Well despite my pessimism the wren has incubated her eggs, not been eaten by a rat, and has 4 very cute chicks!
Baby birds are my real weak spot, a friend was showing me kitten pictures which leave my heart utterly unstirred, I'd much rather look at photos of these beauties!
They're already so much bigger than when they first hatches a couple of days ago. At that point they were featherless, and their eyes weren't open. They grow very quickly, and it won't be long until they fledge. It's already a tight fit in the little nest.
The parents have been busy flying back and forth feeding them, it's a wonderful distraction while I'm dyeing. They're utterly un-phased about being surrounded by human activity. We have to walk past the nest regularly, when the female was off the eggs she'd just fly off and come back as soon as we were out of the way. It's meant I can take these lovely closeups providing I'm quick about it.
As for the House Martin nest, who knows. In theory we're just coming in to the window where eggs might be hatching, but in comparison to the frenzy of activity whilst they build the nest it goes very quite while the eggs are being brooded. I'll only know if they're bred successfully when I start seeing them flying in and out of the nest feeding the young.