So I’m finishing Anne Enright’s The Wren, the Wren and it occurs to me to check what sort of bird an Irish person means by wren. And so I pull out my lightly used (only one trip to Europe so far) Svensson’s Birds of Europe, 2/e (2009) (pp. 336-337), and it is indeed the bird we call Winter Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes.

And the species account is hilarious, as field guides go. On the plate, calling out field marks, is one word: “unmistakable!” And the species account has this gem:

IDENTIFICATION Very small, and this reinforced by ludicrously small tail that is usually raised vertically, also by short neck.

I wonder what other tidbits are to be found in this guide.