrens and about 6 House Sparrows in my garden. I could only pull my bedroom curtain slightly aside to see them.

      After so many weeks of rare sightings, its such a joy to see them all again. I wish I’d been able to photograph them, but they seem reluctant to land now that I’ve opened the balcony door and got the cameras ready.

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  2. The wrens are so delightful. They come to my garden, but don’t seem to stay, unfortunately. I’m sorry to read that you’ve been having so much construction around you, Vicki, it certainly is distressing while it’s going on.

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    1. Have you got a bird feeder out at all, Jane?

      These wrens hop around so quickly, I can assure you its very hard to get a photo of them, especially when my windows are covered in dust. I take many photos, but there are a lot that are out of focus because I need a high shutter speed and a high ISO to match their movement.

      I hope the extra loud noise from the rock-splitter starts to taper off soon. Hard to say as I’m not sure just how much of the cliff face they’re trying to remove. I hope the actual building construction is much quieter.


      1. I do have a bird feeder, Vicki, and water for the birds. Wrens eat insects, though, and I would have thought there would be plenty in my garden as I endeavour not to use poisons. I’ve tried to photograph the ones that do visit, but with very little success as they’re never still for long.
        It sounds like a massive amount of building next to you. Sending commiserations.

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  3. I’m glad you’re enjoying some peace this weekend and that you eventually managed to rescue the little bird. The last picture with the ruffled feathers is a classic and I’m glad to be able to add the speech is silver part to the old saying.

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    1. Thank you, Susan.

      (That last image was actually from last year, but it was such a fun photo with the ruffled feathers I decided to include it).

      This morning (Monday) the rock-splitting noise is absent……ehrr so far and it’s midday as i type. The ordinary construction noise is just fine with me. I don’t notice it hardly at all. It would be lovely if last week’s incessant ear-splitting noise was absent all this week to give me a break.

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  4. The saying in German is, “Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold.” I, too, love the absence of human voices and human noises, but when I don’t hear birdsong, I get panicked, and reminded of how absolutely awful a world without birds would be.
    I am glad you were finally able to release the little wren, Vicki.
    I wish you a good week,

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    1. Thanks Tanja. We need the birds (and bees) for so many things like pest control and crop cultivation. Living a fairly solitary life as I do, I count the regular birds as others might call their pet dog or cat.

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  5. What a lovely post- and the photos were cream on top!

    I fully understand this. In our old home silence was the norm….now …. cars and motorbikes with “extra loud “ mufflers.
    Silence…it’s a blessing and I think a healing balm.

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    1. Silence (of the human kind) is something many of us would do well to follow, Connie. It’s lovely to chat and enjoy a friend’s company, but sometimes, I think people talk for the sake of talking and don’t appreciate how sitting in silence, alone or with someone else, and enjoying the sounds of nature can be so healing and relaxing.


    1. Thanks Gunta.
      Interestingly enough, when they were ‘rock-splitting’ at the top of the cliff, the noise wasn’l half as loud, hence my theory that the traffic noise on the main road at the top of the cliff ‘lloats or sails’ over my building. With any luck, the rock-splitting directly opposite my level might be finished? That was the worst and I can see they’re laying steel framework to pour concrete (I think).
      I try not to get too optimistic though. I’ve never watched a whole apartment building being built from scratch so its actually quite interesting in a roundabout way.


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